About Me

Infinite Regress?


My name is Jingshu Zhu. I am doing my PhD research at Leiden University in the Netherlands from March 2013, due February 2018. My PhD thesis combines law and anthropology in examining how Chinese same-sex-oriented people deal with the socio-legal imperatives of getting married, becoming parents and securing eldercare in a normative family. This is the first doctoral thesis written in English on sexual orientation law in contemporary China; it is also the first thesis in this field funded by the China Scholarship Council.

I have published articles about sexual orientation law in English and Chinese in peer-reviewed academic journals. My Chinese translation of the book Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights by Kenji Yoshino was well received. I was one of the two authors of State-Sponsored Homophobia – A World Survey of Laws: Criminalisation, Protection and Recognition of Same-Sex Love  (2013 and 2014 editions), an influential annual report issued by the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). I have also been a columnist at HelanOnline and LoveMatters, writing essays on hot topics in relation to gender and sexuality in China and the Netherlands.

After my law studies at the Beijing Institute of Technology, I completed an Advanced LL.M. in Public International Law at Leiden Law School, where I worked as a research assistant for Professor Kees Waaldijk to prepare for his inaugural lecture  “The Right to Relate”. Together we developed a dynamic visualization tool that shows the correlation between laws and attitudes regarding homosexuality in more than 90 countries, which has been presented at several international conferences from 2012 onwards.

I have given guest lectures on sexual orientation law in contemporary China, at Leiden University and at the National Central University in Taiwan. I have also presented my work at academic conferences worldwide, including Stockholm, Bangkok, Geneva, Lisbon, Taipei, Beijing, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Zalesie, and Mexico City. I was also an invited keynote speaker at the second Non-Monogamous and Contemporary Intimacies Conference in Vienna in 2017.

Beyond my academic interests, I am actively involved in Chinese LGBT movements by providing legal consultation for local NGOs and participating in advocatory events. I have also been hosting a popular sex-positive podcast Biaojiang since 2015, telling gender and sexuality stories with a critical mind.


* The cover photo is called Marriage as Simulacrum, which I made during the “Rainbow Siege” mobilization for marriage equality in Taipei on 5 October 2014.