A Chinese student LGBT activist has lodged a suit against the Ministry of Education over school textbooks describing homosexuality as a mental disorder, the latest step by China’s small but growing gay rights movement.
Qiu Bai, 21, a media studies student at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said she came across similar materials when she turned to the books in her university library after beginning to question her own sexual orientation.
Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder until 2001. However, Chinese universities continue to use textbooks that contain terms such as “disorder” and “impediment” to refer to homosexuality.
It is not illegal to be gay in China and these days many large Chinese cities have thriving gay scenes, though there is still a lot of family pressure to get married and have children, even for gay men and women.
Last year, a series of adverts urging people to be more accepting of gay people were launched in China.