Exposure: Boway Young

In this edition of Exposure, Gem Fletcher profiles Chinese photographer Boway Young, whose tender portraiture offers a poetic meditation on the struggles, joys and complex reality of queer love

“Telling the stories of our age is crucial in my practice,” says ­Boway Young. He is referring to the fraught reality of being queer in China right now. Young was born in 1994 in Hangzhou, eastern China, known for the ­picturesque Fuchun River. He had a difficult childhood grappling with his sexuality within a traditional Chinese Christian family.

Told by his parents that being queer was a sin, he was forced to accept psychological treatment from the age of 15. “The country is slowly beginning to change, but the government remains vague,” Young explains. “The fraught reality of being gay in a communist world is tough. There is some acceptance, but same-sex marriage is still illegal.”

All images courtesy Boway Young