LGBT people and their parents spoke about their experiences at the first PFLAG China meeting in Taiyuan, northern Shanxi province last week.
The event last Saturday (3 August) was part of a series reaching out to isolated LGBT people and their parents in third-tier cities in China.
‘It was a part of a series of conferences that PFLAG China puts on that are primarily meant to facilitate communication between parents of LGBTs and the children themselves,’ said Brian Inlow, an American working for PFLAG China, to Gay Star News.
‘More than 10 parents attended and more than 70 LGBT people got together to communicate their various stories, promoting understanding. I think it’s really great.’
Parents talked about coming to terms with their children’s sexuality and tears were shed by parents and children. The emphasis on filial duty in Chinese culture makes it harder than it might be in Western countries for LGBT people to come out to their parents.
The event garnered positive coverage in local newspapers. ‘Most parents expressed understanding and support of their children’s sexual orientation,’ said a report in Taiyuan Evening News.
Founded in Guangzhou in 2008, PFLAG China now works in nine cities across the country and will be active in 12 cities by the end of this year.
PFLAG China’s national conference is coming up in Fuzhou, south of the country, in September and 150 to 200 people are expected to attend.