LGBT activists protest sexual orientation therapies in country

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/13 22:33:39

Three slogan-bearing trucks are going from Shanghai to Nanjing as part of a campaign run by three gay rights promoters to protest alleged sexual orientation conversion therapies in China.

Chinese artist Wu Laobai and Lin He, a gay policeman, and Zheng Hongbin, organizers of the campaign called Lovers, hired three slogan-bearing trucks which passed through downtown areas in Shanghai and arrived in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province on Sunday, which is designed to raise public awareness of the liberty and equality of sexual orientation.

The Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders-3rd edition (CCMD-3) released by the Chinese Medical Association's psychiatric branch, a non-government medical organization, removed homosexuality for the first time in the country in 2001, which was hailed by the Chinese LGBT community, including Zheng, as a milestone. 

''To cure a 'disease' that does not exist?' says the first one. "'The diagnostic criteria for mental disorders in China still retain 'Sexual Orientation Disorder' says another. 'It's been 19 years, why?' says the final one, referring to the 2001 regulation, according to photos published on Wu's Sina Weibo account.

Aside from the three trucks, the campaign also includes reaching out to doctors, Zheng told Global Times on Sunday.

"We picked conversion therapy centers in hospitals and clinics from a 'heat map' and have successfully communicated with doctors in Shanghai," Zheng said. 

The "heat map" includes 96 confirmed conversion therapy centers across China, which was updated in December 2018 in their WeChat account also named "Lovers."

"Patients seeking help should follow the voluntary principle, but some are forced by their parents. That's why we try to discuss with doctors and advise them to find out if the patients went there voluntarily or not," Zheng said.

Whether the campaign will move to other cities depends on public participation, Zheng added.

The campaign, supported by crowd-funding on its WeChat account and the organizers' Sina Weibo account, has raised from 9,666.6 yuan ($1,430.) before the Shanghai tour to more than 15,000 yuan since then.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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