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The double lives of gay men in China's Hainan province

By James Cummings, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University
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It’s around 7:30pm on a warm November evening in Jiaji, the county capital of Qionghai, on the east coast of Hainan, an island province of the People’s Republic of China. I’m standing in a park watching middle aged women dance in formation to music blaring from a loudspeaker when a voice from behind me shouts: “Ah Kang! Let’s go! I’ll take you to see the place where the gays go to play mahjong.”

I turn around to find Ah Tao* hurrying towards me, scrambling over a low…


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