On Friday, a group of China-based gay and lesbian activists published a series of pictures with straight and LGBT couples in a bid to show how their love is not a choice.
The text beside the photos read: “Love is not a choice. We did not choose to be homosexual(/heterosexual). We just are. Happily, the world is big enough for all of us.”
David Li, 35, is one of the lead organisers of the China LGBT Awareness Campaign. He said he hopes the ads will generate a public conversation about LGBT issues in China and encourage LGBT people to come out.
“The majority [in China] still think being gay is either perverted or a kind of illness,” Li told the Huffington Post. “And, of course, due to the general censorship, it’s extremely difficult to get positive LGBT information out to the public.”
Moly Mao, who is 32 and lives in Shanghai, posed for a photo with her wife in the hopes that others will be inspired to come out of the closet. “We want to tell them, ‘We are out and we can live a very happy and light life, not just stand in the shadow.’ That is no use for us.”
Li has been involved with the LGBT movement in China for more than a decade and, as part of a group, conducted an online survey of more than 2,500 LGBT people. Fifty-three percent of the LGBT respondents said they were not out of the closet, and half of the respondents said they believed that being out at work would result in discrimination.
“The biggest challenge that LGBT [people] have right now in China, I think, is the lack of safety that we feel all the time,” he said. “We fear that our identity might be exposed and trouble will come along with that: education, job, hospital, [renting] an apartment. All kinds of trouble.”
This weekend, PFLAG China also did their part to help Chinese people come to terms with their own homosexuality, or that of a family member, with a short, sweet video entitled Coming Home.
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