Gay Chinese see hope in visit by Icelandic PM and spouse 冰島女總理偕配偶訪中 同志族群看見新希望

Thu, May 30, 2013 - Page 11

The recent visit to China by Iceland’s prime minister and her same-sex spouse has given rise to tentative hopes among gay Chinese that widespread news coverage could be a first step towards more openness about homosexuality at home.

It is not illegal to be gay in China, but it remains a largely taboo subject that baffles many in the world’s most populous nation thanks to decades of prudish Chinese Communist Party rule, despite numerous homosexual references in classical Chinese literature.

Scenes of Iceland’s premier Johanna Sigurdardottir thanking Chinese premier Li Keqiang for the “friendly reception” her spouse received on national broadcaster China Central Television’s (CCTV) notoriously stodgy evening news, and pictures with Sigurdardottir side-by-side with her playwright spouse Jonina Leosdottir, have virtually no precedent.

“This visit creates a quandary for China,” said Ah Qiang, a gay rights advocate in Guangzhou. “Everyone is looking to see how the official media will cover it. They have to at least admit that this is happening.”

“When I heard her thanking Li Keqiang for the treatment her wife received, I thought that I misheard,” one commenter said on microblog Sina Weibo, referring to the CCTV footage, widely seen as a bellwether for official tolerance.

(Reuters)

冰島總理與她的同性配偶最近訪問中國,讓中國的同志族群燃起一絲希望,期盼媒體的大幅報導能成為中國對同性戀者更開放的第一步。

同性戀者在中國並未違法。但經過數十年來的拘謹共黨政府統治,同志在中國依舊是禁忌議題,也讓這個全球人口最多國家的許多民眾感到不解,因為中國古典文學中就有許多作品觸及同性情愛。

冰島總理約翰娜‧希古爾達多蒂爾在中國中央電視台以沉悶出了名的晚間新聞中,替她的配偶在此次訪問中所受到的「友善招待」,向中國國家總理李克強道謝的畫面,以及她和劇作家妻子約妮娜‧萊茲多提並肩而坐的照片,在中國可算是史無前例。

廣州的同志權益倡儀者阿強說:「此次訪問給中國政府製造了難題。」他表示:「所有人都等著看官方媒體會怎麼報導這則新聞。他們至少得承認這件事正在發生。」

一名評論者在新浪微博上寫到:「當我聽到她為了妻子受到禮遇而向李克強道謝時,我還以為我聽錯了。」他指的是中國中央電視台的新聞片段,中央電視台內容普遍被視為預示著中國官方對各議題寬容度的立場。

(路透/翻譯:俞智敏)