Beijing: City life, gay apps, and live streaming girls | VPRO Documentary

In Beijing, city life takes often more place online than offline. You can still not come out of the closet in real life, but live as a gay online. In Beijing gays meet via app and girls live stream when they sing or just talk to the audience. How are gays experiencing life in a city as Beijing, where being gay is still not accepted? And what is it, that makes young girls live streaming?

In the past 30 years, life for people in China has changed drastically. The third world country has become one of the world leaders and still, most of us don´t know a lot about China and their population. Where is this gigantic country headed? And what do ordinary Chinese appreciate or value?

In the second episode Ruben Terlou arrives in Beijing, where he watches a number of popular live streamers and meets the man behind China’s largest internet platform for homosexuals.

Without a smartphone life in the big city has become virtually impossible: it is your debit card, your city card, your ID, your entertainment. And more importantly, your smartphone puts you in touch with like-minded people. Gay people no longer have to go to shadowy parks to find a partner. But the question is how long the government allows this online freedom.

In the big city of Beijing Ruben hires a golden bicycle and meets the fighting mother of a Chinese lala (lesbian). The city is overwhelming so that you can easily disappear. Oddly, that´s also what makes it so special. But where you can disappear, you can be yourself. As long as you don´t stand out.

Original title: Dubellevens (2/7)
Maaik Krijgsman
© VPRO January 2018

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English, French and Spanish subtitles by Ericsson and co-funded by the European Union.