Chinese writer sentenced to 10 years in prison for writing homoerotica

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Chinese writer was sentenced to 10 years in prison because her books, which included gay sex scenes, were too popular, CNN reports.

Liu, known by her pen name Tian Yi,  penned the novel “Occupy.” She reportedly earned 150,000 yuan ($21,624) from sales of “Occupy” and her other novels. The book has been compared to the boys’ love genre, a group of books, TV shows and movies that display homoerotic stories between characters. The genre originated in Japan and has a mostly heterosexual female fanbase. Most of its authors are also female.

Police in the Anhui province of East China said “Occupy” contains “obscene sexual behavior between males” in the context of “violence, abuse and humiliation” themes. China prohibits the production or sale of pornography.

On Oct. 31, Liu was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her story made the rounds on social media with many people believing the sentence was too harsh. CNN reports that 1.7 million posts on the social media platform Weibo feature the hashtag #Tianyi. Many of the posts defend the author.

“The author deserves sympathy. She did violate criminal law, but even a one-year sentence is too much, not to mention 10 years,” Li Yinhe, a sexologist and sociologist in China, posted in Liu’s defense.

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