Homosexuality, often a taboo subject in China, has been in the
headlines since a homosexual student group became a registered club at one
of the country's prestigious universities.
The "Rainbow Group", which includes both homosexuals and heterosexuals, was named after the "Rainbow
Flag", a symbol of the campaign for equal rights for homosexuals.
The group will study homosexuality and oppose sexual discrimination,
according to Ai Xiaoming, the group tutor.
The group obtained registration permission from Sun Yat-sen University in
the country's southern Guangdong Province and became the first of its kind
in the country.
Controversial sexologist Li
Yinhe hailed it as "a landmark event" and "historical progress" on her
"It's wonderful to see the Rainbow Group set up because it shows that a
state university in China has given way to students with different sex
orientation and is willing to hear their voice, " said professor Ai
However, some students' parents are worried as they consider
homosexuality a disgrace to their family.
"One boy's mother attempted to commit suicide when she discovered her
24-year-old son was gay," said Li Yinhe.
"If anyone in my daughter's university dares to give a lecture
advocating new types of sexual relations and attacking traditional family
values, I will sue the university," said Xue Yong, parent of a university
"I believe parents are just as worried about homosexuality as they are
about sexual liberation," Xue continued.
In fact, homosexuality is no stranger to college students in China and
nearly all big universities in China have homosexual forums on their
In 2003, Peking University held the First Beijing Homosexual Film
Festival. In 2005, Fudan University opened an optional course for
undergraduates on homosexual research.
According to Li Yinhe's recent survey, 91 percent of Chinese respect
homosexuals' choice of lifestyle, more than 80 percent hold that
homosexuals deserve equal job opportunities and more than 60 percent do
not object to having homosexual friends. The survey polled over 400 people
in large and medium-sized cities in China.
Most people "accept homosexuals but hope they can change and become
'normal'", said the survey.