Chinese Student Demands Apology from School That Withheld Diploma for Being Out Lesbian

Chinese Student Demands Apology from School That Withheld Diploma for Being Out Lesbian
Source: Jean Ouyang
Source: Jean Ouyang

Xiayou Wang, a Guangdong University of Foreign Studies graduate, says the most romantic day of her life turned into a nightmare. 

After pictures of a June 21 marriage proposal between Wang and Juan Ouyang went public, the university denied Wang her diploma and outed her as a lesbian to her parents, according to Global Voices.

China Digital Times reported that the pictures were taken down later that day from an LGBT group's page on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site. 

Jean Ouyang and Xiayou Wang share a kiss shortly after their proposal
Source: 
Jean Ouyang

In a letter listed on All Out, an LGBT-focused social movement website, Wang is asking people to sign her petition that asks the university for a public apology after they denied her a diploma. A school official didn't give it back until June 28, according to Global Voices. Wang's girlfriend proposed on graduation day, a tradition among the university's students. 

"But not if you're a lesbian," Wang wrote on the petition. "After photos of our proposal went viral, party officials at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies threatened to withhold my diploma, saying we should 'keep our homosexuality to ourselves and don't pester others.'"

Global Voices also reported that a school official tried to intimidate Wang's family into allowing them to search her apartment. 

LGBTQ people and allies throughout China took selfies of marriage proposals to show solidarity with Wang and her fiancé. 

Chinese website Sixth Tone asked a school official to comment, but reported that he declined and instead said, "Don't you feel bad about disturbing our work like this?" 

"When it comes to education on sexuality, China is behind the times," LGBTQ activist and head of branding at PFLAG China Zhou Ying said to Sixth Tone

Wang asks that the university apologize and to make sure that this does not happen again. 

"I'm devastated and humiliated, but I'm fighting back and need your help," she wrote. 

Read more: 
LGBT Russians Arrested During May Day Parade — But Neo-Nazis Were A-OK 
Istanbul LGBT Pride: Police Respond to Banned Pride Event With Force
•  Puerto Rico's First LGBTQ Monument Is a Heartwarming Tribute to Pulse Shooting Victims 

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Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew Rodriguez is a Staff Writer at Mic. He is a queer Latino New Yorker who enjoys female rappers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Flannery O'Connor. He is a former editor at TheBody.com and he is working on a memoir.

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