The history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in China spans thousands of years. Unlike the histories of European and European-ruled polities in which Christianity formed the core of heavily anti-LGBT laws until recent times, non-heterosexual states of being were historically treated with far less animosity in historic Chinese states. For a period of the modern history of both the Republic of China and People's Republic of Homosexuality and christianity history china in the 20th century, LGBT people received more stringent legal regulations regarding their orientations, with restrictions being gradually eased by the beginning of the Homosexuality and christianity history china century.
However, activism for LGBT rights in both countries has been slow in development due to societal sentiment and government inaction. Homosexuality has been documented in China since ancient times. The Intrigues of the Warring Statesa collection of political advice and stories from before the Han dynastyrefers to Duke Xian of Jin reigned — BCE planting a handsome young man in a rival's court in Homosexuality and christianity history china to influence the other ruler and to give him bad advice.
Another example of homosexuality at the highest level of society from the Warring States period is the story of Lord Long Yang and the King of Wei. The last of these emperors overlapped chronologically with "all but one" of the first fourteen Roman emperors held to be bisexual or exclusively homosexual by historian Edward Gibbon.
Throughout written Chinese history, the role of women is given little positive emphasis, with relationships between women being especially rare. One mention by Ying Shaowho lived about todoes relate palace women attaching themselves as husband and wife, a relationship called dui shi.
He noted, "They are intensely jealous of each other. It should be noted that except in unusual cases, "Homosexuality and christianity history china" as Emperor Ai, the men named for their homosexual relationships in the official histories appear to have had active heterosexual lives as well.
It is, in fact, impossible to know the full sexuality of any historical figures from most of Chinese history, unless they are indicated to be bisexual, since only affairs which were considered out of the ordinary were documented. Neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality were
Homosexuality and christianity history china out of the ordinary for most of that history, so the fact that only one of the two was documented cannot rule out the other.
The cases of Huo Guangwho served as regent of the Western Han, and General Liang Jiwho dominated the government of Han China in the 's, are typical of bisexuals whose homosexuality would not have been mentioned had it not been seen as unusual in some way. Huo Guang was infatuated with his slave master, Feng Zidu, a fact that "provoked laughter in the wineshops of foreigners",  but which didn't have much effect on his own countrymen.
What did surprise them was when Huo Guang's widow took up with the slave master after her husband's death. For two lower-status individuals, one a woman and one a servant, to dishonor their master's memory in this way was considered shocking, and so the relationship was made note of. Similarly, General Liang Ji, was typical in having both a wife, Sun Shou, and a male slave, Qin Gong, who was acknowledged publicly with a status similar to a concubine.
Two notable scholars, Ruan Ji and Ji Kangwere unique as egalitarian, long-term partners in the 3rd century. They were members of the anti-establishment Seven Sages of the Bamboo Groveand their relationship reflected that group's vaunting of mystical, rustic, and simple life over the corruption, hierarchy, and intrigue at court.
According to Lady Han, the Homosexuality and christianity history china of another sage of the Bamboo Grove, Shan Taowho spied on the two in their bedroom, they were also sexually talented. Writings from the Liu Song dynasty claimed that homosexuality was as common as heterosexuality in the late 3rd century:. One of the earliest mentions of the actor-prostitutes who would become common later in Chinese history is also from the Jin dynasty. Poems written by and for the future Emperor Jianwen of Liang also highlight the luxurious but ultimately degrading role of the male prostitute at the time.
The aristocratic poet Yu Xin was representative of the more subtle system of patronage which existed without the stigma of prostitution, whereby a poorer or younger man could provide sexual service to a more established man in return for political advancement. Yu Xin opened his home and provided a standing reference for the younger Wang Shao, who repaid him by serving as a sort of butler and sex provider.
Homosexuality and christianity history china Shao went on to become an official censor. With the rise of the Tang dynastyChina became increasingly influenced by the sexual mores of foreigners from Western and Central Asia, and female companions began to accumulate the political power previously accumulated by male companions at the imperial court.
The first negative term for homosexuality in Chinese- 'jijian', connoting illicit sexuality- appears at this time.
