The government should teach students about homosexuality and should introduce laws to protect the rights of gay people, advocacy groups said yesterday, following a poll showing that more than a quarter of gay people in the country had thought of committing suicide because of a hostile living environment.
The survey was conducted by the “Friendly Taiwan Alliance” — an alliance of several gender and gay rights advocacy groups — on the “conditions and the pressure that gay people are subjected to in Taiwan.”
The survey showed that 58 percent of respondents had been victimized — notably in the form of verbal abuse and social isolation.
A total of 29 percent said they had contemplated suicide, with 18 percent having attempted to take their own life.
The survey also showed that 23 percent of respondents did not receive any gay-friendly resources before the age of 18.
On the subject of social pressures, 79 percent of respondents cited uncertainty about family acceptance, and 68 percent pointed to the burden of society’s expectations that they should marry.
The survey collected 2,785 valid responses in just 10 days, the alliance said, showing the urgency and significance of the issue.
Chien Chih-chieh (簡至潔), a member of Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, said the high ratios indicated a lack of self-identity and resources for homosexual people in their adolescence, placing them under considerable pressure.
Gender/Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan secretary-general Wang Ping (王蘋) said the percentage of gay people who had attempted suicide might be higher, as many of them bore scars on their wrists.
“Taiwan’s lack of education on homosexuality has led to the aforementioned results. To build a multicultural and equal society, gay-friendly education and legislation are very important, as fair treatment is not a privilege, but a basic human right,” Wang said.
The Ministry of Education was scheduled to introduce gender-equality education — including the subject of homosexuality— into the curriculum for elementary and junior-high schools on Aug. 1 last year.
However, religious organizations fought its implementation by pressuring legislators and the ministry to drop the plan, the alliance said, accusing the ministry of violating the Gender Equality Education Act (性別平等教育法) and of administrative delinquency.
In response, Yang Yu-hui (楊玉惠), a ministry official, said that gender equality education has already been incorporated into the curriculum of the nation’s Nine-Year Educational Program.
As for teaching about homosexuality, which sparked the controversy last year, Yang said it has been made a reference point for teachers only.
Yang added that the plan was not halted because of the ministry’s negligence, but because of a resolution passed by the legislature asking it be temporarily postponed.
According to the alliance, of the 2,785 respondents in the survey, 35 percent identified themselves as lesbians, 39 percent as gays, 20 percent as bisexuals, 2 percent as transgender and 4 percent were uncertain.
Additional reporting by Hu Ching-hui and Hsieh Wen-hua
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
The building of a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) plant in Phoenix, Arizona, is expected to lead to the creation of a “Little Taipei” over the coming year, as TSMC employees and related companies move in, a Phoenix-based real-estate agent has said. TSMC is investing US$12 billion to build a wafer plant in northern Phoenix that is scheduled to begin mass production in 2024. The company on Tuesday held a “tool-in” ceremony to mark the installation of the first batch of equipment at the fab. Some TSMC employees have moved into newly constructed apartments in a community 10 minutes’ drive from the
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
TWO RISKIEST SPOTS: People living in Taitung County received 20 earthquake alerts over the past 12 months, while Hualien County placed second with 17 alerts Taitung County residents received national earthquake alerts on their mobile phones more frequently over the past year than people in other parts of Taiwan, Central Weather Bureau data showed. Between Nov. 20 last year and Nov. 20, Taitung residents topped other administrative regions with 20 earthquake alerts. They were followed by Hualien County residents who received 17 alerts and Chiayi County residents who received 11, the bureau said. Residents in Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties did not receive a single earthquake alert, it said. The bureau shared the data on Facebook for the first time since the government connected the earthquake warning