Good news

We’re here, we’re queer….


Same-sex partners Zhang Yi (L) and Hai Bei speak to the media at Qianmen street on Valentine’s Day in Beijing February 14, 2009. For some in Beijing’s gay and lesbian community, Valentine’s Day is not just a day to celebrate loving relationships, but also a time to campaign for acceptance of homosexuality in society. [Agencies]

For Valentine’s Day, the China Daily website [in English] carried a photo feature about same-sex partners in China, focusing on one lesbian and one gay couple in Beijing. I’m tickled pink to see more open coverage of gay issues in the Chinese press. Enforced invisibility can be one of the most cruel forms of prejudice, and there is a huge social stigma associated with being openly gay in conservative Chinese society.

The press may pay lip service to gay/lesbian issues, but I wonder how much real progress there has been in the past 3 years, since the government shut down first-ever gay and lesbian cultural festival in Beijing.


more: A Hidden Life: Being Gay in Rural China

Happy New Year



The Year of the Ox officially started last night at midnight. I watched from the roof of my building as all hell broke loose, as you’ll see later in this post.

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

In other words, it ain’t me. I’m a sheep (or a goat, depending on your source).


I took full advantage of my new camera yesterday, bicycling in the afternoon to the touristy area around Wenshu Monastery. For the New Year it’s transformed into a bustling street market. Here are some of the images I captured.

Wenshu new year 2009 4

Old gateway, Wenshu shopping area

Wenshu new year 2009 2

A small part of the New Year’s Eve crowd, shopping for fireworks.

Wenshu new year 2009 1

Antiques (?)

Wenshu new year 2009 5

Fun things #1

Wenshu new year 6

Fun things #2

Wenshu new year 7

 Food preparation, noodle restaurant

Wenshu new year 2009 3

Good things to eat