More thoughts on China’s gays

Friends of mine in the States have already written telling me to delete my post about China’s gays. But I’d hope that readers can see it is intended as an observation and not a critique — it’s the way life is here, and I want those who know me to know what I’m seeing and experiencing. It’s certainly worse in some countries and better in others. And it is also improving here — there is no doubt about that, and things are moving in the right direction, if at a painfully slow pace. I have to praise the powers that be (and I mean this) for relaxing antique laws and attempting to bring China up to speed with the rest of the “modern world” in terms of its economic and social policies. At least the present generation of young people have more hope than those who preceded them, and a new mindset can’t take hold overnight. But there is no denying the heartbreaking loneliness that these people are experiencing, especially those who are becoming more liberalised, going to good schools for their high-level degrees and achieving successes the likes of which their parents could only have dared to dream. These young people know that they have everything except love and happiness, and that is a very sad realization indeed.

Coming to terms with being gay, no matter how liberal or conservative the society, is difficult and painful. The realization that you must live a life very different from that of your brothers and sisters, and that much of society sees you as somehow “wrong” or “bad” can never be easy to accept. Here, where there is such a small and undeveloped gay community to offer the support that is so essential when we are young — that’s the unique challenge of growing up gay over here. I think it is changing and will change even more dramatically in the future. But for these young people trying to come to grips with their sorrow today, that cannot be much consolation.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

I remember undergoing all this anguish while I was a teenager here, in Brazil. Things are really better here, now, but we still have a long way to go.

I believe that having to cope with relentless homophobia during most of one’s life is unbearable. It’s good to know that things are getting better in China, as well.

People should get together, give each other support. And they fight for their rights, together. Always.

June 5, 2005 @ 9:01 am | Comment

I meant ‘they should fight for their rights’…

Can I blame the keyboard? = )

June 5, 2005 @ 9:04 am | Comment

Thanks for the comments Lucienne. It’s not always easy, being gay in intolerant places.

June 5, 2005 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

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