I've been nervous about being open with my sexual orientation since arriving in China, but in the past few days I've had a number of lovely little coming outs that have gone better than I could have expected. A number of people guessed and asked me for confirmation which I willingly provided. Then, I came out to a couple of Korean classmates when I saw a good opportunity. After class one day they were joking about a male classmate being gay. Then they said that he wasn't really. I asked them if it would have been a problem if he actually was. When they said no, of course not, I told them about me. Later, I found out about two classmates who are also gay including one who has already been here a couple of semesters. When I found out he was out to nearly all of his friends I came out to them too.
Right now, I am having an unexpected yet lovely conversation online with a Chinese friend I met a few weeks ago about homosexuality. She started out our chat by telling me that she showed a picture of the two of us to one of her friends and her friend said that I looked like a very handsome boy. She then said that if I was a boy, she would have pursued me. So, once again I saw a good opportunity and I added (in Chinese), "or if you were a lesbian." She just said 呵呵 (hehe), so I added a follow up, "what do you think about homosexuality." She responded that she doesn't really understand it. I explained that some people are homosexual and some people are heterosexual and that's just the way it is and there isn't anything wrong with it. She quickly agreed and said that I explained it well. She even wound up saying something along the lines of "We ought to explain it to more people so that the world will be more beautiful and harmonious" (loose translation). She then told me that there are some lesbians at her school and she started sending me pictures of famous Chinese lesbians. It was a really great conversation. It is things like this that make me hopeful for the future and make be believe that social progress is happening even amidst all of the back tracking that seems to be going on.