The report, the largest national survey conducted so far on sexual and gender diversity in China, finds that more than half of the country's LGBTI population has been unfairly treated or discriminated against. This is perhaps the reason why so few choose to "come out," the report said.
The report finds that discrimination doesn't affect all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the same way: Transgender people face the greatest levels of discrimination, whether it is within a family, a school or a workplace. Lesbians are more likely to be discriminated or rejected at home and in the workplace, whereas gays are more likely to be discriminated against in schools and become victims of bullying.
Surveying more than 28,000 people from across China in late 2015, the report finds that family is the place where rejection and discrimination against LGBTI people occur most frequently, followed by schools and workplaces.
Most of the respondents admitted to giving into family pressure to get married and have children. About 84.1 percent of the married respondents are married with heterosexuals, 13.2 percent are in Xinghun (or cooperation marriage, where two sexual and gender minority people get married), and 2.6 percent are registered in same-sex marriage in countries outside China.
Apart from family pressure, discrimination against LGBTI people can also cost them their job and restrict their career opportunities and potential in schools. Sexual and gender minorities suffer from lower job stability and higher unemployment rates, the report said.
LGBTI people in China also share deep concerns over discriminatory health and social services. Many of them are concerned about the accessibility of HIV prevention and treatment services and the quality and friendliness of psychosocial and counseling services, according to the report.
The report, however, also finds a number of promising developments made in China over the years.
The majority of people surveyed are generally open and accepting in their attitude towards sexual diversity. Seventy percent of the respondents don't support the erstwhile pathological view of homosexuality and stereotype-based prejudices against LGBTI people. Nearly 85 percent support the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country. An open and inclusive attitude towards LGBTI people is especially prevalent among young Chinese, the report pointed out.
The survey was carried out by the United Nations Development Program, Peking University Sociology Department, the Beijing LGBT Center and various other institutions.