LGBT people conceal status

By Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/24 0:58:39

Social pressure biggest concern, survey finds

People take part in the London LGBT Pride parade on July 8, 2017. Photo: VCG

 A survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in China shows only 5.1 percent revealed their sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and 4.7 percent in school due to social pressure.

The survey, released on Tuesday by the Beijing LGBT Center on its WeChat account, shows over 75.7 percent of the respondents chose not to disclose their sexual orientation to any colleague. In schools, over half kept the secret tight while 43.5 percent told some of their classmates or teachers. 

About 18,000 LGBT people responded to the survey.

Among them, 21.2 percent of the respondents reported negative treatment in the workplace and 40.2 percent in school.

"Employers do not usually accept gender identity away from their birth sex, which means such a group faces emotional pressure or discrimination in the workplace," H.C. Zhuo, a trans public benefit worker in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.    

Xin Ying, director of the Beijing LGBT Center, said that it is difficult to gather evidence and file a case on a company for discriminating against the LGBT group.            

A labor dispute arbitration committee in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on September 27, 2018 accepted a case filed by a teacher who claimed the school expelled him for being homosexual. The employer was ordered to pay him six months' salary. The case was seen by many as progress.  

The Beijing LGBT Center also said family pressure is great for LGBT people in China. The survey shows nearly half of them did not come out to any family member and 68 percent were urged to marry and have children. 

Among married respondents, which account for 5.4 percent of those surveyed, 85.4 percent are in a heterosexual marriage, 13.2 percent are in a disguised marriage with the opposite sex, while 1.3 percent of them were registered overseas. 

Lin Jie (pseudonym), 26, from Beijing, did not disclose his sexual orientation to anybody before entering college "for fear of being isolated or bullied." LGBT organizations on campus helped him to realize the importance of embracing who he really is and seek emotional support when necessary. 

 "But I chose not to disclose my sexual orientation to my parents because I was born in a conventional family. They could not understand there are gay people and they would not accept their son to be one of them," Lin told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"Because of the lack of education on gender diversity, many people from the older generation in China still consider LGBT a disease or Western lifestyle," Xin noted. 

During the third Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council on October 7, a Chinese delegate told the audience that China's non-recognition of gay marriage is decided "by our historical cultural values."

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