Hamilton woman uses online podcast to open discussions on sexuality in China

 A Hamilton woman is working with an online podcast in China spreading awareness about Beijing’s LGBT community.

The Five Eyes Show focuses on issues regarding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT).

Erin Strong, who has been living in Beijing since August 2012, recently joined The Five Eyes team.

“We speak about LGBT news, but because we are based in Beijing we try to focus our perspectives in relation to China and how they aren’t progressing [in acceptance of the LGBT community],” Strong said.

The podcast is also a platform to broadcast wider issues involving China as the country prepares its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee has announced that any country wishing to be a host cannot discriminate against race, sex or identity.

“If China wins this bid then they swear to not discriminate against the LGBT community, so that will be interesting,” Strong said.

Strong had never participated in an online podcast forum before joining the project but is excited to be a part of the team.

“Back home in New Zealand I wasn’t a part of the LGBT community because I was always working or studying, and lastly because I had a fear of discrimination,” Strong said.

China is less liberal than New Zealand, especially when it comes to sexuality, so Strong was hesitant about speaking out about LGBT matters.

“I was nervous at first but, because I’m speaking about something relating to who I am, the fear has disappeared, and been replaced by a sense of achievement,” she said.