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LGBT group calls for equal rights


03-15-2017 11:50 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

By CGTN reporter Wu Guoxiu

Q1.  Wu Guoxiu, could you tell us more about your interview with these young people. Why did they want to appear on screen?

Actually I didn’t persuade them. When I found Mr. C and his friends, they said they wanted to appear on screen. They are not scared. Mr. C has been calling for equal rights for LGBT people with help from an NGO. His case is said to be the first of its kind in China, against discrimination of transgender people in the workplace. He wants it to help push forward the enactment of an anti-workplace discrimination law.

As the survey said, more gay men and women are coming out of the closet or planning to come out in China. Wang Dashi told me he came out while he was in middle school. Back then…he could feel hostility from other people, but now there is almost none. Maybe some ignorance in the worst cases. He said five years ago, he wouldn’t have spoken in front the camera. And he finds now more gay couples are posting their photos on social media. But his boyfriend, who he has been in a relationship with for 8 years, dares not to come out, as he works in a state-run company.

These young people are just some of the brave ones. Although more people from the LGBT community are coming out, most of them only reveal their sexual orientation to their closest family members and friends. Mr. C says he has the best parents, but he didn’t want them to appear on camera. He says they support his sexual orientation, though after a long time of arguing. His parents now know the existence of his girlfriend, and he will arrange their first meeting soon.

Q2: Wu Guoxiu, there are an estimated 70 million LGBT poeple in China. Tell us about their status in China?

Well, looking at some of their social rights now. Homosexuality is legal. It was decriminalized in China in 1997 and was declassified as a mental disorder in 2001. There are no laws in China recognizing same-sex relationships or marriage. People have the right to change legal gender in China, but it requires surgery.

Same-sex adoption is illegal. The China Center for Adoption Affairs does not allow same-sex couples to adopt, nor does it allow foreign same-sex couples to adopt a baby from China.

Under Chinese Labor Law, there are no protections specifically for LGBT people. Homosexual men who are sexually active with other men cannot donate blood in China, for fear of spreading HIV. However, in 2012, the Chinese Ministry of Health lifted the ban against lesbians donating blood.

Another interesting fact, the “pink economy” is growing in China. Industry analysts say China is the world's third-largest LGBT market, after Europe and the United States.

Areas with the greatest potential include tourism, fashion, cosmetics, marriage planning, entertainment, and even surrogacy - which remains a gray area in China's legal framework.

An app called Blued, China’s largest gay social-network, has 27 million registered users, just by last June. The app began to make profits in 2016. Very recently, the app is reported to have gained investment from a fund under The Beijing News, a mainstream daily newspaper based in Beijing. It's the sixth round of investment they've received since being established. 

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