chinese novelist gay sex novel teaser
chinese novelist gay sex novel teaser

A Chinese Author Will Go to Prison for 10 Years After Including Gay Sex in Her Novel

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When it comes to queer issues, China can be a confusing place. The country is head over heels for its erect penis-shaped skyscrapers, sure, but don’t even think about playing queer-friendly The Sims 4! Also, don’t use the term “comrade” (because gay men over there use it), don’t wave a rainbow flag at a concert, don’t be a Chinese novelist and write a gay sex novel and, well, you might wanna think twice about using any sort of app owned by a Chinese company.

I mean, Weibo, China’s version of social media giant Facebook, banned all gay content — equating it with porn — back in April, only to backtrack following protests and outrage.

China has a horrible history of banning LGBTQ content in general, so we weren’t all that surprised when one of today’s big gay headlines involved a Chinese novelist who was just sentenced to a decade behind bars for including gay sex in her 2017 book Occupy.

It’s been reported by The South China Morning Post that Tianyi (the Chinese novelist’s pen name) has been jailed for “producing and selling pornographic materials.” In China, pornography itself is illegal. Outrage across social media has followed, as some point out that rapists and murderers in the country face less harsh sentences.

chinese novelist gay sex novel 2
LGBT groups organized protests of Weibo in China following its ban on “homosexual content”

This Chinese ‘gay sex novel’ is reportedly about a forbidden love affair between a teacher and his student, and it contains “graphic depictions of male homosexual sex scenes” and violence, according to a Chinese television station.

According to China’s high court, selling more than 5,000 copies of a pornographic book or making more than 10,000 yuan ($1,400 USD) off its sale is an “especially serious circumstance” that carries a sentence of “imprisonment for not less than 10 years or life.” Tianyi sold 7,000 copies of Occupy and made a profit of 150,000 yuan.

Now those who support the Chinese novelist and the ‘gay sex novel’ are claiming that that high court interpretation must be amended, as it was handed down before the internet existed in China.

“The social harm of pornographic books might not be as grave as the legislators had thought initially. Nowadays, pornography is ubiquitous,” a former Chinese state prosecutor tells SCMP.

What do you think of the sentence for this Chinese novelist’s ‘gay sex novel’?

Featured image by AP Photo/Color China Photo