Taiwan has one of the most liberal reputations regarding homosexuality in Asia, but a new survey uncovers the attempted suicides, verbal harassment, physical violence and sexual abuse experienced by significant percentages of gay people on the island.
The survey from Gender/Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan (GSRAT), an NGO active since 1999, found that 18% of the 2,785 LGBT respondents had attempted suicide, and 29% had considered it. Verbal harassment, physical violence and sexual abuse had been experienced by 58%, reported AFP.
GSRAT secretary general Wang Ping told Taipei Times: 'Taiwan's lack of education on homosexuality has led to the aforementioned results. To build a multicultural and equal society, gay-friendly education and legislation are very important, as fair treatment is not a privilege, but a basic human right.' Gender equality education, including homosexuality, was due to be introduced into Taiwan's elementary and junior-high schools last August but Christian groups pressurised the government to drop the plan.