Bullied and sexually assaulted for months, school tells gay high school student to ‘deal with it’
When Xiaohao, a pseudonym, was a freshman in high school, his peers spent months bullying him emotionally and physically, including repeated instances of sexual assault. All because he is gay.  In the most harrowing incident, Xiaohao was stripped naked, pinned to the ground and forced to watch pornography while someone stimulated his genitals. The bullies filmed the incident.  He remembered one of the abusers asked, “Shouldn’t this give you pleasure since you are gay?”  Xiaohao, who made his experience public last Saturday, routinely asked for help from the school administrators, who told him to endure it.  “I am a homosexual. My dorm-mates bullied me. But the teachers asked me to put up wit
China LGBT: court says homosexuality can be called a ‘mental disorder’
A young woman lost a court appeal last week against a publisher in China that called homosexuality a “mental disorder” in a textbook that is still used in Chinese universities. Handing down its decision last week, the Suyu District Intermediate Court, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, said the textbook description was simply an academic view and not a factual error. The decision has disappointed the Chinese LGBT community and the 24-year-old social worker who filed the lawsuit, who is gay. They said the court’s decision to uphold the ruling was “random and baseless.” In 2016, while studying at the South China Agricultural University at Guangzhou, in China’s eastern Guangdong province, Ou
Being gay in China: One man is shedding light on the plight of homosexual teachers
When Cui Le, a Chinese university lecturer, publically came out as homosexual in 2015, he wanted to show a young woman that people in China supported her and remind her that she was not alone.  He could not have predicted the severity of the oppression, ostracisation and emotional despair he would go through. And yet, not only does he have no regrets, he is shining a light on gay teachers in China, providing a rare glimpse into a community that is seldom discussed in society.  Cui came out to support a lesbian student from the Sun Yat-sen University, who was known as Qiu Bai. She was suing the education ministry for allowing some textbooks to describe homosexuality as a “mental disease.”  S
China LGBT groups squeezed as China tightens rules on internet publishing
New rules to crack down on online speech in China have sent a chill through China’s LGBT community, who worry that organizing efforts or discussions of their lived experience will violate the new regulations.  In late January, the Cyberspace Administration of China instituted strict restrictions on self-publishing for working journalists, notably criticizing their act of practicing “we-media,” a phrase that refers to bloggers who have built up a sizable following on social media platforms.  These new rules quickly expanded and touched almost everyone in China, and self-publishers will need to get an official license to publish about current affairs. But they were a particular cause for conce
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