China: Homosexuality in China, government workplaces unwelcoming

Even though Chinese public sentiment has become increasingly accepting of homosexuality, gay government employees find that their sexual orientation remains taboo in the workplace: “It’s impossible for me to disclose my sexual orientation at the office,” Cheng He, a 25-year-old employee at a government-affiliated research center in Beijing, said. “I don’t think it’s necessary, but my colleagues would not accept me being gay anyway.”

A survey from 2014 by the Shanghai-based human rights NGO WorkForLGBT found that in a survey of 8,000 people, only 2 percent of those who worked at state-owned enterprises disclosed their sexual orientation to their employers or co-workers. But at foreign companies, 9 percent of employees polled had revealed their sexuality to their bosses.

Cheng said for the most part government officials are expected to have a spouse (gay marriage is not legally recognized in China) and children to show that they are “normal” and are stable enough to handle their responsibilities. Being discreet about sexual orientation and remaining single is no refuge, he said, since if you’re over 30 and unattached, bosses and colleagues will often try to set up dates.  Read More