accomplices

The Hong Kong Schools That Are Aiding And Abetting The Bullying Of Gay Students

No, this is not the Tehachapi Unified School District in California. It’s Hong Kong, where Wing, now a college student, says he was tormented by classmates in high school when confiding a same-sex attraction to a friend led to his entire school finding out. So why didn’t he go to administrators? Because he doesn’t think the school could’ve done anything to help him. And there was the fear of them telling his parents. But they found out anyway, and it didn’t have a happy ending. Then there’s the story of Jack, a student at an all-boys Catholic school, whose “friend” starting charging him $20 a day to keep his secret. “It’s actually extortion,” he says of the nine-month blackmail, which ultimately cost him $1,200. Suicide seemed like an obvious way out. And I can see why: When you live a society that doesn’t even protect you from such discrimination by law, watching a few It Gets Better videos sometimes just doesn’t cut it. And then there’s the 16-year-old girl whose school issued her a booklet, Homosexuality And Hope, about how to prevent “same-sex attraction”; being “gay” is never mentioned. Not surprisingly, it’s produced by the Catholic Medical Association. [The entire segment is subtitled, in case you can’t hear over the loud background music.]

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7 Comments

  • scott ny'er

    what a surprise… religion (catholic in this case) is behind this.

  • Ari

    Why is the music so much loader than the people talking?

  • Danny

    Why is it always Catholics (as well as non-Catholics) who suffer at the hands of Catholic institutions? Remember the Inquisition? Shouldn’t Catholics start voting away their awful leadership? Shouldn’t all members of the Vatican been voted out by the average Catholic after all the child molestion cases around the world? Why don’t the average Catholics replace all their leadership?

  • Steve

    Voting? Huh? Catholicism is a tyrannical dictatorship. Except for the very bottom (at a purely local level) and the very top (electing the Pope) there are no democratic elements. The sheep have absolutely no control over their leadership. The only possible course of action is to leave.

  • Nick

    This is upsetting, but not surprising. As far as I know, only local/state schools in Hong Kong are like this. I come from an international school in Hong Kong, and while there is some homophobia (especially amongst younger kids), most people are either fine with you being gay or will just ignore it. None of my teachers are homophobic – they aren’t allowed to be in my school – and most of them are understanding and react positively. I’ve had teachers talk about gay rights and homophobic bullying in classes, and one teacher in particular even came up to me to extend her support. Granted, international schools here have educational systems from the western world (the majority from the UK), so the schools’ stances on gay issues are unsurprisingly positive. Hong Kong’s local community is sadly ignorant and uneducated about homosexuality, and local schools need to learn from us.

  • Charles

    I went to international schools in Hong Kong and Taipei and I agree that homophobia is rare in those schools. Unfortunately, though, in the state schools and religious schools it is pretty pervasive. But intolerance in general is pervasive in those schools.

  • wannabegay2

    i studied last summer at hong kong university and one of the professors was openly gay. it is a higher level institution and i am assuming thats why homosexuality is more tolerated. ive seen guys kissing on the streets of hong kong (its true it was in front of a gay bar). gay bashing is rare in hong kong because of the cultural settings.

    but in the same time i do agree there are a lot of problems with attitudes towards gays, especially for younger people.

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