The web site www.gaychinese.net was established on March 27th, 1999. It has become one of the best known Chinese language web pages dedicated to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people (GLBT), with more than 55,000 daily visits, from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and elsewhere in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Because the web site provides feed to other Chinese language GLBT sites, the actual number of individuals reached is much greater.
Gaychinese.net provides timely news items from around the world of interest to the GLBT community. A team of about 20 volunteer editors scan the World Wide Web and print media and translate news stories into Chinese. In addition to publishing news stories for the visitors of the web page, gaychinese.net also provides free linking service to many other GLBT Chinese language web sites.
Gaychinese.net offers several advice columns. One is a “Question and Answer” style advice column on all issues related to the Chinese speaking GLBT community and their lives. GLBT individuals from all over the world post questions regarding a wide range of topics such as HIV/AIDS, coming out issues, how to face social and familial pressures, how to handle relationship problems, etc. Over 10,000 “Questions and Answers” have been published, with about the same number addressed privately via email. The most commonly raised questions have been edited and answered in a FAQ which has been published and is also widely circulated in the Chinese language web community.
The other is a legal advice column to which questions are answered concerning the GLBT community and the law. It helps people resolve legal issues under the Chinese system. The kinds of cases addressed include privacy violations and extortion, and harassment by law enforcement officials.
Gaychinese.net provides an avenue for the fledgling GLBT literature. Several editors work with GLBT authors to publish their novels, short stories and poems on line. In the absence of a mature gay press, this feature is very popular and its effect is far beyond mere entertainment. For many young GLBT, it provides a glimpse on what life could be.
Gaychinese.net makes it possible for gays and lesbians to communicate with each other in a safe environment. For many young gays and lesbians, especially those in rural areas, it is a vital link to their own kind. The web site has several forums where open discussions are encouraged. Many points of views are expressed, including those from the straight community.
In addition to the activities around the web site itself, gaychinese.net has also been active participants of many other GLBT activities. It has co-sponsored several nationwide conferences on HIV/AIDS education and on other GLBT topics. The workers from gaychinese.net have organized grassroots workshops on safe sex and HIV prevention. It has also provided help to fledgling GLBT organizations such as hotlines in several cities.
The success of gaychinese.net is both promising and absolutely imperative. In recent years, several of the world’s leading health organizations issued warnings regarding the HIV/AIDS situation in China. The United Nations predicts that China could have 10 million or more HIV/AIDS sufferers by 2010 unless it acts quickly to combat this problem. A new study of men who have sex with men in China suggests that roughly 3 percent of gay and bisexual men in the nation's capital city have HIV.
The situation for Chinese gays and lesbians outside of China is not much better. Because of cultural reasons, information on their physical and psychological wellbeing is not readily available. For the majority of Chinese speaking gays and lesbians, the World Wide Web offers the only source of information, and even this arena is filled with as much misinformation as sound, scientific knowledge. Many Chinese language medical web sites continue to talk about mysterious “gay diseases” and offers to “cure” gays abound.
Given the population size and growth, if this situation is not addressed, an entire generation of young gays and lesbians will grow up under the pressure of psychological prosecution and for some, physical violence.
In order to continue and expand the work of gaychinese.net, a non-profit organization has been formed named Information Clearinghouse for Chinese Gays and Lesbians (ICCGL). ICCGL operates gaychinese.net as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please see “gaychinese.net General Information”.