The Noughty Nineties: The Gay Activist

The jiulinghou fight for LGBTQ rights—from our cover story

Wow! You look so much like Li Yuchun!

“I get that a lot. All the time,” sighs Xue Ting (pseudonym), gesturing toward her short, cropped hair. “And I’m definitely not the only one. In fact, if you’re a ‘T,’ I guarantee you’ve been compared to Li Yuchun at some point or another.”

Xue is a 26-year-old aspiring academic and lesbian activist from Shenzhen. Like many other “Ts”—“tomboy” or “toms”—Xue’s boyish haircut and sleek street style clothing are constantly likened to the Super Girl contest winner, Li Yuchun. “I don’t know if it’s meant to be a compliment,” Xue says with a dry chuckle. But whether or not she welcomes the comparison, Li is among the most important icons for China’s post-90s’ lesbians, or lalas.

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The Noughty Nineties: The Gay Activist is a story from our issue, “The Noughty Nineties.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


Linda Qian is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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