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Doudou | Push the limit of LGBT sexuality awareness in Chinese universities

By Xiaoying, Xie Nov.30 2016

“ After all these years, I figured that what matters to me the most is the transformation of individuals. After all, I wish they can be happy. I wish myself to be happy. That’s why I am doing what I am doing.”

DouDou really doesn’t look like a famous activism in Chinese LGBT community. He is too casual for a leader pushing sexuality awareness in Chinese universities for LGBT groups for more than 5 years with his happy smile and hunting cap. Doudou said all things started by accident. It was all from a well-written paper he produced in college about LGBT sexual orientation. Then people started to reach him to talk about their issues about sexual identity. Doudou started answering questions and organize mutual help groups. Before he even realized it, he has created GLCAC, an organization that focuses on LGBT group right and wellbeing in Chinese universities.

Doudou is trying to promote LGBT awareness within Chinese university students from three ways. Firstly, Doudou with GLCAC provide free classes and trainings to university professors about the living situation of LGBT groups. By doing this, it is easier for teachers to spot and stop bullying and discrimination against sexual minority groups and provide metal intervention and consultation. Secondly, Doudou encourage every university’s LGBT students to form their own local community. The community could serve as a platform for sexual minority groups to make friends and offer support to each other. Thirdly, Doudou and charity group is trying to help lawsuits which helps to eliminate erroneous text books categorizing homosexuality as sickness or as abnormality. Doudou believes that education is the most important in forming society’s attitude towards LGBT groups.

Doudou’s service is exactly what is needed by Chinese LGBT adolescents. Until 1980s, homosexuality was still categorized as a crime in China. If Chinese people were caught having intimate relationship with same sex, they might be sued and face jail sentence as long as ten years. Only until 2001was homosexuality removed from Chinese official document as mental disorder or impediment. Nevertheless, it did not influence much the parents of the current adolescent generation who grew up being told that sexual minority is a disease. Therefore, Chinese parents often do not support their children’s sexual orientation. For those who find out their children’s characteristics, they even try to “cure” their children by giving punishment. Thus, it is not surprising that LGBT adolescents are more likely to have worse relationship with their family and parents1. Also, due to the lack of proper sex education in China, most of the LGBT adolescents are afraid to admit their sexuality and are even scared to ask. If they disclose their secrets to wrong people, they may face severe discrimination.

This is when Doudou’s organization comes in handy to help Chinese young people to understand themselves more. As Doudou put it, he believed that for LGBT activism in China, there is still a long way to go. As he was being trained in Los Angeles LGBT center, he learned that it took decades for America to come this far with sexual minority orientation with all the government support and funding. Nevertheless, he is happy with what he is doing currently. What satisfies him most in his work is to see the change of each individual. “After all these years, I figured that what matters to me the most is the transformation of individuals. After all, I wish they can be happy. I wish myself to be happy. That’s why I am doing what I am doing.”

1. Huiping Zhang PhD, William C. W. Wong MD, Patrick Ip FRCPCH, Susan Fan MBBS & Paul S. F. Yip PhD (2016): Health Status and Risk Behaviors of Sexual Minorities Among Chinese Adolescents: A School-Based Survey, Journal of Homosexuality, DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2016.1190221