‘I Am Gay, Not a Pervert’: Furor Erupts in China as Sina Weibo Bans Gay Content


The Beijing L.G.B.T. Heart mentioned in a put up, “We’re all homosexual tonight,” alongside pictures of younger women and men. Whereas some posts had been censored, the hashtag that interprets to #Iamgaynotapervert was considered greater than 1.35 million instances.

Many activists had harsh phrases for Sina Weibo, saying that its makes an attempt to restrict free speech had gone too far and that homosexual individuals had been being punished as a result of their tradition was thought of out of the mainstream.

“Our complete group went ballistic,” mentioned Zhong Xinyue, 22, an intern on the Canton Rainbow Group, an advocacy group within the southern metropolis of Guangzhou. She lamented the lack of a well-liked Weibo account referred to as the Homosexual Voice, which was deleted on Saturday.


Tens of hundreds of Chinese language residents took to social media over the weekend to protest efforts to censor gay-themed photographs by the social community Sina Weibo.

Credit score
through Weibo

Even the state-run newspaper The Folks’s Day by day printed an article on-line that included veiled criticism of Weibo’s announcement. The article mentioned that being homosexual or bisexual was “not a illness,” however it added that homosexual individuals wanted to “tackle their very own social obligations whereas advocating their rights.”

Though homosexuality is not a criminal offense in China, a conservative tradition persists that appears down on individuals in same-sex relationships. Some textbooks nonetheless describe homosexuality as a psychological dysfunction, and homosexual characters are not often proven in motion pictures or on tv.

Ma Baoli, the founding father of Blued, a well-liked homosexual relationship app, mentioned the nation’s lack of sexual schooling had exacerbated a tradition of intolerance.

“It’s simple to irritate the general public’s discrimination in opposition to sexual minorities,” mentioned Mr. Ma, referring to Weibo’s announcement.

Many activists say they’re involved that Mr. Xi’s tightening grip on the web will dampen a thriving on-line tradition that they are saying binds the homosexual neighborhood collectively.

Chen Du, a homosexual activist in Guangzhou, mentioned Weibo’s marketing campaign would harm the picture of homosexual individuals in China and make it harder for younger individuals to come back out.

“People who find themselves prepared to come back out are going to be pushed again to the place they was, confronted with strain and helplessness,” he mentioned.

Underneath Mr. Xi, web firms have confronted strain to get rid of content material that the federal government deems unwholesome or pornographic — not simply politically delicate — reminiscent of the times when the Communist Celebration was an arbiter of public morality.

Mr. Xi put in place a stricter cybersecurity regulation final 12 months that has given the state extra energy to punish and examine firms that publish content material the federal government labels unsafe or offensive.

This previous week, China’s high media regulator ordered Bytedance, a distinguished Chinese language expertise start-up, to close down an app for sharing jokes and movies, saying it had helped unfold vulgar content material.

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