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2011/08/29 / Horace

INCLUSIVE SOCIETY REQUIRES EQUAL RIGHTS TO LOVE

Mark (left) and An held their wedding in Shenzhen on Aug. 20th. Unlike heterosexual weddings in China with usually more than 100 guests present, there were only 5 willing to attend this one.

This is a translated version of my Chinese blog post:包容的社会需要尊重爱的权利. You can check the Chinese version via this link:http://wp.me/p119oL-28. There are minor differences between the English and the Chinese versions.

A gay couple got married in Shenzhen and held a wedding ceremony. This controversial wedding once again brought homosexuality to media spotlight. (http://www.chinahush.com/2011/08/21/the-first-gay-wedding-in-shenzhen )

“Homosexual”, to me, used to be just a sick joke played on single boys, but now as I grow up, I do find quite a few people belonging to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) group. This group, which I had thought was far away, is in fact very close.

Whatever the LGBT rate is, whether it is 1% or 4% or 10%, it is not a small number because it means dozens of millions of Chinese are not heterosexual. It is probable that among our colleagues, friends and even family members are those who have a different way to express their love, and it means millions and millions of people are facing the danger that their rights to love might be violated.

China has made great progress in the recognition of LGBT. Homosexuality is no longer a mental disease in China, and more and more people have learnt to get along with this group and send their best wishes to the love of LGBT, which is the same precious as heterosexual love. However, there are still many neglecting and even slandering this group. This summer, a celebrity posted homophobia tweets, which hugely appalled the public. (http://scrimac.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/chinese-actress-boycotted-for-anti-gay-tweet/ )Also, whether on the web or in our real life, some are still labeling LGBT as “abnormal”, “immoral” or “against the nature”

Scientific researches have proven that LGBT are generally born this way. The genetic differences make them do differently on choosing who they love, but being different or being uncommon does not mean being wrong or being “abnormal”. People are entitled to love who they love. Any love, as long as it is sincere and responsible, is real and shall be respected and blessed.

We have been demanding that Chinese society should “be inclusive”, be inclusive of different opinions, be inclusive of different social classes, let people air their own voices and promote equal access and rights. However, when we are talking about love, when we are talking about the group of dozens of millions, we are not inclusive enough yet. Li Yinhe, a famous sexologist in China has been advocating recognition and legislation of gay marriage for years, but still has not yet received any response. In Chinese criminal law, only men forcing women to have sex are considered as rapists, which left LGBT unprotected from same-sex raping. Wu Youjian, a gay boy’s mother who has been helping LGBT, is still working under pressure and even humiliations. Chinese society, despite so many homophobia voices, still remains largely silent and refuses to condemn homophobia like it has been dealing with many other evil activities.

We have been advocating all sorts of political and economic rights and have been making progress, but in terms of the equal rights of love, we are lagging behind and reluctant to move.

It is NOT difficult to respect LGBT. All we need to do is to treat them as our brothers and sisters and stand by them when they need us. During their pursuit of love, LGBT will face a lot of difficulties, however, social tolerance, recognition, respect and protect will make this group no longer afraid, no longer lonely and no longer vulnerable.

The gay wedding in Shenzhen has demonstrated the couple’s trust and confidence in our society. They believe China is becoming tolerant because of its accelerating progress. They believe that we are becoming friendly because of deepening mutual understanding.

And I do think that we shall respond to the newly-weds with our solid actions. It is neither difficult nor dangerous to act, but our actions can promote and protect the rights of dozens of millions. A really inclusive society must respect individual’s choices and rights; hence, a really inclusive society must understand, respect and protect LGBTs’ rights to love. To construct such society, we need to act now. Every step we make might be small, but are sure to be meaningful.

Here, I just want to send my best wishes to the gay couple who have just got married in Shenzhen and all LGBTs in China. Wish them a beautiful life as beautiful as the rainbow.

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