If you’re single, new to China and plan on being here for a while, the issue of dating a Chinese partner will inevitably arise.
But in one section, up a hill covered in vegetation, men — old and young, well-dressed and casual, married and single — stroll on stone-paved lanes, making eye contact with others.
A sustained glance can develop into a smile and much more.
But for many gay Chinese, it is still difficult to buck social pressure to find a spouse of the opposite sex and have children.
Confucian ideology makes no allowances for homosexuality, and there are no legal protections against discrimination. At first glance, it looks no different from other Beijing parks: In an open plaza, middle-age women dance to catchy pop songs while elderly men clamor over Chinese chess in front of a statue saluting workers, peasants and soldiers of the 1960s Cultural Revolution.
"We can talk freely about what we've been hiding from our families and co-workers." For more than three decades, Dongdan Park, one mile east of Tiananmen Square, has attracted gay men from across China.