China LGBT Community Leader Conference debates Future of LGBT Movement

Published: June 22, 2012

On June 16 to 17, 2012, the China Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Leader Conference successfully took place in Beijing. In a historic first, the conference managed to gather a varied selection of Chinese LGBT movement leaders.

Emphasizing the participation of communities whose voice remains largely underrepresented in China’s LGBT movement, representatives of the lesbian, gay & straight community shared the stage with (among others) leaders of organizations focusing on wives of gay men, bisexuality, transgender issues, disabled LGBT, parents of LGBT, SM, sex workers and HIV/AIDS issues. Both developed and underdeveloped regions were represented, with leaders from far-away regions such as Tibet and Xinjiang also joining in the debates. In total, more than 80 LGBT activists, representing 53 organizations and over 23 different regions in China actively participated in the conference.

Focusing on the topic "Cooperation and Development of Chinese LGBT Organizations", the conference saw intense debates about the development of ideas, tactics and future directions for the LGBT movement in China, and about problems and difficulties LGBT Organizations are currently facing in their development and their collaboration with other organizations. The conference participants took the 2-day conference as an opportunity to map out the current position of LGBT organizations in China, to intensify communication about strengthening organizational development through cooperation, and to promote a more diversified and more invasive Chinese LGBT movement.

The 2-day conference consisted of 3 keynote speeches, 9 workshops on different themes and a plenary debate. The conference also saw the premiere of the new documentary "Mama Rainbow" by queer filmmaker Fan Popo, which features 6 mothers from all over China, who talk openly and freely about their experiences with their homosexual children. The conference was hosted by the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute. Welcoming everybody to the conference, Executive Director of the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute Xiaogang Wei said: "We’re honoured to host this conference, and we’re very glad with the diversity among the delegates. We hope that all of you will grasp this chance to talk together on how we can strengthen our LGBT movement in China."

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