A Chinese university student has sued a publisher for creating a textbook classifying homosexuality as a “sexual physiological condition.”
The 23-year-old lesbian woman has also filed a lawsuit against a major e-commerce website for selling the mental health textbook, according to local media.
The case, the first of its kind in mainland China, was reportedly heard in court last week after being put on hold for three years. The judge has yet to make a decision.
The student, known as Xi Xi, studied at a university in the southern city of Guangzhou when she read the description of homosexuality in a mental health textbook (photo)
She said she emailed the book’s editor, wrote letters to the Jinan University Press, and even visited the publisher’s office (photo) to demand corrections of the content
The student, known by a pseudonym Xi Xi, studied at a university in the southern city of Guangzhou in 2016, when she read the description of homosexuality in the school material, according to Chinese news. The newspaper.
A photo of Xi Xi on the website shows the textbook, published in 2013, showing homosexuality under “sexual physiological disorders.” The author describes homosexuality as “a sexual disorder or an inversion of sexual objectification.”
Xi Xi told reporters that she realized she was a lesbian in 2015 when she was 18. She found her first friend, who attended the same high school the same year.
The self-proclaimed Lady Gaga fan also described how her classmates bullied her in college for her sexual orientation.
She recalled how her teacher had debated whether or not gay couples could form a “real family”.
After admitting she was a lesbian in class, Xi Xi said she was laughed at by her classmates who told her to read their textbook.
The university student, who was in Hong Kong, was unable to attend the hearing last week because of the coronavirus. The photo shows her lawyers with a rainbow flag outside the courthouse
Xi Xi decided to hold the Jinan University Press legally responsible after being furious and shocked at his characterization of homosexuality.
She said she emailed the book’s editor, wrote letters to the publisher, and even visited their office, but received no satisfactory answers.
In 2017, the 20-year-old sued Jinan University Press for publishing books that contain “false and misleading content.”
She also sued Jiangsu Yuanzhou E-Commerce, a subsidiary of NASDAQ-listed e-commerce company JD that sold the book.
She demanded that the defendants pay her financial compensation, apologize publicly, retrieve the book and correct its wording.
The case was formally brought in July 2017 by the Yusu District Court in Suqian City, eastern China. But for various reasons, the case was delayed twice before a hearing took place last Friday.
Xi Xi told reporters that she realized she was a lesbian when she was 18 and found her first girlfriend in the same year. She claimed she was laughed at because of her sexual orientation (file photo)
A follow-up report The Paper said that Xi Xi, who was in Hong Kong, was unable to attend the trial due to coronavirus travel restrictions. It also noted that neither defendants had turned up.
According to the report, the court would make its decision known.
In a post published by LGBT Rights Advocacy Group, LGBT Rights, Xi Xi alleged that her lawyers had been interrupted by the judge several times while making their statement.
She also claimed that the judge had tried to end the hearing halfway through “other cases”.
She expressed her anger that the defendants chose not to attend the hearing, but vowed to remain strong and to fight for her rights.
“Don’t give up every opportunity to speak up. We must make it impossible for them to avoid (the issue), “she insisted in the article.
The Chinese authorities removed homosexuality from the list of diseases in the Chinese mental illness classification in 2001, a national clinical guide.
But the LGBT community continues to face a strong social stigma. Stories of families registering family members for treatments that want to change their sexual orientation also continue to be common.
Gay rights campaigners are conducting electric shock treatment to protest outside a court where the first trial in China on so-called conversion therapy was held in Beijing in 2014
Human rights group has urged the Chinese government to prohibit hospitals and other medical institutions from subjecting LGBT people to so-called ‘conversion therapy’.
Although widely discredited by doctors, such treatment is an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation through various means, such as hypnosis, medications, acupuncture, and even electric shock therapy.
Chinese society continues to favor children who can pass on their family name. Since same-sex marriage is not legal and same-sex couples may not adopt together, homosexual and lesbian people feel compelled to enter into heterosexual marriages and have children.
China also has no laws that protect people against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, which prevents victims of conversion therapy or general abuse from seeking justice for fear that their sexual orientation will be made public.