• Grace

WeChat - Chinese social media company shuts down LGBTQ accounts

WeChat is China’s most popular form of social media. It has been recently under attack for shutting down accounts that discuss LGBTQ topics. Those who had accounts deactivated reported being sent notice that they violated the app's guidelines. However, there was no specification as to what they did to incur this. One person who ran an LGBTQ organization had their account shut down, and said that there were dozens of others who also had the same punishment. Some of these groups were run by university students. This was not the first time they encountered something like this, as the universities themselves had asked them to stop posting about LGBTQ topics, and to also not mention the universities by name in order to not be connected to such topics.

Homosexuality has been decriminalized since 1997. However, there continue to be many reports of harassment and oppression of those within the community. Because of this, it is not surprising that WeChat has treated their users like this.

There appear to be some gray areas in the legalities for LGBTQ individuals, as there are no explicit military bans. Yet, same sex couples are unable to marry or adopt children. Trans people are able to change their legal sex after gender reassignment surgery.

Unfortunatley, there are also still reports of conversion therapy happening in China. While some have been able to win lawsuits against the institutions that administered this harmful ‘Treatment’, there has yet to be an outright ban. Some mental health professionals still utilize this with the promise of being able to ‘cure’ their supposed mental illness, comparing it to that of depression, anxiety, etc.

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