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Chinese government backs first official gay bar

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  1. Jean-Paul Bentham 22 Dec 2009, 9:07am

    Among the very first things the Chinese wrote in their meticulous historical records, thousands of years ago, were details of same-sex relationships common among both emperors and peasants.

    Talk about going full circle.

  2. Garak Dussein Kobama 22 Dec 2009, 9:17pm

    Chinise government decided to change its policy to control the population after the “abortion and children-limit” policy proved to be difficult. Now they follow the Western idea of allowing people with Gender Identity Disorder to gather into political movements and spoil health of their nations. All in the name of “human rights”. Well, they are playing with fire, like our blind politicians do.

  3. Jean-Paul Bentham 23 Dec 2009, 1:45am

    Homosexuality is not a gender identity disorder, my friend.

    From the earliest times the Chinese have shown a passion for detailed, meticulous historical records. Moreover, early biographers felt free to treat sexuality, including love affairs between men, with an openness unheard of in Christian Europe.

    This freedom was passed on to poets, playwrights, and writers of fiction in the Classical Chinese mode.

    Since the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949, the tolerance of love between men that prevailed in the “Middle Kingdom” and the literature on this theme that flourished for more that two millenia have been all but lost sight of.

    In fact, Chinese history goes back 5,000 years.

    The fabled “Yellow Emperor” (2696 BCE) has been recorded by Ji Yun as setting a standard for sexual behavior: besides having as many concubines as Solomon, the Yellow Emperor was the first to take male bed mates. (Ruan and Tsai, pp. 21-22.)

    The fire you are playing with, Garak Dussein Kobama, is called homophobia, and you’ve come to the right place to have your head screwed on right.

    We are well prepared to teach you a thing or two about human rights as well. Stick around.

  4. Steven in Shanghai 23 Dec 2009, 6:39am

    WTF?!?

    Get your facts straight there is currently NO offical stance on homosexuality in China.

    This view has not been the stance of the government since the Cultural Revolution in the late 70s and even then it was never offical. After the 70s homosexuality was “offically” consider a psychological disorder akin to OCD and Depression until 2001.

    While many rural chinese may still believe this. The vast majority of urban chinese and governement officals believe homosexuality is the result of birth (nature) and not society or capitalism (nurture).

  5. Steven in Shanghai 23 Dec 2009, 6:41am

    The comment I’m refering to is…

    “…homosexuality is still officially classified as a “mouldering life style of capitalism” in the officially communist state..”

  6. Jean-Paul Bentham 23 Dec 2009, 9:21am

    Hello Stephen:

    Thanks for your input.

    I’m just curious to know the source documentation from which you are quoting.

    I am most interested in this issue, but your comments confuse me for the moment.

    Also, why would Garak say:

    “Now they follow the Western idea of allowing people with Gender Identity Disorder to gather into political movements and spoil (the) health of their nations. All in the name of “human rights”. Well, they are playing with fire, like our blind politicians do.”

    In the first place and as far as I know, the West does not allow people with Gender Identity Disorder to gather in political movements and to spoil the health of their nations because
    homosexuality is not a gender identity disorder, and humanity doesn’t need homosexuals to spoil the health of their nations.

    Does this guy blame gays for the China’s empty aquifers and agricultural crisis, for their coal mine disasters and for the ecological disaster of the Three Gorges Dam?

    I don’t understand what gives Garak the upper moral ground here, so that he can blame the Chinese government for allowing gays to have a space where we can be ourselves according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Sounds to me like we now have a Chinese troll on PinkNews. But I ain’t bitter.

  7. Hi, Jean-Paul. Yes, I think this “Garak Dussein Kobama” is indeed a troll, of the variety that likes to pretend to be someone he or she isn’t and to stir things up!

    But your info. Jean-Paul is very interesting. I didn’t know you were interested in Chinese history. I certainly know though that the Chinese were heavily into eroticism in the past. Phew! Some of the ancient images I have seen!

    David Attenborough has recently put out an excellent programme on the problem of over-population of Planet Earth. In it he says that in his life-time the population of the planet has trebled! It occurred to me while watching the programme that widespread promotion of homosexuality and lesbianism is certainly one extremely good solution!

    People have gotta stopping having the babies! We need to slash the number of babies! (LOL! At this time of year, I guess Xians will cringe to hear such a call!)

    One thing is certain: in terms of population control, the Chinese desperately need lots of homosexuality and lesbianism!

    So does Africa! Last night on the BBC news that Ugandan politician who has introduced the bill to legalise the execution of gays and lesbians in Uganda was interviewed. He went on about “sodomy” and you could hear the Jesus in his voice! Then the BBC team filmed a church-ful of Ugandans all with their hands up in the air and swaying to some Xian fundamentalist song! That’s where it all coming from, this Ugandan nonsense, from Xianity! Not surprised, of course.

    Yuletide Greetings to you Jean-Paul! Hope you have yourself a merry little pagan time!

  8. Steven in Shanghai 24 Dec 2009, 11:23am

    Hi Jean-Paul,

    Anybody reading the political commentry reports from the Central Government will be able to gain access to any and every discussion on homosexuality in China.

