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Activist and film maker talks on gay life in modern China

China's gay community 'demystified' at talk in London, UK
Chinese activist Xiaogang Wei will talk at SOAS in London

Gay activist and film maker Xiaogang Wei will be giving a talk in London on how queer activism is changing the face of modern China.

Documenting China's Queer Narrative, at London's School of Oriental and African studies (SOAS) on Thursday (29 March), aims to 'demystify' the Asian country's gay community.

Xiaogang Wei is a leader in China’s gay activist circles, working with the board of the Beijing LGBT centre and giving a voice to China's gay community through his webcast Queer Comrades.

Organizer of the event and SOAS Chinese student, Kirsten Klitsch, said she is surprised at how little is known about the gay movement in China in the West.

'Advertising in gay China, for instance, is done by word of mouth rather than using traditional media routes and this intimate dissemination creates strong links within a community where everyone knows everyone,' she said.

'As the Chinese Party forbids and forcibly prevents any public gathering perceived as "political", activists often find themselves working under the radar. While the handful of commercial gay spaces exist publicly, many events are underground and based on tight friendship circles.'

She added she met Xiaogang Wei through gay filmmaker Moxie Peng, who has directed two films shown at the Beijing Gay Film Festival and Beijing Gay Pride.

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