Over three-quarters of Chinese gay students bullied at school

New survey says 77% respondents were victims of school bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity in China

Over three-quarters of Chinese gay students bullied at school
17 May 2012

A new survey released for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) has shown that over three-quarters of gay students in China were victims of bullying at school.

The survey with 421 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight students found that 77% were the victim of one of 17 types of school bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In response to the bullying, 42% reported depression, 23% reported a loss of interest in learning and 26% said they were driven to binge drinking, self-harm, thoughts of suicide or sex with strangers.

In more in-depth interviews with selected students the survey heard from Xiaowu, a 22-year-old transgender who feels male but is biologically female. He  lived in a dorm during junior high school and bullying against him reached a zenith when a girl forced him to wash publicly in front of a group of other girls. Xiaowu didn’t tell any classmates or teachers about the incident but skipped classes, lived in constant fear and became depressed.

Another student Xiao Wei told about when he told a trusted school counsellor he was gay she wrote a record of the conversation, asked Xiao Wei to sign it and then he was punished by the school. Xiao Wei had been happy and confident at school but this incident destroyed his trust in the education system.

Conducted by Aibai Culture and Education Center and the Associated Gay/Les Campus, the survey shows that China is not immune to the global problem of homophobic bullying in schools.

The survey was released at The Netherlands Embassy in Beijing at a press conference this week to coincide with IDAHO. The Deputy Dutch Ambassador Willem van Ee said: ‘We all have the rights to be ourselves. To be different. These are basic, fundamental human rights that are the core values of our civilisation.’

Li Hongyan from the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) office in China was also at the press conference. She talked about the actions taken by the UN to deal with this ‘global problem’.

UN data released at the press conference showed that bullying had prompted 6 million LGBT students around the world to drop out of school.

Li pointed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s historic speech in in which he condemned violence against LGBT people.

To follow-up from the survey Aibai, Beijing LGBT Center, the Associated Gay/Les Campus and the UNESCO Office in China announced that they would run anti-bullying activities and teacher training on campuses all over China. And they will distribute a cartoon brochure educating schools about eliminating bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

GLAAD wishes all the great moms out there a wonderful Mother's Day

On this Mother's Day, GLAAD celebrates those special moms who have made an impact on the struggle for equality
No thumbnail available

Tokyo proudly parties with the Rainbow Pride Parade

Around 3,000 participated in the second, and most visible, day of Tokyo Rainbow Week with a parade and park party today
No thumbnail available

Foxes on what it's like to play with gay icons like Kylie and Grace Jones

The 26-year-old star speaks to Gay Star News about her LGBTI fans
No thumbnail available

Team New York Acquatics dominates Polopalooza

Toronto's annual water polo tournament is dominated by New York City's finest.
No thumbnail available

UK trans media storm: Observer withdraws Burchill article and Moore apologizes

'We got it wrong' says Observer editor and Suzanne Moore apologizes, no apology from Julie Burchill
Taiwan soap company denied trademark because name 'refers to gay sex'

Taiwan soap company denied trademark because name 'refers to gay sex'

IP office says the name Soap Picker would be 'detrimental to good morals'
No thumbnail available

Scottish Catholics 'hurting gay bullying work with marriage fight'

Catholic Church says Scottish schools should teach same-sex marriage is 'risky and dangerous'
No thumbnail available

Fifth-grader allowed to give same sex marriage speech

Fifth-grader permitted to give a speech about marraige rights
No thumbnail available

Palau legalizes gay sex

Eight Pacific nations still have anti-gay laws
No thumbnail available