Hunan vocational school takes down anti-gay message

Society & Culture

A vocational school in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, made headlines last week when a photo of an anti-gay slogan on campus went viral online. The school has now agreed to take down the banner, and pledged to make the school gay-friendly after speaking with LGBTQ rights activists in Hunan.

After the photo of the banner circulated, the Changsha branch of PFLAG China, a nonprofit organization that supports the country’s LGBTQ community, sent an advocacy group to the school on June 1. The group — six mothers of gay children and five volunteers — arrived at the school in the hopes of “spreading LGBT knowledge” and “convincing school officials to remove the slogan,” according to a WeChat post (in Chinese) by the organization.

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When questioned by the activists, the vice principal explained that the message was put up by the head of the school’s propaganda department, who “misinterpreted instructions from higher-ups” and made a mistake “without much consideration.” The school official said that he immediately ordered the removal of the slogan, and promised not to discriminate against gay students.

While on campus, the activists posed for a photo carrying a banner that read, “Accept homosexuality, create an equal and harmonious campus.”

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