Gay man forced to undergo psychiatric care

Beijing, Oct 27: A gay man in China was forcibly sent to psychiatric care by his family in violation of law and forced to receive treatment after he confided to his family and filed for divorce.

Yu Quanhu (pseudonym), 34, was forced to go to the Second People's Hospital of Zhumadian by his family members on October 8, the date when he decided to divorce his wife, Yu's boyfriend surnamed Yang told state-run Global Times.

Gay (Representational Image)

The gay couple began dating in January, and Yu came out of the closet with his family in April. He has been married to his wife for over 10 years and has raised a daughter and a son, Yang said.

"He got married because he thought marriage could change him, but he did not love his wife. He sometimes told me that he would be working late just to avoid having sex with her," Yang said.

There are more than 16 million "homowives" in China, a term referring to wives of homosexuals. More than 90 per cent of them have experienced domestic violence, but most of them do not want a divorce because of their children, according to a report by China Women's News newspaper.

"Yu's chief physician told them that he was hospitalised for emotional instability and sexual preference disorder," Ah Qiang, founder of PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) China, who accompanied Yang to the hospital said.

"This (homosexuality being treated as psychosis) happens often, as many people don't know about homosexuality, especially in rural areas where people lack the means to learn about it," Ah Qiang siad, adding that the hospital has agreed to release Yu to his family.

China removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 2001. Yu's family and the hospital were unavailable for comment, the report said.

Huang Xuetao, a Shenzhen-based lawyer, said that the actions of Yu's family are in violation of the nation's mental health law, which stipulates that a person cannot be forced to receive treatment unless there is evidence showing that this person is prone to harm himself or others.


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