A new first in China: A lesbian hotline

China’s most dizzying progress continues to be seen in the area of social reforms. The changes in attitude and policy toward gays and lesbians in just a few short years has been absolutely astonishing. Today there’s proof of furhter progress,

China’s first hotline for lesbians is set to open following the success of a service for gay men in a country where homosexuals still face stigma and discrimination, a local newspaper reported.

The hotlines, which operate in China’s booming coastal cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou where social change outpaces the rest of China, are run by the Hong Kong-based Chi Heng Foundation, which oversees AIDS-related projects.

The new line will be staffed by lesbians, just as the volunteers for the existing one are all gay men, said one of the hotline’s counselors, adding that the organization had had trouble recruiting enough qualified volunteers.

“To have female counselors at the center will make the women callers feel more secure,” hotline staff member Shen Yiwu told the Shanghai Daily.

During the Mao era, homosexuals were persecuted, especially during the Cultural Revolution when prison terms and death sentences were meted out. Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder in China until 2001.

This is a huge step forward in a land where social pressures and fears of stigmatization can make being a lesbian an experience of near unbearable loneliness. So credit where it’s due. Now I’m just waiting for some prominent member of the CCP to come out of the closet.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Waiting for CCP members to come out of the closet?

Wowww…that triggered such a WEIRD stream of consciousness for me. A CCP version of Brokeback Mountain..and in the Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch will write in the sky:

“Correct your thoughts, Dorothy!”

June 17, 2006 @ 3:28 am | Comment

I’m waiting for this to be censored. That or another public event.

CCP: “You can be say, so long as you hide in a closet and pretend to the outside world you’re straight”

June 17, 2006 @ 5:35 am | Comment

I meant “gay” obviously.

June 17, 2006 @ 5:36 am | Comment

Another step forward! Go, Chinese lesbians! ๐Ÿ˜€

June 17, 2006 @ 10:28 am | Comment

I’m not into lesbians personally, but if China ever sets up a red-haired-stewardess hotline (presumably staffed by foreigners), please let me know. Just because I’d want to listen to them sometimes.

(Sorry, couldn’t resist…)

June 18, 2006 @ 6:54 am | Comment

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