Health Issues Facing Tongzhi/LGBTQ+ People in Taiwan 

Written by JhuCin Rita Jhang, Ph.D. The possibilities to study tongzhi/LGBTQ+ health are endless. Tongzhi/LGBTQ+ issues are a chance to reexamine existing power structures, assumptions, beliefs, and biases and challenge exclusive and even oppressive systems. Suppose Taiwan pledges to adhere to international human rights standards and aspires to be the leader in tongzhi/LGBTQs rights in Asia. In that case, we cannot afford to ignore tongzhi/LGBTQ+ (nor anyone else) in health, medicine, and social policies.  

Taiwanese Gay Bear Culture in a Grizzly Area of Taipei 

Written by Yu Dung Shiu. Once, I spoke with a man who looked like a bear; he was shocked that I called a man sitting about two meters away from a “bear.” That man was bigger than anyone else in the café and was eating a lot of food (a large size dinner box, two loaves of bread and a whole bunch of grapes) for his dinner. “I think you’re too naïve to recognise who is a bear and who is …it may be harsh but…a pig,” said the bear-man smoking with me. So, I asked him if he could teach me how to recognise who is a bear and who’s not.  

Almost-Marriage Equality in Taiwan

Written by JhuCin Rita Jhang. There are major legal rights not covered by the Act for Implementation of J. Y. Interpretation No. 748. First, it does not allow same-sex couples to co-adopt a child unrelated to either parent by blood. Once a same-sex couple gets married, they lose the right to adopt whatsoever, and they would have to obtain a divorce to be able to adopt as a single person. Even if someone adopts first as a single and then gets married to a same-sex person, the spouse still cannot cross-adopt this child. This bizarre and counterintuitive legal conundrum sends many same-sex couples wishing to co-adopt on a long, winding legal fight. Even though one married same-sex couple had won the lawsuit and became the first-ever same-sex couple to co-adopt a genetically unrelated child in January 2022, this was ruled on a case-by-case basis.

Queer Passion Between Generations: The view from Martial Law-era Literature

Written by Ta-wei Chi. It is rewarding to revisit history. I am motivated to reread the martial-law-period queer literature often, for it reminds me that the members of sexual minorities back then were imagined leveraging their survival despite their minimalised resources. Maybe it is precisely because of their precarious lives that they had to empower themselves with intergenerational articulations, in which queer seniors were indispensable.  

Gay Jouissance: Queering the Representation of Same-sex Desire in 1990s Taiwan Literature

Written by Yahia Zhengtang Ma. The last decade of the twentieth century was an especially interesting time in the emergence of ‘tongzhi literature’. This genre consists of literary works that ‘deal with homosexuals and homosexuality’ in Taiwan when queer cinema was introduced to Taiwan via Hong Kong. The 1990s are widely considered the golden age of tongzhi literature, animated by such widely-celebrated literary works by Ta-wei Chi, Chu T’ien-wen, Qiu Miaojin, among many others. However, existing scholarship on this has primarily emphasised the complexity of the tongzhi identity, subjectivity, and discourse around tongzhi, tongxianglian and queer in solely its original Chinese texts through the lens of cultural studies and literary studies.

The History Of Literature about Disabilities in Taiwan

Written by Ta-Wei Chi. As a researcher of Taiwanese queer literature, I have found intersectionality between the queer and the disabled in literature since the late 1960s. Commonly lauded as the most influential gay text in the Chinese-speaking world, Hsien-yung Pai (1937-)’s Crystal Boys (serialised since 1978, published as a novel in 1983) mentions how a couple of sugar daddies take home the hunks with developmental disabilities as their intimate partners. Pai’s 1969 story, “A Sky Full of Bright, Twinkling Stars,” typically considered a prequel to Crystal Boys, tells how both the youthful male prostitutes and their senior patrons are made disabled once they are arrested and tortured by police.