In the gay community, expats often run into culture shock when dating Chinese guys. Photo: IC. When Nick, a year-old chef in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, first moved from his native Russia to China seven years ago, he was seeking out more than job opportunities and an overseas adventure - he was looking for a chance to be himself. By contrast, Shanghai, where he lived for his first few years in China, is home to a vibrant gay scene, with a number of active gay bars and LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community groups. Although the community is smaller in Shenzhen, Nick still has a number of friends with whom he feels comfortable sharing his sexual orientation. But it isn't just the community that keeps him here; Nick admits that he has a certain predilection for Chinese guys, which has served as another motivation to stay. I like foreigners too, but only as good friends," he says.
Photo: IC. When Nick, a year-old chef in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, first moved from his native Russia to China seven years ago, he was seeking out more than job opportunities and an overseas adventure - he was looking for a chance to be himself. By contrast, Shanghai, where he lived for his first few years in China, is home to a vibrant gay scene, with a number of active gay bars and LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community groups. Although the community is smaller in Shenzhen, Nick still has a number of friends with whom he feels comfortable sharing his sexual orientation.
But it isn't just the community that keeps him here; Nick admits that he has a certain predilection for Chinese guys, which has served as another motivation to stay. I like foreigners too, but only as good friends," he says. I can't say it's [them being] exotic.
I think the reason I like them is they are always happy to meet foreign people, always smiling and being nice.
It was only in that homosexuality was decriminalized and in that it was removed from the list of mental illnesses in the third edition of the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders CCMD-III. According to the United Nations Development Programme's Being LGBT in Asia: China Country Report released insocial and cultural attitudes toward homosexuality have begun to shift in China, moving from the less tolerant attitudes linked to traditional Confucian and patriarchal values to greater openness and tolerance.
Changing attitudes toward homosexuality, as well as China's maturing LGBT community, have also had an unintended effect: making it easier for gay foreigners to establish full lives in China, whereas they may have previously found it too repressive a place to live. Luke is a popular video blogger on Blued, a dating app for gay men in China.
Photo: Courtesy of Luke. Sparks fly when opposites attract "I like modern guys with a good sense of style, who aren't afraid to wear makeup, who don't just work every day but actually go out and do things," says Nick, who's currently in an open relationship with his Chinese boyfriend. Lucky for Nick, he can afford to be choosy; as an expat, he's a hot item on gay dating sites and apps. Nick estimates that he receives dozens of messages every day on Blued, a Chinese dating app for gay men along the lines of Grindr or Jack'd.
Among them are requests to chat, invitations for dates and snapshots of their private parts. Another piece of advice is having a little research on his social network to check that what he talked with you is true or not.
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