Being LGBTI In China

Sexual and gender minorities still have extremely low visibility in Chinese society. Only around 5% of them choose to disclose their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression at school, in the workplace, or in the religious communities. More are choosing to come out to their close family members, but still no more than 15% have the courage to do so. Most strikingly, the workplace remains the last place where Chinese LGBTI people feel comfortable living openly. Over half of sexual and gender minority people report having been unfairly treated or discriminated against. Family is the place where rejection and discrimination occur most frequently, followed by schools and the workplace. Discrimination continues to cost LGBTI people jobs, lower their career prospects and their learning potential in schools. Sexual and gender minorities suffer from lower job stability and higher unemployment rates. Physical and emotional violence is still a reality, especially within the family. Most respondents admit to submit to family pressures to marry and have children. While most enter into heterosexual relationships, some decide to get into “cooperation marriages.” Family pressure and rejection can have more serious consequences, with some LGBTI people being forced into psychotherapy and sometimes even “conversion therapy.”

—United Nations Development Program, “Being LGBTI In China,” 2016

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