An internal communique issued by a University in China – Shanghai University – has raised eyebrows of many after; it ordered its colleges to report students who identify as LGBTQ+ or “non-heterosexual”.
The internal directive, published online on both Chinese and foreign social media platforms; contains a questionnaire purportedly asking the colleges to “investigate and research” students who identified themselves to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, The Guardian reported.
It is also claimed to have requested information on the students’ “state of mind and psychological condition; including political stance, social contacts, and mental health status”.
The matter came to light when a Weibo user posted it on the social media platform on August 26; calling the practice “horrendous”.
“It looks like Shanghai University isn’t the only university to ask for ‘reports’ on LGBT students and keep track of them;” the user wrote. “Whether the school’s intention was good or not, this is horrendous.”
The screenshot of the questionnaire was also shared on Twitter; generating a heated discussion about China’s ongoing ‘crackdowns’ on the country’s sexual minorities.
“Shanghai University is ordering its colleges to report whether they have any students who identify as #LGBT; according to a university notice that cites “relevant requirements. It’s confirmed by a student and a staff member of the uni. The purpose of such order is unknown,” a reporter based in China tweeted.
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The latest incident comes days after it was reported that Chinese social media giant WeChat was allegedly removing dozens of LGBTQ+ accounts; fuelling fears that the move was part of a wider crackdown.
Several LGBTQ+ groups told Reuters in July that their WeChat accounts had been locked; while others had their content deleted from the platform.
The accounts were a mix of registered student clubs and unofficial grassroots groups, and some had operated for years as safe spaces for China’s LGBTQ+ youth; with tens of thousands of followers.
The move sparked outrage among some university students and activists.
Even though China has decriminalised homosexuality in 1997; the country still does not recognise same-sex marriage.