Chinese university allegedly compiling list of LGBT+ students: ‘This is scary’

Student with LGBT+ flag draped over their shoulders, photographer from behind, in Beijing, China

Shanghai University in China is reportedly compiling a list of LGBT+ students, according to a leaked document – and nobody knows why.

Shanghai University (SHU) has asked schools and colleges within in its network to report details of all “non-heterosexual” students, according to the New York-based Sup China.

The existence of the list was brought to light by Weibo user Bābǎi Yīwàn Lǐ, who called the practice “horrendous” in a post on Thursday (26 August).

“It looks like Shanghai University isn’t the only university to ask for ‘reports’ on LGBT students and keep track of them,” they wrote. “Whether the school’s intention was good or not, this is horrendous.”

He shared a screenshot of what is allegedly a “directive” from senior officials at Shanghai University.

The “campus survey” document says “in accordance with relevant orders”, the university’s schools must “investigate” and “report” any information it has on LGBT+ students.

Shanghai University allegedly wants to know LGBT+ students political views

The document says it is looking for information on gay and transgender students, as well as anybody who is “non-heterosexual”.

Notably, the university is also allegedly asking schools to collect information on LGBT+ students’ political views, social contacts and life plans.

Furthermore, the document urges schools to collect information on students’ “psychological condition” and to report if they have any “mental disorders”.

Details of the document have been shared widely on Chinese social media, with many slamming SHU for collecting sensitive information about students.

The university has not confirmed that the document shared on social media is authentic, but it has already triggered a furious response from many students and young Chinese people.

One social media user wrote: “It sure looks like SHU is compiling a list. This is sad and scary.”

The existence of the alleged list has been uncovered just weeks after Chinese social media giant WeChat was accused of removing dozens of LGBT-led accounts, prompting fears that the move was part of a wider crackdown.

Several LGBT+ groups told Reuters in July that their WeChat accounts had been locked, while others discovered that all of their content had been wiped from the platform.

While homosexuality was decriminalised in China in 1997, LGBT+ rights in the country continue to lag behind. It wasn’t until 2001 that homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder, and the country still does not recognise same-sex marriage.

There are no legal protections in place that protect LGBT+ Chinese people from discrimination, and the country’s longest-running LGBT+ celebration, Shanghai Pride, was cancelled abruptly last year.

A source told CNN that the volunteer-led team at Shanghai Pride cancelled the event following pressure from local authorities.

PinkNews has contacted Shanghai University for comment.