People’s Daily, an official news outlet for China’s ruling party, raised some eyebrows after tweeting, then deleting, a rare pro-LGBTQ+ message earlier this week.
Because Twitter is banned is China, some interpreted the tweet as the Chinese government’s way to project an LGBTQ+-friendly image to the English-speaking world.
The tweet, now archived, applauds China’s growing acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, using the hashtag #PrideMonth2020.
Before the tweet was taken off the People’s Daily official Twitter account, it was reported on by several curious journalists, most notably Sixth Tone‘s Wanqing Zhang and Bibek Bhandari.
According to Bhandari, “Topics that may be off-limits or tightly controlled, including LGBT coverage, find homes in places like the English-language versions of the Global Times, People’s Daily, and China Central Television. However, such coverage remains largely limited, if not invisible, for domestic audiences consuming Chinese-language media.”
People's Daily shared a #PrideMonth tweet asserting that "#LGBTQ quietly gains acceptance in China’s big cities.”Then it deleted the post.As reported by @WanqingZhang65[THREAD] pic.twitter.com/rPCFfLpcBU— Bibek Bhandari (@bibekbhandari) June 10, 2020
People's Daily shared a #PrideMonth tweet asserting that "#LGBTQ quietly gains acceptance in China’s big cities.”
Then it deleted the post.
As reported by @WanqingZhang65
— Bibek Bhandari (@bibekbhandari) June 10, 2020
For a country with state-enforced and largely conservative social values, the LGBTQ+ community has penetrated surprisingly deep into popular culture and everyday life. In January of this year, ecommerce giant Tmall made history by featuring a gay couple in their Chinese New Year ad.
“I Thought it was an Overseas Disease”: Supporting China’s LGBTQ+ Parents
Same-sex relationships in China are still largely taboo. Legalization of same-sex marriage has been slowly hinted at but not delivered upon for several years now. A recent civil code passed during the Two Sessions gives property owners the power to grant the right to co-reside, which is being interpreted as a win for same-sex couples.
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