Sunday, March 21, 2010

Out Spotlight CVXXIX

Today's Spotlight was profile by Time Magazine as China's gay pionner. Today's spotlight is GLBT activist, lawyer, and scholar, Zhou Dan.

Born in January 1974, Zhou lives in Shanghai, China and is a leading voice for GLBT rights in mainland China.

Zhou was born during the last days of China's Cultural Revolution and by the time he started school it at the beginning of a new decade and even bigger shift for China.. A decade that would see China beginning an economic change that created the power that it is now, and the political change that brought calls for democracy. Zhou studied law at the University in Shanghai and stayed to start his law practice in there. During all of this he had become increasingly aware of his own orientation and faced the hard fact that in China it was still regarded as an ‘illness’ or ‘disorder.’

In the 1990's, finding information about homosexuality was difficult in China with only clinical medical books available in the university library. It wasn't until fate play a role, and a chance ofriding his bike past Shanghai’s Little Garden that he met other men like himself and his life changed. Back then in China unless you knew someone, even finding a place where there were other gay men was difficult. What Zhou didn't know at the time was the Little Garden a well known gay meeting place.

“The internet has changed everything, especially since the end of the 90s. Many are still too frightened to go to bars and the virtual world is a safer one. I met my partner on the net ten years ago,”

The internet expanded the world as well as gave an opportunity for people to find information about homosexuality and to find other gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders who felt isolated and were seeking community.

In 1997, the National Peoples’ Congress abolished the law penalising ‘hooliganism,’ a statute under which many gay men had been prosecuted. China's Ministry of Health removed homosexuality from its diagnostic list of mental illnesses in 2001.

Zhou came out to his friends in 1998 and in the media later. Writing with his real name about being gay on Chinese websites for years, when many GLBT Chinese pseudonyms. He came out to a local newspaper about his gay identity in November 2003, after establishing the Shanghai Hotline for Sexual Minorities early that year. Since then, he has been from time to time mentioned in Chinese newspapers, magazines and television programs.

In 2004, Zhou attended Yale Law School's China Law Center as a visiting scholar. From January to May 2004, he was a visiting scholar at the Yale Law School China Law Center with research emphasis on equality and anti-discrimination related to sexuality and HIV/AIDS. In 2006, he taught China's first graduate class on homosexuality and health and an undergraduate class in homosexuality at Fudan University in Shanghai.

As a lawyer, he fights for the GLBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS. He successfully lobbied the Ministry of Health not to bar HIV-positive people from government jobs. He has also founded and currently serves as Executive Director of Yu Dan, the first Chinese organization promoting the recognition and acceptance of gay rights throughout mainland China.

In 2006, the university held a conference on law and social policy related to homosexuality which attracted some of the country’s top legal minds. “If you want to change legislation,” Zhou says, “you have to educate straight lawyers and scholars, and not just in matters of fact but emotionally and sentimentally.”

Just 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 GLBT individuals in the closet.

In China, he said,"homophobia has been replaced with what he describes as ‘homo-blindness,’ for despite the gradual growth of freedoms, a few additions to literary and cinema canons, some acceptance of public demonstrations of affection or gay fashion on the streets and the growth in the number of gay bars and saunas in the major cities, most gay life remains invisible in most of China. Very few gay men have had the courage to come out in public, and even fewer publicly recognized figures. "

Zho has been encouraged by changes in the rest of the world, and thinks the acceptance by Vancouver’s Chinese community of Canada’s same-sex marriage law is a pointer to the way Chinese pragmatism is capable of grappling with change. Another is also China’s decision to authorize and fund local group to carry out HIV education and prevention outreach programs. He is cautiously optimistic about the future, but has no illusions about the length of time that it will take to bring in legislation against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

In 2005, Zhou was featured in Tetu, a French gay and lesbian magazine. He was also profiled in TIME Magazine as China's gay pioneer. In 2006, Equality Forum named Zhou the recipient of the "11th Annual International Role Model Award."

“All this must be approached one step at a time, and it’s not just a river across which you’re feeling the stones, but a whole ocean.”


m said...

That stuff from the drunken guy just does not sound plausible. If there is any truth to it, the rags will hunt it down. Until then, it did not happen as far as I'm concerned.

Beautiful spring weather here so I am dealing with the 1000's of weeds sprouting everywhere. With all the rain we had this year, they are exploding. Most of yesterday and part of today spent in yard work. Not helping my allergies any.

More weird than that bar story is that so little has been said about the POP preview. Did they have to sign a confidentiality agreement? There was lots of stuff about Toy Story 3 right after, but it's almost like POP never happened.

I saw that they are thinking of making a 77 Sunset Strip movie and immediately thought of Austin. He would be so good as Kookie in that. He has the hair for it.

destiny said...

Not sure what in the heck to make of that story either. I've seen links to stories on that site at other gossip sites, so it's not like this is some random blogger. Sounds like he set out to deliberately rattle Jake's cage, bet he saw that interview Jake did where he got asked about Heath.

Thanks for the Spotlight, I've read a lot about China, but not about Zhou specifically. When you consider how closed Chinese society is, the amount of change they've had so far is surprising. Another thing making it difficult for gays and lesbians is that because of the one child policy in China, I've read of gays and lesbians who are out for awhile, and then end of marrying to satisfy their families.

new pics said...

March 20 - Out With Atticus In Montreal


Austin said...

New "Beautiful Boy" Still


Atticus said...

FFS can't a guy have a little privacy?

Jersey Tom said...

So Jake is in Montreal. The question to me is this. Is Austin in LA with his GF sophia or in Austin with his son?

Jersey Tom said...

Or maybe Austin is in Montreal. Who does the sneaker belong to. Of course that person is cut out of the pic.

Jersey Tom said...

