[PAST EVENT] Public Lecture: "Transnational Networks of (Anti-) LGBTI+ Activism in Taiwan"

November 14, 2019
5pm - 6:20pm
Washington Hall, Room 301
241 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
Team Taiwan in New York Pride Parade
Team Taiwan in New York Pride Parade

Time: Thursday,  November 14th, 2019, 5:00pm-6:20pm

Location: Washington Hall 301

Topic: Transnational Networks of (Anti-)LGBTI+ Activism in Taiwan: Politics of Gender/Xìngbié, Queer Comrade/Tóngzhì, and Moral Conservatism/Baoshou

Speaker: Dr. Ying-Chao Kao (Assistant Professor of Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University)

Lecture Abstract:

In 2019, Taiwan legalized same-sex marriages and became the first Asian nation to reach this milestone. Behind the celebratory scene exists Taiwan’s distinctive history of LGBTQIA+ movements and their oppositional movements based on religious conservatism connected with American Christian fundamentalism. This talk takes a dialectic viewpoint to illustrate the relational development of both pro-gay and anti-gay activism and explores the changing meanings of gender, sexualities, and conservatism in contemporary transnational Taiwan. Based on his textual, interview, and ethnographic data, Dr. Kao critically examines how the Taiwanized “moral assemblage” of conservative politics has arisen in the form of opposition to legislating marriage equality and implementing LGBT-friendly education. His global approach sheds light on the transnational networks in which Taiwanese moral conservatives build connections with their American, European, and inter-Asian allies. In the transnational networks, new cultural meanings have been proliferated and disseminated at the incommensurability between gender vs. xìngbié, comrade of sexual politics vs. tóngzhì, and moral conservatism vs. baoshou. The politics of these constructed terms are discussed in relation to gender, sexualities, and global inequalities. Kao’s visualization of the transnational networks calls for following studies of the global flows of conservatism and heteronormative hegemony.


Ying-Chao Kao, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and research faculty of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University in 2018. Professor Kao’s research interests include sexualities, masculinities, global religions, and inequalities. His current research tracks the global flows of Christian conservative activism, exploring how Taiwanese and American pro-family organizations have shaped and mobilized the global structures to oppose the sexual citizenship of the tóngzhì (LGBTQI+) people. The ongoing globalized oppositional moral movements against marriage equality and “tóngzhì education” are particularly examined in the contexts of neo-liberalism, geopolitics, and hetero-hegemony. Bridging the sociological research on religion, sexualities, and transnationalism, Kao’s analysis relates sexual politics and the resurgence of global Christianity to reveal the transnational networks of social conservatism and critically examine the changes in global inequalities.

Professor Kao has published his work in the journals Contexts, Sexuality Research in China, and Gender Equity Education Quarterly (in Chinese). His research on military masculinity was published in East Asian Men: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Desire (Palgrave, 2017) and Masculinities in a Global Era (Springer, 2013 and co-authored with H-D Bih). His traditional Chinese translation of Laud Humphreys’ Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places (Socio, 2016) won the Editorship Award at the Taipei International Book Exhibition in 2017. Kao also writes op-eds for numerous international media and lectures for gender equity education and tóngzhì people’s social justice.

This event is supported by Reves Center & GSWS


Chun-yu Lu [[w|clu02]]