Archive for the 'essay' Category

The Silent Death of Shanghai’s First Gay Hotline

The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide November-December 2007This article is the result of many years of research with HIV prevention and anti-discrimination groups in my then-home of Shanghai. I had much help from people who choose to remain anonymous. Their stories and many more I hope to one day flush out in a book on the topic of modern gay rights in China.

My goal in writing this article was not to be provocative or overly political, but simply to bring to light one of the more mysterious episodes in modern Chinese gay history: simply, how and why a successful gay counseling and health hotline would suddenly cease operations. Copy is available electronically on many academic journal sites or directly upon request. (joshua *dot* wickerham *at* gmail *dot com).

In addition to my indebtedness to the people quoted in the article, special thanks goes to several friends at UCSD, Johns Hopkins, and the Princeton in Asia program who read drafts and made useful suggestions. These friends continue to play crucial roles with the Beijing CDC and the Clinton Foundation, and as a Fulbright Scholar. These friends are real heroes and inspire me as they continue working with this pandemic’s most stigmatized groups. I am also indebted to Bill Valentino, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Bayer China, who continues to lead the business case for HIV prevention, and Chung To of the Chi Heng Foundation, who remains a voice for Chinese gays and children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Both provided last-mile support. Lastly, I owe a debt of gratitude to Jim Fallows of The Atlantic, who encouraged me to submit this work to The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review (Now The G&L Review Worldwide) and to editor Richard Schneider, who improved the copy. Apologies to my advisor Susan Shirk who suggested I’d have to choose between doing sustainable environmental development work and HIV research. Seeing as both are critical, I just more often decline cocktail parties invitations and reject television’s numbing warmth.


Environmentalism as Catalyst for the Development of Civil Society in China

From the introduction to my essay:

This issue of the Journal of International Policy Solutions marks the second annual publication of the Ruth S. Adams Graduate Student Essay Competition Winner. The Ruth Adams Competition is a graduate student essay competition on the topic of international civil society. It asks students to explore the role of global civil society in impacting any national or international issue.

The competition honors Ruth S. Adams (1923-2005), a former visiting scholar at UCSD and the editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for more than a decade. Charismatic, deeply principled, and compassionate, Adams devoted her life to a wide array of nongovernmental organizations. She was the only woman in attendance at the very first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in 1957, which was sponsored by Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, and other preeminent scientists. She organized cooperative international scientific efforts on Third World development, arranged for the training and financing of international security scholars, and actively supported enhanced roles for women in international relations research. To further the goals to which she devoted her life, her friends, colleagues, and organizations who share in Ruth’s vision have created this essay competition.

This year’s winner, Joshua Wickerham, analyzes the response of Chinese civil society to environmental threats and the implications for political actors.


The goal of this paper is to determine how willing the principal actors in China’s economy are to bear the potential social and economic costs of sustainable development as a proxy for understanding the depth of the development of civil response to China’s environmental threats. The conclusions are based on trends, opinions, and actions of three main groups: the government, consumers, and corporate managers.

Click here to read the essay. (pdf format)