Every week day in June, EQUAL! is posting information on a LGBT icon.
Today’s LGBT Awareness Month icon is Zhou Dan – Chinese Gay Pioneer.
“Law and policy always involve compromise and sometimes being a progressive means taking things one step at a time.”
One generation removed from the persecution of gays under the People’s Republic of China, Chinese gays encounter different obstacles than their American counterparts. Many Chinese believe that homosexuality exists only in the western world. The absence of legal protection and the threat of social isolation keep most Chinese LGBT individuals in the closet.
LGBT activist and attorney Zhou Dan came out to his friends in 1998 and the media in 2003. A champion of LGBT rights in China, Zhou writes articles on Chinese gay and lesbian Web sites. Although many LGBT Chinese use pseudonyms, Zhou uses his real name. After revealing his sexuality to a Shanghai newspaper in 2003, Zhou appeared across China in newspapers and magazines and on television. Earlier that year, he established the Shanghai Hotline for Sexual Minorities.
In 2004, Zhou attended Yale Law School’s China Law Center as a visiting scholar. In 2006, he taught China’s first graduate class on homosexuality at Fudan University in Shanghai.
This information is sourced from www.glbthistorymonth.org.
(photo by fridae.com)
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