Surveys reveal percentage of population that is gay, and how people feel about them
A survey of 8894 University students in China about dating and marriage was conducted by Jiayuan.com. The results concluded that 5.57 percent of them admitted to being with someone of the same sex at least once.
The results are in line with data from Google that also put the number of gay people in the US at 1 in 20 of the population.However, as Jiayuan’s survey includes bisexuals in the statistics it is likely to be a slight over-estimation.
Another survey, conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, measured attitudes to homosexuality. After asking 3500 citizens, they concluded that 68.5 percent of them found homosexuality unacceptable, and only 13.2 saw it in a positive light.
Although attitudes have changed a lot in China in the last 30 years (adult gay sex was legalised in 1997 and removed as a medical condition in 2001), traditional Chinese values still persist. There are no laws to protect gay, lesbians or transgender people from discrimination and same-sex marriage is rarely discussed in the public sphere.
Chinese tycoon and popular blogger tells daughter: “don’t do drugs and don’t be gay”
Well-known Chinese real estate tycoon and blogger, Ren Ziqiang, has revealed homophobic attitudes in his autobiography, titled Elegant Ambition. In his book he reveals that he sat his daughter down on her 18th birthday and asked her not to do drugs or be gay.
“I only asked two things from my daughter,” Ren writes in his autobiography, “Don’t do drugs and don’t engage in homosexual acts – I am selfish and want grandchildren.” After concluding that apart from these things he is happy for her to do whatever she wants he went on to say, “what matters the most for parenting is granting our children freedom and happiness.”
LGBT rights activist and blogger, Guo Yujie succinctly retorted by noting “What freedom has Ren ranted his daughter if she can’t even act on her sexual preference?” Guo also noted that being gay does not mean you cannot have children.
Ah Qiang, of PFLAG China, said that they had sent a pamphlet to Ren entitled ‘understanding gays better’, and that he hoped Ren would understand that being gay is not a choice.
Lin Kan Hsuan explores the pressure of traditional values in forcing gay and lesbians in China to live false lives
In an article for Global times, Lin tackles the difficulties and pressure facing gays and lesbians who want to come out in China, and the fact that this often leads them to living a life of lies. Lin explores a number of case studies of the complicated relationships that LGBT people in China find themselves in to hide the truth about their sexuality.
Lin notes that an estimated 16 million people in China are currently in sham marriages that involve straight women who have unwittingly married gay men. This staggering number is based on data collected by Zhang Beichuan at Qingdao University’s Medical School. A further number of marriages are thought to conceal gay men marrying lesbians.
Lin concludes that the right time and situation for someone to come out differs with each person but that with more openness and knowledge in the wider community more people will be able to make the step. Lin also notes the growing number of LGBT support groups in China that can help people through these issues.