Parents of gay China launch free anonymous national helpline

Nationwide helpline reaches out to isolated parents and children struggling with coming out

Parents of gay China launch free anonymous national helpline
01 February 2012

A lifeline for Chinese parents, who are often isolated and confused when their children come out, was launched this week by PFLAG China (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays). Calls will be answered by mothers who understand what parents go through when their child first tells them that they are gay.

Lu Rong, a spiritual auntie to gay people in China who wrote a book called Those Gay Children of Mine, will answer calls in Beijing. She befriended a group of gay men online when she found a blog post from a young man about his difficulties coming out to his mother, she then wrote her book about their stories to help parents better understand their gay children.

Answering the calls in Shanghai will be Mui, a mother of a gay child. 'When my child came out of the closet to me, I experiences a process of struggle,' she said. 'So I can understand what parents feel. I will listen to the caller and give honest advice.'

As well as listening to the concerns of parents who call the line, the helpline will also be there for gay people who are having problems coming out to their parents. ‘So many gays or lesbians have questions about how to come out to their parents,’ executive director of the helpline, Ah Qiang told Gay Star News. ‘And parents want to speak to other parents of gay children to know how to receive their children and to ask about the lives of LGBT people. Most parents, when they hear their child is gay or lesbian, think they are the only ones.’

Coming out to their parents is usually the biggest obstacle to living open lives for Chinese gay men and women, because of the emphasis on filial piety. It is hoped that the helpline, that is free and anonymous, will ease the pressure on parents and their children.

The helpline (4000 820 211) will be open three evenings a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8.30 to 10pm. From March, professional counsellors will answer the line from 3pm to 5pm on Sundays.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Gallup survey shows 3.4% US citizens are LGBT

Largest survey of its kind shows LGBT population at 3.4%; more non-whites identify as LGBT than whites; LGBT Americans are more likely to have lower education and income
No thumbnail available

Trans woman flees Scottish town which branded her a 'witch'

Stephanie Smyth, a transgender woman, was forced to flee her Johnstone home, in Scotland after being subjected to transphobic hate
No thumbnail available

Gross gang throws excrement at gay office in Rome

Thousands responded to homophobic attacks and gay suicides in Rome by holding one of the biggest Prides in the city ever
No thumbnail available

Mississippi legislature passes 'turn the gays away' bill

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant indicated he will sign the bill
No thumbnail available

Christian pastor blames Colorado floods on gays, drug use and abortion

Earlier this month, conservative Christian Kevin Swanson told his listeners to 'tell gay couples to die on their wedding day'
No thumbnail available

Delhi trans kids get free schooling

Transgender students in the Indian capital also qualify for the 25% school quota for disadvantaged children
No thumbnail available

Sir Ian McKellen ‘marries’ Sir Patrick Stewart

X Men star officiates his best friend's wedding to jazz singer Sunny Ozell
No thumbnail available

Gay soccer player Robbie Rogers talks to GSN about his new memoir and new playing contract

‘I like quietly being part of the LA Galaxy and being just one of the guys (but) I realize there is a role I play in the LGBT community and being a role model'
No thumbnail available

Gay Superman fan volunteers to draft a new story

After DC Comics comes under fire for a writer's anti-gay comments, gay author David Gerrold volunteers to write a story for a future issue
No thumbnail available