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Chinese novelist jailed for 10 years for ‘writing gay sex scenes’

Ella Braidwood November 19, 2018
A gay couple kiss at an anti-discrimination parade in Chine, where a writer was recently jailed for including gay sex scenes in her novel.

Two youngsters kiss each other behind a rainbow flag, a symbol for the homosexuals, during their anti-discrimination parade in Changsha, central China's Hunan province on May 17, 2013. About one hundred persons gathered to the anti-discrimination parade on the International Day Against Homophobia, appealing for understanding to homosexuals from the mass people. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chinese erotic writer has reportedly been jailed for more than 10 years after including gay sex scenes in one of her novels.

State media reported that the writer, who uses the internet alias Tianyi, was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in prison by a court in Anhui province for “producing and selling pornographic materials” in her 2017 novel Occupation, which features gay sex scenes.

The author was identified with the surname Liu by state media.

LGBT+ rights supporters, who were outraged at a novelist being jailed for writing gay sex scenes, celebrate Shanghai Pride 2018.
Revellers at the Shanghai Pride opening party in June 2018. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

Tianyi’s book details an illicit affair between a teacher and a student.

According to a television station in Anhui, it allegedly included “graphic depictions of male homosexual sex scenes,” reports South China Morning Post.

Internet pornography in China has been illegal since 2002.

novelist’s jail sentence over gay sex scenes sparks outcry

Occupation is believed to have sold around 7,000 copies online.

“Those found guilty of rape get less than 10 years in jail. This writer gets 10 years.”

— Weibo user

Tianyi’s prison sentence has sparked protests on Chinese social media.

“10 years for a novel? That’s too much,” one user wrote on Weibo, reports BBC.

Another social media user noted how rapists are frequently jailed for less than 10 years in China.

“Those found guilty of rape get less than 10 years in jail. This writer gets 10 years,” the Weibo user said.

LGBT+ rights campaigners, who have protested the jailing of a novelist for including gay sex scenes in her book, celebrate Shanghai pride 2017.
LGBT+ people have no discrimination protections in China. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Gay sex was legalised in China in 1997.

However, LGBT+ people in the country have no discrimination protections and same-sex couples cannot adopt or marry.

China’s crackdown on LGBT+ content 

The jailing of Tianyi comes amid reports of an increased crackdown on LGBT+ content by Chinese authorities over the past year.

In September, pop star Dua Lipa thanked fans for feeling “safe enough to show your pride” at her concert in Shanghai, China, after some gig-goers were reportedly removed by staff for waving rainbow flags.

Following her performance on September 12, attendees posted videos on social media, which appeared to show security guards forcibly booting out a number of fans.

In August, it was announced that Mr Gay World 2019 would no longer take place in China’s special administrative region Hong Kong.

This was reportedly because the events company was based in the People’s Republic of China and had been put under pressure by Chinese authorities.

And, in May, two LGBT activists were reportedly attacked by security guards in Beijing, China, for wearing Pride badges as part of a pro-LGBT gathering in the city.

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