Queer China UK aims to facilitate greater communication and connectivity between Chinese queer diaspora around the world and LGBTQ+ communities from other countries (mainly UK), as well as empower Chinese-speaking LGBTQ+ and feminists communities, primarily through the following three services:
- LGBTQ+ tours in Mandarin and Cantonese. These include city tours, museum tours and customised tours.
- A series of educational programmes including queer summer and winter school, training workshops, public lectures, community events etc hosted across the UK and internationally.
- Consultancy services supporting both Chinese and British LGBTQ+ organisations, individuals and business for cross-country collaboration, and making connections between the Chinese queer diaspora and dynamic organisations globally.
Qiuyan Chen is the founder and director of Queer China UK.
She is a Chinese LGBTQ+ rights activist who focusses on gender equality education, youth empowerment, media and law advocacy practice. In 2015-2016 she pursued three lawsuits against the Chinese Ministry of Education and a higher education publishing house over textbooks that describe homosexuality as a “psychological disorder”. In 2014 Qiuyan also started a long-running campaign pushing for content that is supportive of the LGBTQ+ community in textbooks and successfully persuaded more than 300 Chinese educators to become more gender-friendly.
Since graduating from the London School of Economics in late 2019, her work has focussed on the intersection between equal rights and social entrepreneurship.
There are many LGBTQ+ people, businesses and events in the UK, however, the visibility of Chinese-speaking LGBTQ+ people is low. Based on research and interviews, Queer China UK has found that it is hard for the Chinese community to access these resources and participate in this community, mainly due to language barriers and cultural differences.
By providing travel services, educational programmes and consultancy services, Queer China UK aims to boost the visibility of Chinese LGBTQ+ people in the UK and promote cultural exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and British queer organisations, individuals and business.