Better Together

Exhibition On View: March 18-June 2, 2024

The Center and All Out present “Better Together”, a photography project about the LGBT+ community in China, by Chinese photographer Shawn Zhang. With this collection of photos and stories, we want to provide insight into the lives of ordinary queer Chinese people. We hope you will feel inspired by these personal stories, and immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of the Chinese LGBT+ community.


Shawn Zhang is a queer photographer living in Shanghai. Growing up in northern China, Shawn experienced bullying and violence because people saw gender in a stereotypical way, and Shawn did not fit that stereotype.

Fortunately, things changed for Shawn when they moved to Shanghai with their family. Like many modern cities in the world, Shanghai is a place where there is more room for people to be themselves. Therefore, Shawn has learned to embrace diversity and inclusion, to love people and community, and eventually accept their identity.

However, not every LGBTQ+ person in China is as lucky as Shawn. Most of them are still in conservative environments, which force them to lock themselves in the closet due to stigma and prejudice. In the past five years, Shawn has seen so many people struggling with their identities and left with frustration and helplessness. Their voices deserve to be heard by the world. That is why Shawn started the project “Better Together.”


All Out is a global movement for love and equality. They‘re mobilizing thousands of people to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom,  safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love. 


This project is supported by the Lower Manhattan’s Cultural Council’s Creative Engagement Grant.

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