Chapter Three: Ashley


Play episode:

Ashley is a queer activist working on documenting LGBTQ life in Shanghai. She faces intense scrutiny as the censorship apparatus has taken down her videos for seemingly arbitrary reasons. After struggling through erasure by censors she has emerged tougher and more thoughtful.

4:23: Coming out to her parents

7:52: A generational disconnect

14:29: It’s safer to self-censor

23:57: The Party’s need for control

30:08: Returning to China


Find OutChina on YouTube and Twitter.

Ashley’s YouTube channel.

Music credits: 

Analytical Skeletons,” “Vaporize Me,” “Crumbling Chia Pets,” “Shhia Batt,” and “Gifts,” by csus; “Lofee,” by Xmpty; Terri Skillz; and “Funk Subliminal,” by Piano Flavor.

Works consulted:

Sex in China, by Elaine Jeffreys and Haiqing Yu; LGBT Rights in China, by Equaldex; Fewer rainbows, less social media for China’s LGBT community, Agence France-Presse; China’s complicated LGBT movement, by Si Chen; Conversation therapy still promoted in China, investigation finds, by Bibek Bhandari; A Chinese social media platform is making it hard to use a popular LGBTQ hashtag, by Kyle Mullin; NGOs are under threat in China’s latest crackdown against ‘foreign forces’, by Zheping Huang; and China’s most despised woman: The most professional mistress who refused to keep quiet, by Yuan Ren.