    Government transperancy in China is actually a lot better then the western media gives it credit (if you read Chinese).

    The specific stance refering to China’s view on homosexuality was published by Politburo member, gay rights activist and renowned Chinese Sexoligist Li Yinhe when the same sex marriage bill was presented (but ultimately rejected) in 2000, but helped lead to the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 2001.

    While Chinese media and reporting on all issues is obviously biased, so is Western media reporting on the same issues. Alot of the time when reading reports on China by CNN, Reuters and the BBC i find myself yell “THAT’S NOT WHAT THEY MEANT”. The best approach I feel is that you balance the views in both Chinese and Western media and you’ll get a more accurate picture of what is going on in China.

    Hope this answers your question

  9. Jean-Paul Bentham 25 Dec 2009, 12:23am

    Thank you, Steven.

    It’s clear to me now that your initial reaction was quite intense, and that your latter comment allows me to leap from the early 1990’s to more recent developments. As you say, Chinese transparency is great “if you read Chinese”, which I don’t unfortunately.

    Also, although academia dominates my knowledge and interest in same-sex relationship in China, I instinctively recognized Kobama (2) as grossly misinformed both on the academic as well as on the political levels.

    For example, I understand that while sodomites were being anathematized and persecuted in Europe as provokers of divine wrath, China looked upon the phenomena of same-sex attraction calmly and as an inescapable fact of human existence.

    Also, China does provide us with the longest documented period of tolerance in human history – two thousand years extending from 500 BCE to the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644 (the very year that my French ancestors from France settled in the New World known today as Canada).

    Though homosexuality was officially frowned upon by the earlier Manchus, this disapproval appears to have been a formal gesture.

    Furthermore, we in the West may only now be arriving at China’s 17th century attitude which held sway until the end of the Imperial age and the triumph of Marxism. In other words, men who loved men were depicted as good or bad, sympathetic or self-seeking, honest or dishonest, talented or undistinguished, but not set apart as a race to be humiliated, denounced, or extirpated.

    We have it from Bret Hinsch, author of “Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China”, Berkeley, University of California, 1990, that there was a radical change with regards to homosexuaity under Communist rule. Chinese officials, not unlike those of present-day Iran, when queried by foreign visitors, denied that homosexuality existed in China, the theory being that under a socialist economy, social ills like prostitution and homosexuality would vanish.

    As a result, a rich historical tradition has been lost.

    Again quoting from Hinsch, though no explicit law prohibits homosexuality in China today (1990), men have, in recent decades, been routinely imprisoned under vague charges of “revolting behavior” or “hooliganism” (p.163).

    Thanks to your input, I have retained the name of Li Yenhi and the fact that homosexuality has been declassified as a mental disorder in 2001.

    Finally, I hasten to add that Mr. Kobama has not only disgraced himself, but has failed miserably to sustain his point of view. But I ain’t bitter.

    Adam Lake has indeed brought us some good news from China. Yea!!

  10. Steven in Shanghai 26 Dec 2009, 2:26pm

    Hi Jean-Paul,

    Just to further add to your last comment “hooliganism” the defacto crime that many gay people were arressted for, just for being gay was actually removed from the Chinese Criminal Code in 1997. While it’s practice did carry on for many years I can honestly say that any application of this code in regards to arresst is probably next to none now.

    I remember when I first came to China police raids were very common in gay bars and clubs and many locals were arrested on this charge and foreigners were asked to go home now or risk deportation.

    Today there is virtually no raids on gay venues and establishments. Though Shanghai Pride last year did experience some raids this was more due to the organisors’ stupidty then homophobia.

    Raids and arrests that do occur are often the result of fear by local police officials who fear that they will get into trouble by superiors if they let “gay events” occur. They don’t actually recieve any instutitionalised order to “clamp down”, but do so independently.

  11. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Dec 2009, 7:24am

    Hello Steven,

    Living in China gives you a tremendous advantage. As you can see, my most recent reference is dated 1990, and we all know how swiftly things have been transformed in China since that date. Furthermore, I rarely have the occasion to revisit the gay scene in China. Your comments are valuable.

    For example when you say:

    “The specific stance referring to China’s view on homosexuality was published by Politburo member, gay rights activist and renowned Chinese Sexologist Li Yinhe when the same sex marriage bill was presented (but ultimately rejected) in 2000…”,

    may I take that to mean that homosexuality is no longer illegal in China today.

    Also, I have started reading up on Li Yinhe , and I would like to read China’s official stance on homosexuality. Do you know if Li Yinhe’s scholarly view has been written into the Chinese constitution?

    If you have time to further discuss this issue, I can be easily reached at (my.pinknews.co.uk) under the name of Jean-Paul. You can register as a member of PinkNews using a ‘nickname’ if you like, but membership would give you access to many issues which are quite interesting, and we, of course, would have access to recent information regarding the gay scene in China. Once registered, you would only need to send me a brief message. The site is quite user friendly.

    Still, I will continue checking this thread.

    Thanks again!

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