Chinese Sexologist Opens Up About the Future for China's LGBT Community

Li Yinhe, born in Beijing in 1952, is a sociologist, sexologist, and LGBT activist and has studied sexuality in China for over four decades. She is also considered a pioneer of gender studies and advocate of sexual openness in China. She shared with us the huge changes she has seen in China, throughout the entire country as well as within the LGBT community.

“I believe the changes [in attitudes towards sex] have been huge. In the past, sex was only a way to produce children and expand your family. Since the implementation of family planning, this was bound to change since families were only allowed to have one child, or two in the countryside. Now people have sex for their own enjoyment rather than just as a means to procreate,” Li says.

“I remember about 20 years ago, in the People’s Daily, homosexuality, prostitution, and drugs were all supposedly linked to social evils. This was the media’s attitude towards the LGBT community before, and a main reason for discrimination against the LGBT community.”

Li emphasizes the increasing visibility of the LGBT community, and how much more frequently they are now mentioned in state media. This wasn’t the same even 10 years ago, when everybody was convinced that no one was gay, and so they had never met someone who purported to be homosexual. The LGBT community back then was completely invisible. Read More