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Tongzhi LivingMen Attracted to Men in Postsocialist China$
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Tiantian Zheng

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816691999

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816691999.001.0001

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Organizing against HIV in China

Organizing against HIV in China

(p.123) Chapter 5 Organizing against HIV in China
Tongzhi Living

Tiantian Zheng

University of Minnesota Press

Chapter 5 illustrates the community building in AIDS organizations, the goals and strategies for promoting health and social activism by these AIDS organizations, and the effectiveness and outcome of their activism. In this activism, Chinese tongzhi purport to work in collaboration with, rather than against, the state. Deploying and appropriating the state-endorsed AIDS cause, they draw on the dominant moral order as a legitimate resource to infuse tongzhi activism while still seeking legitimacy in the mainstream culture. By declaring that elimination of homophobia is essential to curbing AIDS transmission, they turn AIDS activism into a protection that provides legitimacy for their tongzhi activism. The fact that they rely on state-regulated funding systems and government organizations to exist legally shapes their tactics, forces them to mask their tongzhi identity in public, and impedes the extent to which they can infuse tongzhi activism into their HIV/AIDS cause. Their collaboration with the state mitigates their tongzhi activism, leaves the social norm unchallenged, and allows further stigmatization of their tongzhi identity. Thus AIDS politics — although serving as an important tool and opportunity for the tongzhi to advance tongzhi politics, albeit in a limited scope — paradoxically reinforces the association between tongzhi and AIDS.

Keywords:   AIDS, HIV, AIDS activism, activism, homophobia, government funding, government organizations, tongzhi activism, AIDS politics

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