LGBT Rights in China
China has gone a long way in criminalizing and decriminalizing homosexuality over the ages and dynasties. Until today, LGBT face a lot of challenges in China, that straight people don’t have to deal with.
Homosexuality is legal in China since 1997. In 2001 it was finally declassified as a mental disorder.
Same-sex relations are widely unrecognized and unprotected. Beijing currently offers a residence status to foreign LGBT partners of residents. Hong Kong has included LGBT into its Domestic Violence Ordinance.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in China. Chinese law defines marriage as a union between a woman and a man.
Adoption in China is only possible in heterosexual marriages. Chinese children can not be adopted by same-sex couples anywhere in the world.
Change Legal Gender
Changing your legal gender is possible in China. It requires surgery and is available for people over 20 years old.
LGBT Safety in China
The Chinese Labour Law specifies that discrimination, based on ethnicity, gender or religion is prohibited. It doesn’t say anything about sexual orientation and gender expression. China basically doesn’t have any legal protection for LGBT in any area. Even though conversion therapy is still practiced in many parts of China, it is actually illegal.
In some regions, LGBT is more visible than in other regions, but it is mostly invisible in most areas of China.
As a tourist, you won’t be likely to encounter a lot of trouble. The stares Chinese people will give you are based on your ethnicity and not on your being LGBT! Even if Chinese don’t approve of your relationship or presence, they’re not likely to act on it.