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Chinese Discourses on Happiness$
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Gerda Wielander and Derek Hird

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455720

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455720.001.0001

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“As Long as My Daughter Is Happy”

“As Long as My Daughter Is Happy”

“Familial Happiness” and Parental Support-Narratives for LGBTQ Children

(p.86) 4 “As Long as My Daughter Is Happy”
Chinese Discourses on Happiness

Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses motivational advocacy work on the part of mainland Chinese parents who are or have been, struggling to come to terms with their now-adult child being lesbian or gay. Taking the recent emergence of the organization PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) organization in China in 2008, and the growing popularity for their outreach work in Chinese media as a starting point, I trace the striking appearance of stories of parental support, love and understanding – or ‘love advocacy’ work. Through a selective reading of two of Popo Fan’s recent documentary films on PFLAG-China’s parental advocacy work, I show the complex emotional framings of love, grief, gender and family norms through variegated articulations of ‘happiness’, as they relate to broader socio-political narratives of national modernity and progress. The discussion, whilst most directly concerned with the modern project of happiness, also points to a broader and more complex nexus of individually felt sensibilities and normative values, whereby gendered identities, sexual orientations and roles within and beyond family relations, are being challenged.

Keywords:   LGBT, PFLAG-China, love advocacy, family happiness, motivational advocacy, social movements, Popo Fan

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