'Being LGBT in Asia' China National Report Launched

August 14, 2014
By Zhang YuanEditor: Sophia Zhu

The China national report of a participatory review and analysis of the legal and social environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and civil society was released in Beijing on August 13 by the United Nations Development Programme. This report is part of the Asia LGBT programme.
This is a comprehensive analysis of the national reports on the situation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population, in which a combination of Chinese law and social environment were analyzed. The report shows that LGBT development in China has made some progress, but needs further efforts.
Although in recent years some progress has been made in terms of safeguarding the rights of LGBT people in China, the LGBT population still faces great difficulties.

The report affirms the positive measures taken by the Chinese Government, such as the abolition of some of the legal threats faced by LGBT people, and homosexuality has also been removed from the official mental illness list and so on. In addition, the report also stresses that China is actively developing LGBT civil society, social attitudes have shifted, and academia has begun to study LGBT-related topics to discuss the existing policy of LGBT rights.

However, discrimination against LGBT people is still a common phenomenon in society, with most people holding negative attitudes toward diversity of gender. Sexually orientated discrimination in employment is common. School bullying of LGBT people and discrimination is also common: according to statistics, 77% of LGBT students in schools have experienced discrimination. Therefore, LGBT people need greater legal protections.

Pressure from society and families force many LGBT people to hide their sexual orientation, and eventually step into a heterosexual marriage. The censorship system in China still bans LGBT content in movies, video games and TV productions.

Many LGBT people are still sent to hospital for "treatment" by their families and it is very difficult for them to obtain normal psychological care.

During the conference, a video of Ban Ki-moon was shown, during which Ban Ki-moon praised the work of the Asia LGBT programme.

Some Chinese LGBT community organizations at the press conference expressed their point of view. Wei Jiangang, director of Beijing Gender Health Education Institute, said: "We are pleased to see the completion of the report; it reiterated China LGBT community needs, and emphasized its fragility. We hope to show the results of these studies to more people, and promote the use of these results to further address these issues we ultimately want to see a more inclusive, more accepting and diverse China."

Xu Bin, director of the same language, said: "I believe this report signs the last two decades a new era of Chinese comrades sport: everyone should have a respectable, dignified life, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. "

UNDP China Director Bai Hua also attended the meeting, during which said: "We will use the findings of this report and recommendations as a reference to guide our future direction on LGBT issues and advance our agenda with various government agencies, development partners and community organizations to carry out important cooperation in order to achieve the goals that everyone can freely be who they are, love without fear of being discriminated against or stigmatized."

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Asia-Pacific region - Deputy Director of Governance and the Disadvantaged Thomas White said: "USAID's vision is to help LGBT people worldwide to enjoy due respect."

(Women of China)

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