China: Gay rights groups ask 112 universities to ‘face up to basic demands’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Three Chinese activist groups have sent an open letter to 112 universities asking they “face up to the basic demands” of LGBT students.

The letter, sent in time for Wednesday’s national Teachers’ Day celebrations, asked the universities to correct teaching materials that discriminate against LGBT students, as well to provide better teaching materials and offer gender diversity courses.

It was signed by China Same Sex Love (CSSL) from Changsha, LGBT Rights Advocacy China from Beijing, and Justice for All from Nanjing.

The letter read: “We appeal and encourage principals at various universities to play a positive role in gender equality education, to face up to the basic demands of sexual-minority students including gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

“When gay students are facing bullies, please guarantee their rights and offer them psychological support. When the university’s regulations violate the rights of gay students, please be brave and make changes.

“We always believe that as a place with relatively open culture and thinking, a university is meant to cultivate hope and the future of the country, and it should accept different voices and groups.”

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, CSSL founder Xiang Xiaohan said he hoped the principals would listen to their demands.

He said: “If they fail to contact us through e-mail or telephone calls, we would seek information disclosures from these universities, to see if there is any discrimination in university regulations.”

In a landmark move in July, campaigners in China took a clinic to court over its backing of gay-to-straight conversion therapy.