Abstract

abstract:

Grounded in my activist labor over the past few years, this article delineates the current state of Ku'er (queer) politics in (post)socialist China. I contribute to the discussion of GLBTQ politics in a non-Western context by asking questions about the ways in which the power of the state is negotiated by activists. I join a conversation with Shirinian about the possibility and the consequences of being seen. I begin my reflections with an overview of GLBTQ activism in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, focusing on China where my activist and scholarly work is based. Following a discussion of specific socialist and authoritarian legacies, I argue that queer activism in China has adopted a framework I call "graduated in/visibility" in order to organize and navigate repressive policies. This scheme of visibility affords queer people the ability to mobilize, but it is not without drawbacks. Indeed, in the final section, I consider the purpose and the politics of visibility in relation to what has been called "global neoliberal queering." Further, I ask what the desire for visibility, acceptance, and assimilation mean in the context of an authoritarian capitalist regime. My intention is not to brand China as "bad capitalism" or a "backward society," nor am I embarking on a detailed political analysis of the Chinese Communist Party and its sexual politics after the opening the country. Rather, I attempt to highlight the importance of activist knowledge in the context of emerging studies of Third World sexuality, which is unfortunately shaped by the coloniality of power, global capitalism, and imperialism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2327-1590
Print ISSN
2327-1574
Pages
pp. 56-75
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-13
Open Access
No
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