The purpose of providing context is to say that these podcasts may not be representative of general sentiments in society, but also that there is a lot more audio/video content than what is listed here because China has dedicated video livestream platforms.
Side note: Google searching for China’s LGBTQ content is not optimal because 1) China video and media content is on platforms and not Google search friendly, 2) Google’s algorithm for Chinese is not as smart as English, 3) China doesn’t really do SEO and Baidu is a horrible search engine. So far, I feel like WOM, social networks (like Weibo, Wechat, IG hasthags, and listening to vlogs), and asking Zhihu (知呼 China’s Quora) will be helpful. 😥 If anyone has good hacks, please write a guest post!
- China Podcasts
- Some China LGBTQ Vlogs (on Youtube)
- Link to either iTunes/website
- Brief description where I could
China / Mandarin
I haven’t really listened to the Chinese podcasts from the Mainland, but one thing I noticed was that there are narrative podcasts / audio books. As China has tightened its grip on LGBT movements since 2017, a lot of the culture has gone/returned underground. In addition, a friend who works in China reminded me that podcasts are not that popular in China and people in cities prefer to watch videos on their phone. In addition, China has many media platforms that can cater to specific niches and need to be viewed in-platform making it difficult to centralise searches into one place (like iTunes/Soundcloud/Overcast). People following China’s LGBTQ rights movements probably already read Chinese and will probably already use WeChat’s social feed, Youku, Tudou, and other specific niches. For Chinese podcasts, you can check out Lizhi.fm or Ximalaya.fm as a start.
English podcasts that have single episodes touching on say topics like historical homosexuality in literature and such, so I thought it would be good to include. I’ve ordered based on the following:
- English-language podcasts (usually single episodes)
- Single podcasts with less common topics (i.e. trans)
- Still on-going / active podcasts
I think one of the best episodes is Queer culture, perception, and representation within China by NuVoices (in English). It’s probably one of the best discussions that illuminates perspectives in China by people who have spent significant amounts of time in China and abroad. In addition, two of the women are bisexual / queer!
[English] LGBT China by SupChina (2014)
This is a short standalone episode hosted by Jeremy Goldkorn, David Moser, and Fan Popo. Fan Popo, who is non for the book Happy Together: Complete Record of a Hundred Queer Films (2017), and the director of the China Queer film festival
[English] Hongwei Bao, “Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China” (NIAS Press, 2018) in New Books in East Asian Studies
This is one of my favourite podcast channels. It’s an academic series, that I think has fascinating topics, but I don’t know how many other non East Asian Studies people would agree. Anyway, this episode is a nice, recent deep-dive into gay identity in China.
[English] A Male Mencius’ Mother by the Chinese Literature Podcast (2016)
Male Mencius’ Mother, a sort of medieval Chinese version My Two Dads. It covers the province of Fujian, which is known to have samesex marriages between men. This is a sample of Chinese queer literature.
Special mention: Rela’s Youtube English Content (Below is the movie Touch with English subtitles)
[Mandarin] ‘Queer Eye’ in a New Age by Loud Murmurs (2018)
Watch out for this feminist podcast deconstructing US pop culture hosted by Isabelle Niu, Afra Wang, Ina Yang, and Siyu Yang. The hosts are from Mainland China, but live in the US and do a great job of discussing American pop culture for a Chinese audience. This episode they the Netflix ‘Queer Eye’.
[Mandarin] 別任性 is a great podcast hosted by a queer woman who spent years in New Zealand and is now working with Vice in China.
Additional Mandarin LGBT podcasts:
- E069.跨性别者的母亲 by 故事FM
- 千基百佬汇 Gay Talk Show (2014 – Ongoing)
- gay基因 / 兔子Mr (Ongoing) — LGBT talk show
- 小黄瓜电台 (2014 – Ongoing)
- GL爱在泉城(再读经典) (2018) Highlights from a girls love (GL) book that came out online in 2006.
- 北京同志中心 (2017) Done by the Beijing LGBT Center.
- 拉拉风向标lestalk (LiZhiFM ongoing) (full episodes) and (Ximalaya 2 min summaries), includes lesbian, trans, femnist, and other topics.
- 烟花 男 (2014-2017) A collection of gay stories
- 第七十二期：大陆与台湾近代同志运动 (2015) Episode compares LGBT movements in Taiwan and China.
- 同志有声小说【小虎】(2015) Collection of Netizen stories between 2007-9
- 嘴痒小白&香蕉桑 (2014) 3 episodes of super short humour
- 水木心元 (2014) — Lit
- 小腹基频道 (2014) A lifestyle podcast (not sure if it’s actually gay)
- 台風 (2013-14) A collection of China’s LGBT online content.
- 拉拉也文艺 (2013-14) This basically a diary / talk show of a lesbian.
As a final caveat, podcasts serve a different purpose for everyone. I listen to podcasts first and foremost to learn and care about the depth and nuance of content and the host’s presentation style. There are some great podcasts that I don’t listen to mostly because I get my fill of that discussion in real life. For example, I don’t feel the need to listen to podcasts in Hong Kong because I am connected to the local community and have people to discuss issues with.
As long as these podcasts meet what you’re looking for, we’re all good! And finally, I do recommend you check out the video content online. I don’t watch vlogs, but during my research, I found informative and fun Chinese gay and lesbian channels. You can head over to these links to check out Cantonese videos for Hong Kong and Mandarin videos for Taiwan.
This is part of my LGBTQ podcasts and media series for Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and Queer Asian Americans / Canadians. You can find additional posts for:
- 25+ LGBTQ Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China Podcasts
- LGBTQ Content for Taiwan: Movies, Podcasts, Youtube Channels
- Hong Kong’s LGBTQ Podcasts, Videos, and Youtube Channels
If you have any information you’d like to add, please drop me a comment here or on Twitter (@cupandtheroad).
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