May 21, 2016

5% Chinese Have Come Out-China and Gays

 It’s not easy when you love someone 
                                                                         






The vast majority of China’s lesbian, gay, and other sexual and gender minorities—some 95%—haven’t declared their orientation in public because they fear discrimination and abuse from their families and society, a recent study finds. 
The United Nation Development Program survey published Tuesday (May 17) on China’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) citizens found only 5% have disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity outside their families, and only 15% have the courage to tell their families.
By comparison, 59% of the US’s LGBT adults have told one or both of their parents their orientation, a 2013 survey from Pew Research shows. More than 18,000 Chinese LGBTI people across the country responded to the UN survey, the largest ever on the topic in China. Over half of them reported discriminated or abuse at school, work, and most commonly, within their own families Family members of LGBTI people most frequently remind them to watch their appearance, force them to change the way they dress, speak or act, and force them to enter into heterosexual relationships, the study found.
Nearly two thirds of the LGBTI people say they feel under great pressure from their families to get married and have children. Of those that are married, more than 84% are married to heterosexuals who don’t know about their orientation, and 13% are in a “cooperation marriage” in which a gay man and a lesbian woman (or vice-versa) agree to marry to appease their parents. Less than 3% are in same-sex marriages that were performed in foreign countries.
China doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage and lacks policies or laws to protect LGBT rights. Chinese censors have recently cracked down on documentaries, online dramas, and other media that depict or imply same-sex love. Homosexuality has recently been banned entirely on TVas it is deemed “abnormal sexual relations.”
The UN survey also found Chinese sexual and gender minorities have higher unemployment rates, receive lower benefits at work, and are less educated than their non-minority peers.
Gay rights activism is not common in China, but it appears to be on the rise in recent years. In April, a court from central China ruled against a gay couple who sued their local marriage registry office after their application for a license was rejected. It is still rare for Chinese courts to accept such a case in the first place. Last week, a transgender man failed in a lawsuit where he complained he was fired from his job because of discrimination.
FILE – A 2015 Pride Run in Shanghai celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. But most LGBT Chinese hide their sexual orientation, fearing discrimination, a new UN report finds.
A 2015 Pride Run in Shanghai celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. But most LGBT Chinese hide their sexual orientation, fearing discrimination, a new UN report finds.
 BEIJING—Families are willing to sign off to Shock Therapy and other abuses of the individual free will the UN Fears.
Ninety-five percent of lesbian, gay and other sexual and gender minorities in China hide their orientation because they fear discrimination and social abuse, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Discrimination against gay people and other sexual and gender minorities is not just restricted to education and the workplace but extends to official agencies and the judiciary, the U.N. body said after a major survey covering 30,000 people.
The report comes a week after a Chinese court rejected the first gender discrimination suit filed by a transgender person, identified as Mr. C, who complained he was fired from his job because of his self-identification. Mr. C’s employer told the labor court that the plaintiff's manner of dressing would negatively affect the firm.
Chinese censors recently removed a video about transgender people from the Internet, while Chinese filmmaker Zhang Wei complained he was finding it difficult to make China’s first movie on the subject.
"Physical and emotional violence is still a reality, especially within the family," the UNDP report said. "Discrimination continues to cost LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex] people jobs, lower their career prospects and their learning potential in schools. Sexual and gender minorities suffer from lower job stability and higher unemployment rates."
Government criticized
The U.N. body also was critical of the government. "China still lacks policies or laws that recognize sexual and gender minorities or protect them from discrimination and unfair treatment on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation," it said.
The Chinese Ministry of Justice recently told the United Nations that “China does not view LGBTI as a mental disease or require compulsory treatment for LGBTI people. They will not be confined in mental hospitals either.”
But the ministry acknowledged some problems. “Indeed, LGBTI people face some real challenges in terms of social acceptance, employment, education, health and family life," it admitted.
The UNDP found that gender diversity concerns are rarely covered in staff training and internal regulations of government offices and government-backed organizations.Only about 5 percent of gender minorities disclose their sexual orientation outside their families. Even within the family, "no more than 15 percent have the courage to do so," the report said.
Response on social media
Chinese social media greeted Tuesday’s release of the report with some calls for better treatment for LGBTI people and others questioning why the issue even comes up."Finally, attention is being paid to the living conditions of homosexuals!" said a social media commentator who goes by the user name seby1989.

One user on Sina Weibo, the country’s most followed Twitter-like platform, called for a referendum on whether LGBTI people should have protection and support in China, and asked the United Nations to help organize it.
Another one, named MXAU, promised “to promote the legalization of same-sex marriages."Critical comments came from a user who said, "Chinese will only pretend. But all [people] don't want to see it," adding that legalizing gay marriage would be ridiculous.
In China, relatives often pressure LGBTI people to undergo electric shock "conversion therapies," under the mistaken belief that such “treatment” might make them "straight." Therapies also include painful and expensive surgeries or a series of injections that leave patients weak and disoriented.
"Family pressure and rejection can have more serious consequences, with some LGBTI people being forced into psychotherapy and sometimes even ‘conversion therapy,’" UNDP said.
It said most gender minorities enter into heterosexual relationships, sometimes dubbed “cooperation marriages."
Outlook improving. But there is hope for LGBTI people. Younger Chinese take a more liberal approach and largely accept the fact of gender diversity, the UNDP survey suggested.
“The younger the respondents, the higher the proportion of those opposed to the pathological view of homosexuality, stereotype-based prejudices, gender binary ideas and even HIV-related stigma," it said. Among respondents to the survey, the highest proportion of those who said they would accept their own children as being LGBTI were young people. 
“Overall, it is clear that generational change represents the greatest opportunity for social emancipation of sexual and gender minorities in China.” the report said.
                              Voice of America [by Saibal Dasgupta]

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