The A-Z Guide of Being Gay in Shanghai


Lets face it, if you’re gay, there are two things that society has heaped upon us, and they’re at the start of the alphabet:

AIDS: The gay disease, as it was previously known when it was first discovered. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the final phase of HIV infection where the immune system has succumbed to the HIV virus.

ANAL: In the gay world, anal is what separates the boys from the men. It’s de rigueur, our rite of passage if you will (pun intended). I’m not going to lie, it’s going to hurt the first time (or few times), but, like plucking your eyebrows, you’ll get used to it. Afterward, it’s all pleasure so go out there you sodomites. Keep calm and push back.

BABY BUTCH: A masculine lesbian at a young age. Or in this case, any one half of the typical Shanghai Metro lesbian relationship.

BEARS: It’s no secret that I’m partial to Bears. Heck, I love them. Stocky, hairy and gay. Who doesn’t love a bear?

BISEXUALS: Let’s get something gay—I don’t believe in bisexuality. Sure, you can show me all the studies you want, but bisexuality is a) the easy way out for people to not admit that they’re full blown gay b) it’s a gateway drug to the gaydom. They just don’t know it yet.

CLOSET: We all have spent our time there, some more than others. It’s the place where gays are made, kinda like New York.

COMING OUT: Some, like me, come out as soon as I exit my mother. Others take a little bit more time. But regardless of what you think, if you’re gay, you need to come out. I dream that one day, in addition to birthdays, we get coming out parties.

DRAG QUEENS: I’ve always admired drag queens. It takes skills to be a good one. It’s more than just being passable for a girl as a lot of the drag acts in Shanghai seem to think.

EQUALITY: It’s going to happen one day, I’m sure, marriage and all that jazz. But in the meantime, can we talk about the inequality of being a gay Asian in Shanghai versus being a gay white man? It seems to me that gay white men are being held at a higher currency in the gay scene here. What is it that makes a white foreigner so much more attractive?

F*G HAG: Can we please stop calling girls who are best friends with gays that? F*g is the gay equivalent of the n-word, unless of course you’re British, and you just want to bum a fag, then by all means, bum away. But back to the point, couldn’t we just call girlfriends … girlfriends?

GAG REFLEX: If you hold your thumb on the inside of all your fingers and squeeze, it’ll get rid of it. That’s what I have been told … but what do I know, my high school nickname was Anaconda.

GRINDR: A location-based hook-up app that proves that we gays love our technology. We will use any piece of technology we can get our greedy hands on to help us get laid. If one day we are all in the Matrix, you can bet that there will be a separate gay network, and Neo would be in a BDSM bar.

HIV: Get tested regularly and know your facts. Enough said.

HOUSE MUSIC: As gay as it gets when it comes to club music …

INTERNET HOOK-UPS: What is it that they say, video killed the radio star? Internet has killed dogging in the park. (See also: Grindr)

JOCKSTRAP: At some point in my gay schooling, I must have fallen asleep the day we were told that it’s acceptable to wear a jockstrap as a form of regular underwear. I thought it was meant only for doing sports, but then I guess a jockstrap is just so much more convenient when you need quick access than a pair of CKs.

KIKI: A party for calming all your nerves, spilling tea and dishing just desserts one may deserve. And though the sun is rising, few may choose to leave..

LESBIANS: They’re our sisters but really, we have nothing in common other than the whole “equality” fight. My bet is that it was the lesbians that decided to start fighting for equality in the first place. The gays were just too busy figuring out how to throw a party for it.

MARRIAGE: The topic of marriage lately has been raging harder than an old Republican senator walking past a boy bar. While yours truly doesn’t believe in gay marriages (I can’t commit to a haircut, and you expect me to commit to someone forever?), every gay does has the right to be subjected to a gazillion Facebook posts / Pinterest boards about friends getting hitched and all the cheesiness.

MIZI XIA: “Mizi Xia was strolling with the ruler in an orchard and, biting into a peach and finding it sweet, he stopped eating and gave the remaining half to the ruler to enjoy.” If this is confusing, brush up on your gay Chinese history.

NELLY: A very effeminate gay man but this term is often used in a more sexual context. Ex.: “He’s a total nelly bottom. He’ll sit on anything—chair legs, traffic cones …”

NO TEA, NO SHADE: It means no disrespect. Add this phrase to the beginning or the end of a sentence that can be negative to somebody, but you’re only stating the obvious. Ex. “Girl, you look like a Chinese poodle with your hair crimped like that. No tea, no shade.”

OUT / OUTING / OUTED: Announcing your sexuality to the world / family / friends / pet dog. It’s OK if a gay person does it to himself, but outing another person before he’s ready? Never!

PARIS IS BURNING: A must-see documentary that chronicles the gay and transgender community in NYC as well as the “ball culture.” If there were such thing as a gay history film, this would be it.

QUEEN: Used to describe a feminine gay man and his demeanors. Though this term’s intended to be insulting, I wear it with pride. No shame in being not straight-acting. Or as I’d like to put it, I’m a very soft, soft, soft butch.

READ: To insult or criticize. Ex.: “I will read that b*tch.”

SHANTE, YOU STAY: RuPaul’s catch phrase from the victorious drag queen performance on Lip Sync for Your Life. This show is a must-see. It’s America’s Next Top Model meets Project Runway for drag queens. If it isn’t gay, I don’t know what is.

STRAIGHT-ACTING: Common on gay profiles: “Straight-acting guy looking for straight-acting masculine guy.” Gays who use this term only scream “self-loathing.”

T / TEA: “Gurl, what’s the T?” (“What’s up?”)

THROWING SHADES: When you’re dissing someone. “I don’t tell you you’re ugly, but I don’t have to tell you you’re ugly because you know you’re ugly.”

UNDERWEAR: At some point, gay men got duped into believing that buying expensive underwear will make us hotter. WRONG. Being hot makes you hotter.

VOGUING: Way before Madonna popularized it, voguing was a dance characterized by striking a pose. It was popularized by young gay black men in America.

WORK / WERQ / WERK: A compliment, encouragement. (ex. Gurl, you werk those heels.)

XENA, WARRIOR PRINCESS: Probably the only lesbian-centric TV show I can stomach.

Y.M.C.A.: A classic anthem. Long before millions of homosexuals proudly proclaimed they’re “born this way” (Lady Gaga), the Village People penned a pulsating disco tune to gyrate to with enough costume inspirations for all gays.

PAN ZHANG & WANG ZHONGXIAN: From the story to tongzhi … it only all proves that Chinese gays have been fabulous for a long time. Don’t forget to give Chinese LGBT history a try. It will surprise you.


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