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Q: Gay population in China - underestimated in numbers?

I read in Chinese media that overall gay population in China is 30 million, with 2/3 gay men.

This seems really low. After all, China has 1,4 billion people.

8 years 34 weeks ago in  General  - China

 
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Posts: 1112

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I know a guy who is bi and lives in china when he is there he is straight he has yet to meet a homosexual Chinese there that number seems on the high end to me

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8 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I would also assume it's underestimated. Most of them will not admit they are gay, because it would make their lives less "harmonious." It's not the same as in the US, most of them would rather keep quiet about it and try to live straight lives. There was a great article about it, but now I can't access it. I'll try again later using a VPN, and if it works I'll give you a link.

*Edit*  Here's the link: http://chinashmina.com/homosexuality-in-china/.

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8 years 34 weeks ago
 
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More than likely, the number is underestimated. There is a lot of social and personal pressure against gay people in China, with the whole thing starting from the "when are you getting married to give us grandchildren" senario, to the fact that, to my knowledge, there are no public role models available to those who are gay.

I have a very good friend (female) who is living with her lesbian partner, and this past summer, they acutally planned a mock wedding because the parents of the one girls have been hounding her on this issue. They found a gay male couple who would be willing to have one of each party "marry" the other. The plan is for the girl to become artifically insiminated  and then say it is the husbands. Talk about convoluted! But this is the extent that some will go through, because to admit to the parents that they were lesbian would be the beginning of all kinds of grief. They haven't gone through with the plan yet, hopping that something will change.

If my memory serves me correctly, there have been a few singing stars from Taiwan and Hong Kong who were openly gay. At least one committed suicide (I'm not sure why), so I'm not sure that this is a good example in the minds of some.

To a great extent, the issue is simply indicitive of the commonality of sexual repression, both hethero or homosexual. There is very little proper education, and so people are left wondering what to do and what will happen (not the act, but 'cause and effect,' as it were). Slowly but surely, I think that it is changing, but whether that will take place publicly, I'm not sure. Old views change slowly, if they change at all.

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8 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I am pretty sure that i will be impossible to have or obtain reliable figures, since many in today's China feel outcasted by their society if gay, lesbian or bisexual.  The social pressure to get married and have children is stil too strong to bear,and in opinion, many still remain in "the closet".

In order to fully understand the ordeal may gays experience here, a bit of background history will be required.  Only after reading it you can begin to understand the magnitude of that particular situation.

It wasn't until the 20th century that homosexuals in China became marginalized and regarded as deviant. "Since 1949, in an ironic reversal...China, as part of the process of 'modernization,'[chose] to abandon traditional attitudes for the historical Western view of homosexuality as a perversion...Under the forty-year rule of the Communist government, social acceptance of homosexuality has virtually disappeared" (Ng 3 July 2000).

After coming to power in 1949, the Communist Party under Mao Tse-tung "stamped out anything they deemed deviant or decadent," and in the late 1960s and early 1970s (during the Cultural Revolution), gays were subjected to public humiliation and long prison terms (Reuters

7 July 2000, Agence France-Presse 15 Jan. 2001).
The past 20 years have brought economic reform; a broad trend in Chinese society toward (and government allowance of) more

personal freedom; increasingly tolerant public attitudes toward gays, lesbians, and bisexuals; and a realization on the part of the Chinese government that to ignore the gay community does nothing to ameliorate the growing AIDS problem in the country (Reuters 7 July 2000, Washington Post 24 Jan. 2000). Homosexuality is still generally taboo in the media, though sources indicate this too is changing (CSSSM News Digest 3 Aug. 1998).

Internal Chinese government documents and academic studies state that currently there are about 15 million homosexuals within China's population of 1.2 billion (Reuters 7 July 2000).  Today, there are over 30 million out of 1.8 billion Chinese.

The vast majority of them still choose to keep their sexuality a secret, due in part to societal conservatism, strong pressures to marry and have children, and fear of prejudice, though societal attitudes may also be liberalizing (Agence France-Presse 15 Jan. 2001, Asiaweek 7

Aug. 1998, CSSSM News Digest 3 Aug. 1998, South China Morning Post 28 Jan. 2001).

Homosexuality is not illegal in China. Private "consensual homosexual acts" were decriminalized in Hong Kong in 1991 (IGLHRC Dec. 2000), and sodomy was decriminalized in China in 1997 (it remains illegal in 20 U.S. states) (Washington Post 24 Jan. 2000). In October 2000, however, a Beijing court ruled that homosexuality was "abnormal and

unacceptable to the Chinese public" (Washington Post 24 Jan. 2000).
 

Although homosexuality is not illegal in China, gay rights are not protected by law. In December 2000, a senior Chinese government official announced that "it is not the right time to introduce a law banning discrimination against homosexuals [in areas such as employment or housing], due to a lack of majority support" and that though the public had become more open to homosexuality, "it takes time" and "the Government cannot impose any social values on the public" (South China Morning Post 13 Dec. 2000). The government has announced instead that discrimination can be eradicated through education (South China Morning Post 13 Dec. 2000, 5 Feb. 2001).
 

While many homosexuals still choose to remain closeted, the South China Morning Post states that advocacy and awareness groups for homosexuals are becoming more organized and are continuing to push the government to recognize them and work with them toward antidiscrimination legislation (5 Feb. 2001).

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