The Unintentionally Homoerotic Chinese-Soviet Communist Propaganda Posters, 1950-1960

“Long Live the Friendship between the Peoples and Armies of China and Soviet Union”.

In October 1949, the Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Zedong claimed victory and formed the People’s Republic of China. Socialist regimes now held power across one-fifth of the globe, ruling a combined population of almost 800 million people. Maintaining a friendly and productive relationship between Moscow and Beijing was seen as crucial for the survival and advancement of socialism.

h/t: rarehistoricalphotos

“Let Chinese – Soviet friendship live forever”.

In late 1949, Mao traveled to Moscow to meet Joseph Stalin for the first time. Recognizing the need for unity at a time of growing opposition, Stalin and Mao signed a bilateral treaty called the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance.

“Always Together!”. (They really look like a happy gay family).

Propaganda posters were an integral part of attesting to the world the close relationship between China and the Soviet Union and as seen from this photographic collection they walk hand-in-hand, kissing, clutching each other, all happy and gay, so to speak. These homoerotic Chinese-Soviet communist propaganda posters look more like a gay couple’s vacation pics, or maybe an ad for interracial gay marriage.

“The friendship between the Chinese and Soviet people will last forever”.

The designers of these posters didn’t realize how homoerotic they were and later on, many scholars have pointed out the overt homoeroticism present in these images. The depictions range from sweet—two men offering each other flowers— to totally inappropriate such as men representing China and the Soviet Union kissing, holding hands, passionately embracing each other, etc.

Friends Forever.

Scholars think that there is little evidence that the artists intentionally portrayed homosexuality in these images. Most likely the artists were tunnel-visioned on convincing people within the Soviet Union and China that cooperation and closeness were essential to survival and strengthening global socialism.

Friends Forever.

China and the Soviet Union were both rather homophobic societies. Communist leaders and intellectuals took many different positions on LGBT rights issues. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels said very little on the subject in their published works. Marx in particular commented rarely on sexuality in general.

Friends Forever.

Not a Chinese-Soviet poster, interesting nevertheless. Poster on the construction of the Aswan Dam in Egypt, which was built with the help of the USSR.

Two ladies representing the Soviet Union and China.

“We strengthen our Friendship in the name of Peace and Happiness”.

“Friendship and Peace”.

Friends Forever.

The couple that welds together…

The so-called “socialist kiss”.

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