Flickr photo shows lesbians kissing in Tiananmen Square

It's a great picture, but it doesn't mean China is a haven for gay couples.

Published January 17, 2006 4:14PM (EST)

Thanks to Boing Boing for alerting us to this fantastic photo from Flickr of two lesbians kissing in Tiananmen Square under the watch of Chairman Mao and two distraught guards.

While it would be easy to assume that the photo is a sign of China's new freedoms, Salon's resident China expert and How the World Works blogger, Andrew Leonard, says we shouldn't rejoice just yet.

"First of all, I'd be very suspicious that those were actually indigenous Chinese lesbians. They could quite easily be American-born Chinese lesbians having a lark," Leonard said in an IM. "And in light of today's news about yet another military crackdown on peasants protesting government land seizures, saying anything about China's new freedoms is suspect to me."

Fair enough. Still, some of the comments accompanying the photo are pretty priceless. Mitzi Skyline says, "Rock on, chinese lesbians!" and Burtonator swoons over Hot freedom fighter on freedom fighter action!" What Mao himself might have thought observing the lip-locked couple, we can only guess.

By Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

MORE FROM Lori Leibovich

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