China welcomes travelers from around the world, and it is a relatively safe country for GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender) travelers. If you are GLBT, you can feel free to visit China and admire its beautiful landscape and rich culture, as any other traveler. Check out our Top 10 China Tours, or contact us for tailor-made China tours.
People are more open-minded, and there is increasing visibility of GLBT people in a few very large cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. Violence against GLBT people is rare, and you are unlikely to encounter any hostility based on your sexual orientation.
However, GLBT culture is still on the down low in China, and opinions vary widely from urban to rural areas. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, even for straight couples. There are the following things you should know.
- Your sexual orientation is considered your private business. It is not necessary for you to reveal it to others, nor are you required to report it to any authority or person.
- Obvious public displays of affections more than holding hands with same-gender friends or partners are not welcome. Sometimes you see women hand in hand or arm in arm as they walk down the streets; this is a sign of friendship, rather than homosexuality.
- If you face any awkward situation that causes you discomfort, state it clearly to the person involved, so that it can be solved without causing further misunderstanding.
- Most people accept the GLBT culture. However, don’t be angry at any person who does not. They have their right to choose what they like, too, as long as they do not act offensively towards you.
- If you hear some one is joking about gay or lesbian people, which is most unlikely in China, don’t take it to heart. They are not probably not talking about you. The persons who are joking simply like jokes, and they may joke on any topic.