When I first moved to Shenzhen over six years ago, I had no idea whether there would even be an LGBT community here. It took a little while to find like-minded people, but not as long as I thought it would.

Over the years, the LGBT community here has slowly expanded. For newcomers it’s still not always easy to find as it’s not advertised or obvious. The official line here is that there are no gay people in China, which means that bars and clubs have to be below the radar; however, there are now regular meet-ups and LGBT nights in Shenzhen and neighbouring Guangzhou, as well as Hong Kong, of course.

The best way to find out what’s going on where and to meet other LGBT people is to join WeChat groups such as: Lalas Shenzhen, Girls on Girls, Shenzhen sauce (yingyu), Saturgays Parties!, and Events for LGBTQ+ & Friends. Alternatively, if you’re not confident about jumping straight into a big group, you can add me on WeChat – my ID is Persephoned – and I’ll be happy to introduce you to the SZ scene. See you there!