Since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1997 and its depathologisation in 2001, more and more mainstream and commercial films in China have started to cover Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual and Queer (LGBTQ) issues. Meanwhile, with the growth of China’s queer communities, an increasing number of independent films featuring LGBTQ issues have emerged. Despite the continuing existence of media censorship, films have contributed to, and participated in, how queer people construct their gender and sexual identities and build their communities.
In this chapter, I trace a brief history of queer cinema in the People’s Republic of China in the post-Mao era. In so doing, I suggest that queer films do not simply represent LGBTQ identities; they also construct non-heteronormative identities, belongings and communities. Queer filmmaking has become an important part of China’s ongoing LGBTQ activism; it has also contributed to a changing landscape in gender, sexuality and desires in China today.
Bao, H. (in press). Screening Sexualities, Identities and Politics: Queer Cinema in Postsocialist China. In K. Latham (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Chinese Culture and Society (361-375). Routledge