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"China Queer": Booming Economy vs. Stagnant Traditions

The Quiet Desperation of Queer Lives in China

Actor and activist Omar Sharif Jr. narrates a new documentary about the unique LGBT landscape in the world's most populous nation.

The Naked Truth: China Queer, an investigative documentary about China's LGBT community, takes a rare look at issues such as marriages of convenience between gays and lesbians, detention of feminist activists, gay "conversion" treatment, and strict media censorship.

Narrator Omar Sharif Jr. says everyone should see this film because it's Pride Month, and Pride is "not just a celebration. It's also a call to action and awareness not only to the challenges we face, but to the global challenges facing our community."

China, with a history of over 5,000 years, has witnessed rapid economic growth in the past decade. Yet "traditional" values remain strong, and most people still hold prejudices toward nonstraight people.

It is estimated that China's LGBT population is over 70 million. If it were a single country, it would be the 20th largest in the world. However, only 5 percent of these people have come out of the closet.

"[The] LGBT community is a microcosm of the global community," Sharif says. "We're everything."

The Naked Truth: China Queer airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. on Fusion.

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