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LGBTQ movie made by high schoolers stirs controversy in China

(People's Daily Online)    16:17, July 24, 2017

A movie made by high school students in Beijing has received mixed reactions from the public, as the show featuring the teenage LGBTQ community has unprecedentedly touched a taboo topic in China.

Escape, a 75-minute movie, was jointly created by 37 students from the High School Affiliated to the prestigious Renmin University of China. Featuring the life of a transgender high schooler, the film has carried out an in-depth exploration into the LGBTQ community in Chinese schools, questioning the flaws of the country’s sexual education.

“Thanks to modern education, [we’ve] gained abundant knowledge about LGBTQ communities. But unfortunately, there are still many people in [China] who are not aware of the existence of such a minority group, while some are indifferent to, or even against them,” Hu Ranran, the movie’s director, told the Beijing Youth Daily during an interview.

The movie has been shown over the past few weeks among high school students in Beijing, with many supporting the team and praising the teenagers for “having a social responsibility that adults should have.”

“My child is a transgender. I came here to watch the movie with her today, and I think it’s really good. It helps me understand the LGBTQ community and shows me some problems she may encounter in the future,” said a father who watched the show.

Despite the warm public praise, the film was not allowed to be presented at the school’s annual movie festival, as it contains “sensitive content.”

“Our teachers said the show is too avant-garde, and is not suitable to be shown in public, while our parents, who regard LGBTQ as a taboo topic, are reluctant to talk about the movie with us,” said Hu.

Many of the students’ parents told Beijing Youth Daily that LGBTQ individuals are “mentally-distorted” and “abnormal,” with many suggesting mental therapy for the minority group.

“I hope my movie can raise public concern over such a neglected group. I’ve contacted many LGBTQ individuals, who have overcome many difficulties, in an effort to become who they really are. Every one of us may become a member of a minority group in some aspects, and you should not be ashamed,” Hu added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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