Kathmandu (Pahichan) January 21 – Three Chinese men have launched a public campaign sending bright red trucks with slogans denouncing homosexual “conversion therapy” through major cities in China, in a rare public protest against homophobia.
Artist Wu Qiong said the protest was inspired by the 2017 film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” in which a woman uses billboards to draw attention to her daughter’s unsolved rape and murder.
The three trucks – the brainchild of Mr Wu, gay policeman Lin He and art curator Zheng Hongbin – are protesting “treatment” clinics that claim to turn people straight.
It also aims to build awareness with China’s 1.4 billion people that “homosexuality is not a disease,” Mr Wu, who is straight, told the Telegraph.
Being gay is not a crime in China, but Mr Wu and rights experts say there remains a lack of public understanding. Part of that stems from inconsistent official terminology – in 2001, the Chinese Society of Psychiatry removed homosexuality from a list of mental disorders, though vague references remain to “sexual orientation disorder.”
Many public hospitals and private clinics in China offer “conversion” treatments, which can include arbitrary confinement, forced medication and even electroshock therapy, according to Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group, which has called on Beijing to ban the practice.