Fri, May 30, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Group surveys gay people’s most-hated holiday queries

By Chen Ping-hung  /  Staff reporter

A survey of gay and lesbian people released yesterday ranked “When will you return to normal?” as one of the most disliked questions they get asked during holidays, along with queries as to when they plan to get married, or requests to declare their sexual orientation.

The Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association polled nearly 100 homosexual people and 14 parents of gay children about their seasonal irks ahead of the Dragon Boat Festival on Monday next week.

A woman surnamed Wang (王) yesterday urged parents of gay children like herself to never ask when their child will “return to normal.”

“Many parents are terrified when their child comes out and some may blame themselves or rack their brains thinking what they did wrong in raising the child,” she said, adding that some parents may also worry that others will find out that their child is homosexual.

Wang said that these parental anxieties are specially prevalent in the event that the child dresses “atypically for their gender,” which their parents may find hard or embarrassing to explain to others.

“The government does not provide the public with enough resources to assist gays and lesbians, and their parents,” she said. “In many cases, parents of homosexual people are mostly at a loss as to what to do when they find out their child is gay.”

Wang said although her family was accepting of her child’s sexuality from the start, many parents cannot accept the idea of their child being homosexual.

She encouraged parents with concerns about their child’s sexual preferences to call the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association’s gay and lesbian advisory hotline (02-2392-1970) for help.

Along with the poll, the association yesterday also published a brochure that serves as a reference guide for coming out. The leaflet provides information on related resources and includes true coming out stories for encouragement.

The group plans to distribute 1,000 copies of the brochure among general and vocational high schools, public libraries and family education centers.

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