The Invisible Minority
According to an estimate, the population of gays and lesbians in China is somewhere between 36,000,000 and 48,000,000, approximately 4 percent of the entire population. Homosexuals have gradually found a place in an ever more progressive and open Chinese society. The rising number of gay and lesbian bars in the cities, as well as the hundreds of homosexual websites on the Internet is proof of the growing tolerance of this community in Chinese society.
Despite the improvements, however, this group is still marginalized in a society without public recognition and protection under law. It is no exaggeration to say that in this day and age, there is an actively underground surrounding among the homosexual group. It is standard practice for Chinese gays to give performance, such as Drag Queen show, in several night clubs in almost every metropolis in China. Although some pioneers have stood up and called for equity and rights, the majority of China’s homosexuals are still caught in a world that offers both shadow and light.
Coming out about being gay is not easy in any country, but especially not in China. One man nicknamed “A Hundred Year’s Solitude” shares his real life to find free expression in a place where being gay is far from the norm.
“A Hundred Year’s Solitude” realized his homosexual identity from early age. Coming from a rural area of Hebei province, He lives in Tianjin, one of big cities in northern China for study. After graduation, he got a job which was related to his homosexual identity. During daytime, He sleeps at home. At Night, He is busy making Drag Queen performances between different kinds of underground entertainment places. On the stage, He releases all feelings to satisfy himself. Performances always last till midnight. After that, He comes back home, a narrow flat. His boyfriend, Xiao Meng, is waiting for his coming.
In spite of suffering from extremely physical pain, some of the Chinese homosexuals choose to become transsexuals finally through undergoing sex change operation in plastic surgery hospital.
Jing Jing, a 25-year-old transsexual, underwent a nipple reconstruction as part of a sex change operation at a hospital in Tianjin on July 6, 2007. The whole sex change operation, which changed Jing Jing’s sex from male to female in about 10 separate procedures, cost about 100,000 yuan ($13,153).