Chinese LGBTQ+ Online Social Movements: A Comparative Study Between the Collective Identity Framings in the #IAmGay and #IAmLes Protests

Xing Huang


Collective identity framing is the process by which activists identify protagonists, antagonists, and audiences, three identity fields in social movements. Connective action facilitated by information communication technologies decentralizes social movement organization and drastically changes framing processes. Drawing on those theories, this research explores how collective identities are framed in Chinese LGBTQ+ online movements by comparing the collective identity framings in the #IAmGay and #IAmLes protests. It is discovered that in the #IAmGay protest, the collective identity was framed as inclusive, whereas in the #IAmLes protest, the collective identity was framed as conflictual because of lesbians’ intersectional identity both as homosexuals and as women. Furthermore, this research also offers implications on the “entanglement of identity fields” in connective action and future exploration of Chinese LGBTQ+ activism.


LGBTQ+ activism, online social movements, collective identity, framing, connective action, China

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