NAH cant be Austys foot. Too small. a girls or a kids heel.

Special K said...

Austin could be in LA and putting Season 7 behind him, could be in Austin for SXSW, could be in Montreal but not out for doggy duty. And daddy duty could be anywhere.

And poor Atticus, hope he doesn't get a complex after these pictures, and Jake has to carry a little privacy screen for him soon.

prairiegirl said...

privacy screen, lol.

I think Atticus is taking a pee. There are male dogs who squat like female dogs and that's what it looks like Attiucus is doing. Puddy, my Australian Shepherd watch does that; doesn't raise his hind leg like other male dogs. I'm not sure why that is.

If I'm wrong, then Jake better have gotten his hands out of his pockets and gotten out the baggies.

Poor Atticus, LOL!! And lookit Jake. He looks like he's whistling in one of those pictures.

prairiegirl said...

Boy, our snow is melting fast, fast, fast. All you could hear today was drip, drip, drip.

Watched more Here Come the Brides today. Will Geer was in an episode - he was rather young in that one. Bobby Sherman sure was a looker back then.

Special K said...

Jake looks like he's trying to give Atti his privacy but the cameras sure aren't.

destiny said...

Puddy is an Aussie! I didn't know that. My sister is on her second Aussie.

I think Austin is avoiding being seen anywhere he "shouldn't" be in the run-up to PoP. For the same reason, don't think we'll see any Jaustin photos anytime soon.

destiny said...

Those pictures of Atticus crack me up for some reason. Jake doesn't look too happy in them.

Great new pictures of Austin.

Special K said...

Jake doesn't look too happy in them.

Well half of them looks like he's thinking of impure thoughts. ; )

Tongue in Cheek or...? ; )

On the tip of his tongue

part 1 of 2 said...

Jake doesn't look too happy in them.

What do you expect?! He knew what was going to be awaiting him in a few seconds.

scoop said...

Jake better have gotten his hands out of his pockets and gotten out the baggies.

prairiegirl, I always stay still and leave the bags in my pocket until my dog is finished because I don't want to give him a "hurry up, come on, come on, I got the bag hurry I'm waiting" complex! Maybe Jake does too?! Idk. I can't tell if Atti is peeing. His um, anus, well it looks kind ready to open IMO. Poor Atti, pics are bad enough but now we're analyzing them!

good one said...

And poor Atticus, hope he doesn't get a complex after these pictures, and Jake has to carry a little privacy screen for him soon.

Special, LMFAO, privacy screen!

scoop said...

PG you're right, Atticus is peeing. I can't believe I just studied the pics under 700x magnification and found the stream of yellow urine (of course I cross checked it with the grass color and length and confirmed that the specimen is indeed urine) but I'm a Gyllenhaalic for a reason. I'm going to keep on believing that he was also ready to poop makes a better story. Hey if Atticus sits down when he pees I bet his Daddy does too. Dog and Master, both classy and clean gentlemen!

adorable said...

Idky but I love Atticus even more now that I've seen him squat when he pees instead like most dogs who have to lift their leg and mark everything they see. Atticus looks so damn cute.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
girls said...

Maggie Gyllenhaal and her adorable 3-year-old daughter Ramona were spotted playing at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday (March 20). The mother-daughter duo enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather as they played outside. What a difference a few weeks makes! We just saw the pair bundled up on the streets of Brooklyn.


prairiegirl said...

covering for our guest:
i absolutely adore your writing choice, very exciting.
don't quit and keep writing considering it just simply well worth to read it.
looking forward to looked over much more of your content pieces, stunning day!
March 22, 2010 2:29 AM

Otherwise, it would've gotten deleted because you can't put a comment up with Anonymous. Welcome to you and thanks for chipping in.

LOLL! I thought I would say "chipping in" since Atticus seemed to be the subject of the evening. LOL.

Hey, 700x magnification. Well, now we know. lol! Poor Atticus.

I didn't think about my baggie exposure perhaps rushing my charges. Well, it does take me awhile sometimes, especially this past winter when I had gloves on and I have reward treats in my pockets, keys or garage door opener, and baggies. I usually pulled everything out, dropped stuff, had to take the gloves off, then mess with the baggy, etc etc. It can be quite the production.

prairiegirl said...

It's a snow day today - I couldn't walk because the temperature is too low. The rest of this stuff should pretty much melt today and I'll get to resume the ol' walking routine tomorrow.

Today and tomorrow, the BB is gone so it'll be less stressful. And tomorrow is snack day and I'm excited about my cheese choices and the new one I picked out @ Sam's Club. I hope to find a hyacinth today to give as a present. Those smell so good and after they die, you can plant the bulb and it will come up next year.

I just had a thought this morning. Does Montreal have papparazzi? I was just wondering.

A few hours away said...

No paparazi in Montreal. Well not like TMZ or those other agencies. That's why most of the pics are from fans. There might be some cameras by the movie set. If they are gonna hang out to find Jake, that's where they'll be.

Dlisted said...

That poor little girl saw Reese Witherspoon holding hands with a grow-man wearing flip-flops with long pants, and figured it was Jakey Poo. So she ran over to hand Jakey a pink umbrella, because she knows he loves nothing more than to prance around his backyard with a ruffle parasol in his hand (who doesn't?). The little girl felt a wave of disappointment hit her when she got up close and realized it wasn't Jakey. It's Reese's new piece Jim Toth! DAMN JIM for tricking that little girl by wearing man flops with pants.


Hopefully, Reese has finally found someone that can blow into her hot box without giggling. Although, I do spy a few glitter flakes wafting off of Jim. It's probably nothing. Reese just likes her men the same way she likes her tea: WITH EXTRA HONAAAY!

Reese and Not-Jake Go Public