A poster was taken down because it perpetuated homophobic myths and stereotypes. Image via Weibo from SCMB.com
After outrage on various social media platforms, an HIV awareness poster was removed from Hengxian No.2 High School for having a “harm of homosexuality” column, according to Global Times.
An employee at the high school was responsible for putting up the poster as part of an AIDS prevention campaign that the school was participating in. The employee, however, did not closely review the contents of the poster carefully and she explained that the pseudo-information in the above-mentioned column was probably found randomly online. Not only is this irresponsible, it is also incredibly insensitive to any LGBTQ student that may attend the high school.
Because (and forgive me for assuming) not many of us can read Chinese, here are some of the points in the column translated into English via SCMP.com.
- Live “eight to 10 years earlier than ‘normal’ people”
- Face a “higher risk of contracting HIV or sexually transmitted diseases”
- Are “inclined to hurt other people”
- Cause “social instability”
- Are “more likely to become drug addicts.”
Along with those five points, the poster also claims that gay people defy the natural order of things because “their thoughts go against their physical characteristics and thus damage their mental system,” are a threat to “normal” people (I assume that means straight people), and that being gay is abnormal behavior. There are so many things wrong with these statements and, as such, do not merit a response but I suppose I should refute at least one. History and current events will dictate that gay people aren’t a threat to straight people, it is, in fact, the other way around.
The poster was shared on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo where it was met with great condemnation as people denounced it as homophobic and insensitive to any LGBTQ students at the school. It was eventually taken down and will be replaced with a new poster with accurate information on HIV prevention.
I’m not sure whether the poster placement was intentional or really just an oversight, but I’m glad that it was taken down and it’s nice to know that there are more people who support LGBTQ people and oppose homophobia than people who don’t. Hopefully, nothing with this level of harmful and incorrect information will be placed in an institution of learning or anywhere else for that matter.
Source: Global Times