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Homosexuality was removed from an official list of mental illnesses only in 2001, but the situation (while still grim) has improved in recent years. In 2009, China had its first ever representative at the World Outgames and held its first gay-pride event in Shanghai. Beijing has a few gay bars of note, and the expatriate magazine Time Out recently broke the long-standing taboo against using the words "gay" and "lesbian" with its monthly "G&L" column. The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) (tel. 954/630-1637; www.iglta.org) lists three gay-friendly organizations dealing with in-bound visitors to China.

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