The following Song dynasty was the last dynasty to include a chapter on male companions to the emperors in official documents. After the Song dynasty, homosexual behavior was most documented amongst the gentry and merchant classessince these were the people who were doing most of the writing.
Practically all officials of this class maintained a wife or wives to produce heirs, and used their economic advantage to engage in relationships, heterosexual and homosexual, which gave them unequal power. According to Bret Hinsch in the book Passions of the cut sleeve: He sought the daughters of many of his officials. The other Muslim in his Homosexuality and christianity history china, a Central Asian called Yu Yung, sent Uighur women dancers to the emperor's quarters for sexual purposes.
Still, Chinese homosexuals did not experience persecution which would compare to that experienced by homosexuals in Christian Europe during the Middle Agesand in some areas, same sex love was particularly appreciated. There was a stereotype in the late Ming dynasty that the province of Fujian was the only place where homosexuality was prominent,  but Xie Zhaozhe — wrote that "from Jiangnan and Zhejiang to Beijing and Shanxithere is none that does not know of this fondness.
Although the province of Fujian was not alone in open homosexuality in the 17th century, it was the site of a unique system of male marriagesattested to by the scholar-bureaucrat Shen Defu and the writer Li Yuand mythologized by in the folk tale, The Leveret Spirit. The older man in the union would play the masculine role as a qixiong or "adoptive Homosexuality and christianity history china brother", paying a "bride price" to the family of the younger man- it was said virgins fetched higher prices- who became the qidior "adoptive younger brother".
Li Yu described the ceremony, "They do not skip the three cups of tea or the six wedding rituals- it is just like a proper marriage with a formal wedding.
These marriages could last as long as 20 years before both men were expected to marry women in order to procreate. The two men exchanged vows of fidelity, and Li Guiguan retired from the stage to be addressed by acquaintances as Bi's wife.
Unlike the Fujian marriages, this was a unique relationship in its locality, so much so that it was still remembered years later, when it inspired the novel Precious Mirror of Ranking Flowers by Chen Sen. Another example of the high Homosexuality and christianity history china of homosexuality in Fujian province, clearly not shared by the centralized Chinese government by this time, was recorded by Qing official Zhu Gui —a grain tax circuit intendant of Fujian in Intending to standardize the morality of the people under his jurisdiction, he promulgated a "Prohibition of Licentious Cults".
One cult which he found particularly troublesome was the cult of Hu Tianbao. The image is of two men embracing one another; the face of one is somewhat
Homosexuality and christianity history china with age, the other tender and pale. All those debauched and shameless rascals who on seeing youths or young men desire to have illicit intercourse with them pray for assistance from the plaster idol.
Then they make plans to entice and obtain the objects of their desire. This is known as the secret assistance of Hu Tianbao. Afterwards they smear the idol's mouth with Homosexuality and christianity history china intestine and sugar in thanks. The Qing dynasty instituted the first law against consensual, non-monetized homosexuality in China.
It has been construed that this may have been part of an attempt to limit all personal expression outside government-monitored relationships, coming in response to the social chaos at the end of the Ming dynasty. The punishment, which included a month in prison and heavy blows, was actually the lightest punishment which existed in the Qing legal system. The homosexual tradition in China was largely censured as antiquated by the Self-Strengthening Movementwhen homophobia was imported to China along with Western science and philosophy, [ citation needed ] but some interest in the past remained.
A word he used to describe his king was used at that time by women to characterize their lovers. While many Homosexuality and christianity history china would be imprisoned, it is unclear if LGBT people were specifically targeted for oppression due to their sexual identity.
Reportedly, Mao Zedong believed in the sexual castration of "sexual deviants" Randy Shilts. Li Zhisuia Chinese doctor and anti-communist political dissident that lived in revolutionary China and emigrated to the United States during the Cultural Revolution, alleged in his book "The Private Life of Chairman Mao", that Mao had sexual relations with younger males in the military. Even as late as the early s, there were some Chinese men seeking asylum in other countries reported that they had faced systematic discrimination and harassment from the government because of their sexual orientation as well as similar mistreatment from family members .
Likewise, the Chinese government did treat homosexuality as a disease and subjected gay men to electric shock therapy and other attempts to change their sexual orientation . Despite reports of harassment and discrimination, a liberalization trend was gradually taking place in the s through to the early s decade.
