Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

17 Mar 2010

Shanghai gay life flourishes

Shanghai has a flourishing gay scene with an emergence of new bars, clubs and social groups although a good number of the men who participate are married to women, reports AFP.

The following is an excerpt from an AFP report via The Taipei Times:

Chinese gay men slow dance to a ballad in a Shanghai club. Photo by AFP

In a shabby hall in a working-class area of Shanghai, dozens of men slow dance to a ballad, enjoying a few hours in the company of other homosexuals before going home — many to their wives. 

Every weekend evening, men of all ages pay 7 yuan (US$1) to waltz, rumba and be themselves — no small feat in China, where homosexuals still face crushing social and familial pressure. 

“If you’re gay and people find out in my hometown, everything is over,” said Leon, a 28-year-old tour guide from Anhui Province who has lived in Shanghai for 10 years, is married and has a boyfriend on the side. “But in Shanghai, there are a lot of people like us and places like this — it’s a good city for us.”


Reader's Comments

1. 2010-03-18 00:37  
regards gays in china well its not a civilised country like canada and for that reason id never go there!
2. 2010-03-18 15:27  
What a nasty thing to say.
3. 2010-03-18 19:31  
So stay in Canada and never try to know anything else... it's safer for little boys.
By the way, genocide against native american is what you call civilised ?... No any country is perfect, including Canada dear Ronmac.
4. 2010-03-18 19:45  
I can say that Shanghai is indeed one of the nicest gay destinations in China. Of course everywhere in China you will see gorgeous gay men.............and women..............(of course as a gay man I only have eyes for the men) BUT in Shanghai they are more visible, there is a good range of pubs and gay establishments whch are affordable to a good many of the local gays.......and some gay friendly local places that are a bit cheaper.........

Its a cool city and with the magnificent Bund project almost completed its a great time to go............

The atmosphere is quite a lot less official than Beijing.......

My last asia tour was part work and part leisure.tokyo, seoul, pusan-shangai.the flite from pusan was about $50............

I stayed in a lovely western style and standard hotel in a very central area for about 30$ and taxis were so cheap i didnt have to worry about figuring out the excellent pub transport system.

I'd highly recommend Shanghai and China!

5. 2010-03-18 23:33  
Totally agree with Brian Storming re. the comments of ronmac. Has ronmac ever been to China? It astounds me that whilst living in a so called civilised country , country guilty of massive genocide of its own native population , ronmac has the hide to point the finger at China. " I once pointed my finger at one who had fallen along life's way , and as I looked , what did I see ? Three of my fingers pointing at me."
I lived my gay life in China btw., and will always remember the happiest years of my life there.
6. 2010-03-19 07:10  
I can't open the whole article on the external site, will try again later, but I do know the Lai Lai Dance Hall, and I went there in January when I was visiting Shanghai (I'm from London). It's something very surprising and unusual, for a tourist anyway, to find a very large crowd of middle-aged men all dancing together to a live band. There were literally hundreds of people packed in there. As a foreigner I was welcome, but no-one asked me to dance! I would very strongly recommend that any gay visitor to Shanghai takes time out to visit. Fun, campy, surprising and a treat.
7. 2010-03-19 12:25  
Historically, it is normative for men to have a wife for procreative and business/family purposes, and enjoy sexual pleasure outside that, with either other females or males.
In China, for many centuries, this was understood as the "given".
The difference now is that it must be hidden even if it is in part tolerated.
Actually, that model is the most common one if you look at all cultures through tme.

If you want to know about the history of same-sex relationships and how different cultures responded/accommodated to them, you have to make an effort to seek the information.
It has been systematically eliminated from modern education.
But there are vast resources available.
Few Chinese average folks know of the longstanding tradition of inclusion for same sex erotic relationships.
Even more than inclusion;honoring.
It is a part of their culture which they have forgotten under the influence of Western Judeo/Christion imperialism.

A recommendation: "Born to Be Gay-A History of Homosexuality" by Naphy
check your local library.
An eye opener.
Comment edited on 2010-03-19 22:45:51
8. 2010-03-21 06:21  
Ronmac, you should point out what you dislike in China, but should refrain from making offensive remarks like it's not a civilized country. I can assure you it is a civilized country. However, they still have an oppressive communist regime in power that has caused a lot of pain and suffering.
9. 2010-03-21 15:00  
Ronmac, I guess it's all a matter of perspective based on one's own life experiences. If you've lived in countries where just being accused of being gay makes you punishable by the law, then you may think differently.

I've lived in China, with a gay Chinese bf, and I can tell you that there are lots of good sides to China. China is getting more and more progressive in many ways. You can find gay people cruising in parks all over, and there's not a single policeman or anyone else to bother them. The public also generally minds its own business and does not interfere with your lifestyle unless you bother them directly in some way.

Contrast that with India, where you are likely to find policemen lurking in bushes in the parks, waiting to grab you and extort bribes from you even if you are simply walking along with a friend. If you don't pay them they'll drag you to the police station just for the heck of it, and harass and shame you with rude questions and remarks; maybe even call up your family and inform them that you were "committing nuisance" in the park.

I believe that most Chinese people don't even know how to react to the news of someone being gay. It’s not like they make mindless connections with child sex or animal sex as you find in the West. They don’t find hateful references to it in their culture or in Buddhism or other Asian philosophies that they can use against you.

The invasion of alien religions in China of course brings with it new forms of hatred in the guise of love. The Chinese are taken in by the smooth talk and relentless sales pitches of the evangelists (who have been specially selected based on Chinese preferences of physical appearance), and are today getting brainwashed into developing an “us vs. them” mentality.
10. 2010-03-24 02:14  
To Ronmac,
Dude, you look like a person who never get out of your hometown and please keep it that way because the world does not want you!
BTW, what's up with all the 12 years old underage Asian friends that you have. You should be in jail for that. Nazzzty!
11. 2010-03-25 14:58  
@ronmac ... you missed the point completely from the above article. If anything it was referring to culture and tradition in (most) Asian countries where it is pretty much required that you get married and have babies (boys preferred) and to have a your kids look after you when you grow older. Being gay in an Asian family means you are alone.
And surprisingly in your profile you are seeking a slave! ... to no doubt take care of you in your old age perhaps?!

And by the way maybe you should check out the following link:


It all ain't so civilised in Canada as you suggest (and I am Canadian so I know what I'm writing about).
12. 2010-09-18 03:31  
Agreed with wesdon #8- and personally, I find many -not all, of course- Chinese in China surprisingly friendlier & more open than than their counterparts in places like HK, Taiwan,even here in Singapore. I have several mainland Chinese friends who has friends all over the world- be it Asian, European, American, Australian,etc...and which include LOTs of black people, Indians, Iranians,etc...which is more than I can say fr some HK or Taiwan Chinese who tend to go for only Caucasian/European/Japanese friends.

Please log in to use this feature.

Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia