The LGBT community has been specifically targeted since 1979 when the Chinese communist party criminalized the group by including homosexuality in the nonspecific act of hooliganism. In 1997, the Chinese government abolished hooliganism, and in 2001 homosexuality was removed from the list of psychiatric disorders, and yet the LGBT community continues to feel deeply stigmatized today.
Due to Chinese families’ strict traditions, most people avoid coming out to their parents and relatives for fear of being an underdog. China’s one-child policy impacts parent’s dual desire to raise a child who meets all their expectations as well as what can sometimes be defined as an obsession; their desire to have grandchildren, placing pressure on LGBT children to conform to a heterosexual lifestyle in order to give birth.
Raul Ariano is an Italian photographer splitting his time between Shanghai & Ho Chi Minh City.
He has been based in Asia since 2011, previously working and living in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Alongside commissioned works, Raul is focused on long term projects, mostly in Asia. He is represented by Redux Pictures in New York City and LUZ Photos in Milan.