My research will investigate the lives of homosexual men aged 60 and older in Shanghai, China.
Most of these men are married to women, and most entered the gay scene during the reform and opening-up period in the 1990s. These men are stigmatized in Chinese society both because of their homosexuality and because they predominantly are working class. They are also marginalized in relation to LGBT discourse, which is predicated on progress, visibility and positivity. This picture is complicated, though, by a booming cross-generational homoerotic culture in urban China. The men in my study offer life experience, seniority and residence in a desirable city like Shanghai – features that make them attractive to many young gay men who migrate from the Chinese hinterland. The research will nuance notions of vulnerability by investigating the complex cross-cutting vulnerabilities that include sexuality, age, mobility and capitalism in China today.