China’s Treatment of the LGBTQ+ Community

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A handful of LGBTQ+ athletes will participate in the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, defying the homophobic Communist Party narrative

  • The Winter Olympics has already a great deal of controversy. A number of nations are engaging in a diplomatic boycott of the games, due to the human rights violations in the Xinjiang region.
  • However, for most athletes, the games are going ahead as planned. There are a number of LGBTQ+ athletes who will be participating, some of whom will be making Olympic history.
  • However, homosexuality is frequently vilified and depicted as “other” in mainland China. There are a number of conspiracy theories, which view being gay as a Western import.
  • Last year, the Chinese government also took action against what it describes as “sissy men” - a derogatory, homophobic term for men perceived as effeminate - banning them from society.
  • Such rulings undoubtedly have an impact on the daily lives of China’s LGBTQ+ community. Gay people in China are often forced to conform to restrictive societal norms.
  • The LGBTQ+ athletes taking part in the Olympics are defying the norms that the Chinese government are attempting to constructby being open about their sexuality and gender-identity.
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