The Rules: No Pics, No Drugs, No Judgments

Bouncing to remixes of Madonna and Justin Timberlake, he admitted that he won't be on the dance floor forever. "I'm gay in China, but I also have hopes and plans," he said. "I already have two clothing shops, and I want to open another. I'd like to study abroad after I graduate too.

"But talking about being gay would get in the way. I won't tell my family because they would abandon me," he said. "Plus, I want to work in a government ministry in the future. If I come out, there's no way I could do that. So, later in life, I'll probably get married [to a woman] because it makes things easier."

Queer as Folk Beijing

Homosexuality, especially among men, has a long history in China. Same-sex encounters first appeared among intellectuals and artists in ancient art and classical literature, perhaps most famously in the classical Chinese novel "The Dream of the Red Chamber."

Unlike the persecution of homosexuals in Europe's Middle Ages, homosexuality is widely believed to have been relatively commonplace in China's Song, Ming and Qing dynasties.

The tide turned when the Communist Party founded the People's Republic of China in 1949. Social acceptance of homosexuality dwindled even further, as the cultural revolution severely punished homosexuals with lengthy prison terms and physical abuse.

Today, the future seems to hold progressive possibilities. In 2001, homosexuality was removed from a list of mental illnesses published by the Chinese Psychiatric Association. Hundreds of Web sites and groups have formed online and in the Beijing community, such as the popular Beijing Tongzhi and Beijing La La Bar's online forum.

Xiao Gang, the director and the blogger behind the weekly video podcast series "Queer as Folk Beijing," wants to expand the comfort zone beyond bars and clubs like Destination.

In a lighthearted talk show format, Xiao Gang and his co-hosts invite experts and scholars to investigate various social topics facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender society. Last week's episode included a scholar's groundbreaking research on male sex workers in China. He hopes to educate a broader audience about the homosexual Chinese community.

Because there's no openly gay Chinese celebrity or role model to look up to yet, Xiao Gang is himself creating opportunities for Chinese people to understand and perhaps someday accept homosexuality.

"Images are powerful. Chinese people don't know what gays, lesbians and bisexuals look like," Xiao Gang explained. "Maybe they seem scary. There are NGOs and hotlines to support these people nowadays, but there is no visual. When you see people for yourself, it's harder to judge them."

To date, "Queer as Folk Beijing" has attracted more than 1 million viewers but relatively little controversy. The podcast is available on YouTube and popular Chinese video sites such as Sina and Tudou. Soon, Xiao Gang will show it on Facebook.

"Sure, people will leave disdainful comments on the video sites, but overall the reaction has been quite positive," Xiao Gang told ABC News.

Despite the fact that he is a gay community leader, Xiao Gang has not come out to his parents. In his eyes, his life's work and his parents' knowledge of his sexuality are not necessarily related. The traditional role of family has deterred him from coming out of the closet.

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