In August 2015, Qiu Bai, a student at Sun Yat-sen University in China, took the Ministry of Education to court for stigmatizing homosexuality in a large number of teaching materials. After the case was filed, she was severely hindered by the school administration – the staff informed her family of her sexual orientation.
Cui Le, who was a teacher at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, came out as a gay teacher and wrote an article in the media in solidarity with Qiu Bai. However, various school departments began to investigate him and he was asked to write a pledge that he would no longer talk about gay issues in the classroom….
Below is the English report from South China Morning Post
Title: Teacher reveals high price of coming out as gay in China
- Cui Le suffered the consequences of raising LGBT issues in the classroom at his Guangdong university
- His research since moving to New Zealand has confirmed that his experience is not uncommon among gay teachers in mainland China
When he came out as gay, teacher Cui Le made local news headlines and was subject to censorship and surveillance by his university in southern China. It took years – and a move to New Zealand – before he felt ready to tell his story.
Cui was working as a linguistics lecturer at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou when he publicly identified as gay in 2015.
In August of that year a student named Qiubai, at Sun Yat-sen University, sued the Chinese education ministry over textbooks which described homosexuality as a “disease”. The school counsellor informed Qiubai’s parents of her sexuality and they, in turn, took her to the hospital for an examination.Cui, along with the rest of the country’s LGBT community, was outraged. Until that moment he had remained silent, fearful that being gay could pose an obstacle to his career development. He said that whenever his colleagues had tried to set him up on dates he would say he was too busy or that his heart belonged to academia.
But as he watched Qiubai’s struggle unfold he saw hardly any teachers standing up for her, because it meant taking the political risk of going against the government’s official line on the issue.
“So I did. I came out of the closet and openly expressed support for her. I hoped it would break the stereotype and stigmatisation around LGBT,” Cui said.
Original report link: