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For the Chinese LGBT community, a unique set of challenges (VIDEO)

As part of CNN’s ongoing series On China, reporter Kristie Lu Stout takes a look at the challenges – some familiar, some remote – that members of the LGBT community face on mainland China. While the report does note that consensual sex between members of the same gender was decriminalized in 1997, followed subsequently by the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder, the report recognizes the still daunting challenges. “Despite advances, the social stigma remains immense. According to a 2013 survey by U.S. research group Pew, only 21 percent of China’s population was in favor of the acceptance of homosexuality. Same-sex marriage remains a taboo topic for many across China. And a number of clinics in China offer so-called “conversion” shock treatment to “cure” homosexuality.”

But, while the Chinese LGBT community faces similar forms of discrimination in society, the workplace, etc., the unique character of the family and China’s one-child policy coupled with the pressure most Chinese feel to carry on the family line, forces many in the gay community to take part in what the Chinese call “cooperative marriages.” Stout reports, “Many Chinese gays and lesbians are responding to the family pressure with “cooperative marriages” — gay men and lesbian women marrying each other out of social and economic convenience, often finding each other online.”I grew up in the 80s and 90s and most of the people my age, everyone, got into marriage — no matter gay or straight,” says Xu Bin, founder of the advocacy group Common Language. “If you’re not, you’re a monster.””

And, like the millennials here, a new, more confident generation is emerging in China, one that expects to build on the accomplishments of previous activists to build a more just, more democratic society.

And not just for sexual minorities.



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=53784

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014. Filed under Around the World, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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