Love killer: How the Covid-19 pandemic has left the world a more violent place for the LGBTQ community
In some countries, who you love can be deadly. Same-sex activity is illegal in almost 70 countries. In six, it’s punishable by death. These include Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria (the 12 northern states only), Saudi Arabia and Yemen. These were the findings of a world survey on sexual orientation laws released this week that found dozens of nations across the globe still treated same-sex couples as criminals. The organization (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) found that while there had been considerable progress providing legal protection for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, there were continuing issues in many countries. The most extreme punishm
Why Elliot Page’s coming out won’t help China’s trans community
Hollywood star Elliot Page has never been scared of going off-script. Six years after coming out as gay, the Oscar-nominated actor announced last week he was transgender, a revelation that was met with love and support from his peers and the public.  “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” Page wrote in a statement posted on Instagram and Twitter. Yet for members of China’s trans community, expressing their true selves puts them at immense risk of violence, conversion treatment and family rejection.   “Many can’t take the mental pressure, become depressed and even choose suicide,” Beijing transgender woman Chao Xiaomi t
He kissed a man, lost his job. Now he is suing China’s biggest airline for unjust firing
An unlawful firing lawsuit is gaining a lot of attention in China because it might be able to open the Overton window a little bit wider for the LGBT community. The case stems from a surveillance video last autumn, which showed a man passionately kissing a male colleague in an elevator of the apartment building he lived in. The video leaked online and became a sensation in China.  The reaction to the video was mixed in China. False information fanned a negative reaction and a complicated love triangle muddied the waters. That being said, some people said it should not be controversial, asking, “what if they just loved each other?” The man was quickly identified as a flight attendant surname
What is it like to be gay in China?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. Being LGBTQ in China is complicated. In many ways, Chinese society at large represses the culture – coming out can lead to severe professional and personal consequences. And yet, gay communities are allowed to exist openly in many places without repercussions. China is a place where authorities routinely censor homosexual acts in movies and television, but it is also home to the world’s largest gay dating app. Social and political forces continue to shape the development of LGBTQ rights in the world’s most populous country. With rising LGBTQ acceptance am
A teacher came out as gay in China, and paid a price
It took years – and a move to New Zealand – before Cui Le felt ready to tell his story. Cui was working as a linguistics lecturer at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou when he publicly identified as gay in 2015. In August of that year a student named Qiubai, at Sun Yat-sen University, sued the Chinese education ministry over textbooks that described homosexuality as a “disease.” The school counselor informed Qiubai’s parents of her sexuality and they, in turn, took her to the hospital for an examination. Cui, along with the rest of the country’s LGBT community, was outraged. Until that moment he had remained silent, fearful that being g
Chinese transgender woman sues ex-employer in landmark case
A transgender woman in China is suing her former employer in a landmark case that many hope will uphold equal employment rights for sexual minorities. Earlier this year, shortly after the woman, surnamed Yang, returned to work at a media company from gender-reassignment surgery, she was advised to quit. She didn’t. Within a month, she was fired.  The woman is suing in the eastern city of Hangzhou under a new legal provision added to Chinese law in December 2018 mandating equal employment rights. Yang is seeking a public apology and modest compensation.  The employer said the woman was fired due to lateness. Legal experts say Yang’s case, which was heard in court last week, has blazed a trai
Taiwan holds first pride parade after legalizing gay marriage
Hundreds of thousands of people in Taipei took to the streets over the weekend to support gay rights in the first pride parade in Taiwan since it became the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions. Crowds of people waved rainbow flags and rode on flamboyant floats from City Hall for the 3.5 mile walk, whose theme this year was: “Together, make Taiwan better.”
Hong Kong court calls for review of city’s biased same-sex laws
Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal has called for a “proper and effective” review of all laws and policies that discriminate against same-sex relationships in the city. The court’s call emerged after three judges unanimously agreed to reduce the jail term of a sex offender who complained he had been given a manifestly excessive sentence for consensual “buggery” with a minor because he was gay. Yeung Ho-nam, 28, was immediately released after the judges replaced his original jail term of 2.5 years with a sentence of 10 months, which he had completed. Yeung pleaded guilty last September to two counts of unlawful homosexual buggery with a person under the age of 16, admitting that he twice had consens
Transgender choir seeks acceptance in China
A choir with transgender singers from across China joined hands to perform at an LGBT festival in Sichuan in August. They hope to spread awareness and gain acceptance in a nation where being transgender is still considered a mental disorder.