Postcard: Beijing

Ian Teh for TIME

Night vision: As China has opened up, draconian laws once governing gays have been eliminated

The west side of Beijing's venerable Workers' Stadium is ground zero for the capital's party animals. Stretching south of the stadium gate is a row of huge dance clubs with names like Babyface, Coco Banana, Cargo and Angel, each competing with its neighbors to be bigger, brighter and louder. But on the other side of the road, the offices and shops are shuttered by late evening. Only one discreet neon sign is visible above a small stairway: Destination — Beijing's premier gay club.

Despite its unassuming exterior, the long lines of young men waiting...

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