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Les+ Magazine is a Beijing-based community magazine. It was started in 2005 by a group of young Chinese lesbians, or lalas (Chinese: 拉拉; pinyin: lālā). The slogan on the cover of the first issue states: "After the darkness fades away, I’ll be holding your hand, walking under the sunlight with pride, boldly and happily living our lives!".
Jing Zhao was one of the women who founded Les+ in 2005, China's first and only queer women's magazine. The magazine surfaced from the growing online culture of forums and chatrooms in China in the 2000s. In 1999, the first online lala forum was created.
The Les+ group was named after the Les+ magazine they created – the first and the only lesbian magazine to date in mainland China. This magazine was initiated by two lesbian women in their twenties. They met on the Internet in 2003 and started Les+ one year later in order to enable each of their girlfriends to develop confidence in their relationships. Les+’s activities, including magazine production, are run in members’ leisure-time without payment. All the costs were supported by local and overseas foundations.— Jing Fan, Reaching out for the lala identity: a case study of a lesbian magazine and community making in Beijing, China
Lesbian culture in China
Although homosexuality has been legal in China since 1997, LGBT people continue to face social oppression and are not protected from discrimination by law. According to Xin Huang, Les+ exists within a growing lesbian culture: "In 2007 when I conducted the fieldwork for this research, lesbians in China have a national organization, Tongyu, their own magazine, Les+, and a club called lala, which holds weekly meetings in some large cities, as well as a lala website."
- Lo,, Kam, Lucetta Yip (2013). Shanghai lalas : female Tongzhi communities and politics in urban China. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. p. 97. ISBN 9789882208452. OCLC 828740506.
- "Cargo Collective - Les+ magazine". Cargo Collective. 2019-02-20.
- Fan, Jing (2019-02-20). "Reaching out for the lala identity: a case study of a lesbian magazine and community making in Beijing, China".
- 1965-, Huang, Xin,. The gender legacy of the Mao era : women's life stories in contemporary China. Albany. p. 123. ISBN 9781438470610. OCLC 1037074239.
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