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Dan Zhou

Lawyer and LGBT Human Rights Activist, China

Born in Shanghai in January 1974, Dan Zhou has been practicing law in China for 15 years. He is one of the first few Chinese gay men whose name has ever positively appeared in local, national and international major media. For instance, Mr. Zhou was profiled in the June 27, 2005 issue of TIME Magazine, and in the October 20, 2013 issue of South China Morning Post. Moreover, he is the first openly gay lawyer in mainland China who has ever spoken out for LGBT rights. Mr. Zhou has been playing a pivotal role in LGBT rights activism in China by engaging in public dialogue and education, and doing legal advocacy. In addition to practice-oriented work, he published, in 2009, Pleasure and Discipline: Jurisprudential Imagination of Same-sex Desire in the Chinese Modernity, the ground-breaking monograph in the Chinese language on the dynamics of same-sex desire, law and modernity in China. Meanwhile, he frequently speaks on LGBT rights issues at workshops, seminars and symposia in China, the United States and other countries. In 2013, he is a fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy, a US-based private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.