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11 Jul 2011

Parents of LGBT children in Taiwan launch official group

Loving Parents of LGBT (同志父母愛心協會), Taiwan's first official group for parents of LGBT people, was launched last Friday, Jul 8 at a press conference held at the at the Legislative Yuan. (New audio clip and video added.)

Helmed by Mrs Georgia Kuo (郭) who is affectionately known as Kuo Mama (Mummy Kuo) in the community, her new group Loving Parents of LGBT wasted no time and immediately called on the government to be more tolerant toward the LGBT community and for an equal rights bill.

Above: Mrs Georgia Kuo 

"Gays are just like everyone else, they have parents, like us, and they, as well as their parents, pay taxes just like every citizen of this country –  so they should enjoy the same rights as everybody else," said Kuo who is in her fifties and a mother of lesbian daughter, reported the Taipei Times

In an interview with Fridae last year, Kuo, who was featured in Fridae's LGBT People to Watch 2010 series, said she became involved with LGBT advocacy group Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association (TTHA) after attending a meeting for parents of LGBT children in 2004. That was four years after her daughter – then 15 – came out to her. 

By the following year, she had persuaded the other parents whom she had met in previous meetings to form a support group; calling themselves "Parents in Closet" – a literal translation of the group’s name in Chinese 櫃父母 (gui fu mu). The group evolved to become "LGBT In and Out Parents Association" (櫃父母同心協會), the first organisation of its kind in Taiwan.

Kuo says the aim of the group is to help gay children talk to their parents about their sexual orientation and help parents to accept their children for who they are; and parents parents need both peer support and the right resources to help each other gain more understanding.

“Many people may think it’s hard to make your parents accept that you love someone of your own gender, which is why less than 30 percent of the LGBT population ‘come out of the closet’ to their parents,” Kuo said. “But based on our own experience, most parents are willing to accept the fact when their kids make an effort to communicate with their parents.”

According to Focus Taiwan, the group also expressed their support for a government initiative to include LGBT issues in the curriculum for elementary and junior high school students, with effect from next semester. Since the Ministry of Education's announcement earlier this year, the news has drawn mixed reactions, with conservative groups saying it was an inappropriate subject for students at that level, while others welcomed it as a step in the right direction.

"This is our only hope," said Kuo. "There is nothing wrong with them and they don't need to change," said Kuo, who related that her daughter was rudely called a "pervert" in fifth grade.

Read more about Mrs Kuo and how she came to be involved in setting up the parents' group in Fridae's LGBT People to Watch 2010: Georgia Kuo.

(In Minnan dialect and Chinese)


Reader's Comments

1. 2011-07-11 23:06  
lovely parents
2. 2011-07-12 03:05  
Bravo Bravo Bravo to Mrs.Kuo for being so modern in her feelings and standing up for what she believes is the right thing for the LGBT Community in Taiwan. Although I am not a parent I would love to meet her and devote whatever spare time I have to help her spread her message.
3. 2011-07-12 03:39  
why some gay need to get naked in every parade??? for me it's like you are ready or willing to have sex at anytime and taking a risk for AIDS. have we never learn the lesson that HIV positive are increasing than decreasing?? i think the governmnet need to stop this people to get naked in public.
4. 2011-07-12 04:33  
Because that is part of the gay persona of some LGBT members. While I agree it does send out a negative message to the public it is what it is and you have a right not to be that way.It is what we call freedom to be who you are unless you would prefer to live in a Communist country rather than a Democratic country such as Taiwan.
5. 2011-07-12 07:41  
We need more of such parents-of-LGBT groups, to help society move forward, wonder when Singapore would launch a Oogachaga - Parents..
Comment #6 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 17:15
7. 2011-07-12 08:46  
I am so happy to learn of Mrs Kuo. Good to know that she supports her child. This is the way to go for her child to grow up feeling loved and accepted.

I hope someday PLU can stand on our own and be proud of our own lifestyle and sexuality. BUt you know what ? I think we should try to tone down on our loud and garish and sometimes very sexual personification of the Gay culture. IT's very sexual and if this continues , the mainstream will always perceive us to be a group of sex hungry minority and all we ever think is SEX. Can't PLU dress like normal people in the streets ???? Anyway it's only my 2 cents.

My message to Mrs Kuo " 我为你感到骄傲!"
8. 2011-07-12 11:14  
Kudos to Mrs Kuo.
9. 2011-07-12 12:18  
It is very nice to see a group of parents come together to understand, accept and support their homosexual children.
As much as most gay men and women engage in a process of acceptance over time, parents need time to understand and accept too.
10. 2011-07-12 12:19  
Post 7 - I agree with you. Same sex attraction does not require us to look or act like deviants.
11. 2011-07-12 14:07  
12. 2011-07-12 15:34  
要是我有那麽開放的爸媽就好了。。  :|
13. 2011-07-12 18:55  
Glad for the parents-children and for the new generation who would be able to have a better relation with the parents or the other way.
14. 2011-07-12 20:17  
From China to Taiwan, which will be the next country or county ? All the best to all the loving parents.
15. 2011-07-13 11:16  
best wishes to y'all. *thumbs up* d(^_^)b
16. 2011-07-13 13:59  
Post #5: "We need more of such parents-of-LGBT groups, to help society move forward, wonder when Singapore would launch a Oogachaga - Parents."

There's a parents and friends of LGBT group in Singapore called SAFE (Supporting, AFfirming and Empowering our LGBTQ friends and family),
17. 2011-07-13 20:44  
I love Mummy Kuo.
She always receives the most applause and shrills of adoration at fundraisers in TW.
18. 2011-07-14 15:27  
wow how nice
19. 2011-07-16 03:29  
Georgia Kuo just proved that sincerity, heart & warmth triumphs over pride, ego & vanity anytime when it comes to good parenting skills...bravo to her!!! And to all great mothers of the world!!!!
20. 2011-07-21 01:44  
If PLU can't register a society in Singapore for LGBT, they might want to ask at least 10 PARENTS & PASTORS/Counselors of LGBT to register a similar society in Singapore.
21. 2011-07-24 13:23  
wished my parents were like them...!!! sigh

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