Anderson Cooper Rattles China’s Closet

From the New York Times:

When Anderson Cooper, the CNN anchor, recently announced that he was gay, he apparently inspired a Chinese microblogger using the name Sun Yelin-Xiao Hei. On Thursday, Mr. Sun posted a call on Sina’s Weibo, or microblogging, site for Chinese homosexuals to come out en masse on Dec. 12, 2012 – a day apparently picked for its neat number. If you read Chinese, you can read his exhortation here.

Mr. Cooper is fairly well-known among China’s more Westernized, educated elite, with Sina’s microblog site, the country’s biggest, recording over 38,000 posts mentioning him. Comments since his coming out have been overwhelmingly positive, if occasionally a little nonplussed.

In China, very few homosexuals are “out,” or “chugui” (this translates as “come out closet.”) Familial and cultural pressures to be heterosexual, marry and produce an heir are simply too great.

So Mr. Sun seemed to be inviting the world to dream: “If on 2012.12.12 all the homosexuals in China ‘chugui,’ ” he wrote enthusiastically, “what would life be like?”

There’s little chance of finding out.

If anything, the recent wave of casual, “I’m gay, so what” announcements by prominent Americans is underscoring a fast-widening gap in social attitudes between the United States and many other countries, including China.

The full article, with some fascinating information about the online support network for Chinese women married to closeted gay men (a figure supposedly in the millions), can be read here.

Chinese LGBT filmmaker and activist Cui Zi’en presents a sprawling history of the LGBT community in China in the documentary Queer China, “Comrade” China; his groundbreaking feature Enter the Clowns, overturns traditional gender roles and sexual identities. Both films can be found in the dGenerate catalog.