This process is intricately tied to Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms in the s, such as the Open Door Policy inand the self-identified quality of "Opening Up" kaifang embraced during this period of reform. In the s, greater public discussion and research of homosexuality became permitted.
One of the first Hong Kong gay rights activists and writers to study the history of homosexuality in China was Xiaomingxiong also known as Samshashaauthor of the comprehensive "The History of Homosexuality in China" Some of the most notable work was "Homosexuality and christianity history china" by sexologist Ruan Fangfuwho in published in English Sex in China: Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture. Inthe Chinese criminal code was revised to eliminate the vague crime of "hooliganism", which had been used as a de facto ban on private, adult, non-commercial and consensual homosexual conduct.
On April 20,the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders formally removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. An internet survey in showed that Chinese are becoming more tolerant towards homosexuality: The authorities do not actively promote gay issues in China.
Although there is no law against homosexuality or same-sex acts between consenting adults, neither are there laws requiring people to accept individuals who engage in gay acts. It is believed that the Chinese policy towards the gay issue remains the "Three nos": Inthe Beijing Queer Film Festival was founded by LGBT film director Cui Zi'enwith the intention to be community-led, although in subsequent years faced regular cancellations by the Beijing authorities, media censorship and police raids, as reported in a documentary by Chinese filmmaker Yang Yang, entitled Our Story: A survey by sexologist Li Yinhe shows a mixed picture of public attitudes towards gays and lesbians in China.
The number of Chinese identifying as homosexual remains unclear. The Ministry of Health estimated there were five to 10 million homosexuals in the Chinese mainland 0. Sociologist Li Yinhe estimates it is between 36 and 48 million. An official statistic, as quoted in a news report in China Dailyput the figure for mainland China at "approximately 30 million" 2. The mainstream media sometimes cover notable gay events abroad, such as pride parades.
Some critics charge that the purpose of the media is mostly to smear homosexuality. Lacking a film rating systemthe Chinese government forbids gay Homosexuality and christianity history china to be shown on TV or in theaters because they are "inappropriate". New Western films, like Brokeback Mountain inwere denied release in the mainland, even though there was an overall public interest as the film was directed by Ang Lee.
Although more prominent in first-tier Chinese cities like BeijingShanghaiGuangzhouand Shenzhengay clubs, bars, tea houses, saunas, and support centers are also becoming more widespread in second-tier cities like Xi'anDalianand Kunming. Occasionally, these locations are subject to police harassment. Similar to the development of the gay scene in other countries, other less formal 'cruising spots' exist in parks, public washrooms, malls, and public shower centers.
Being gay is particularly difficult in the countryside; in China this is especially severe as the vast majority of people live in the countryside with no Internet access and no possibility to move to a city. Country dwellers do not often speak of homosexuality, and when they do, it is usually considered a disease.
Until recently, those participating in gay activities were still punished by the justice system and pursued by the police, Homosexuality and christianity history china were liable to be detained and arrested. In Octobera Beijing court ruled that homosexuality was "abnormal and unacceptable to the Chinese public".
Programs related to homosexual topics or language were considered to be going against the healthy way of life in China. As recently as Aprilpolice raided a gay bar in Shanghai and detained at least 60 of its patrons overnight. As early as and having seen rapid rises in HIV infection among gay and bisexual men in other Asian countries, provincial- and city-level health departments began HIV-related research among men who have sex with men MSM.
Concurrent to these studies, HIV prevention programs were initiated in those same cities using a peer led intervention model. In JuneChina's first gay pride festival was held in Shanghai, which was followed by a seven-day film festival featuring LGBT-themed films.
A photographic campaign dubbed " Smile4Gay ", which featured heterosexual mainland Chinese holding signs in support Homosexuality and christianity history china LGBT people and LGBT rightsattracted more than 4, willing participants, a figure which more than twice surpassed the founder's initial estimated turnout.
While a majority of the supporters came from those in their twenties, several adolescents, middle-aged adults, and even elderly individuals showed their support.
Multiple Buddhist monks also posed. Religion. Conclusion and Discussion.