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CHINA - Aug 20, 2005

Fudan University’s undergraduate course on homosexuality and gay culture has proven more popular than expected, as hundreds of students have tried to sign up for only 100 available seats. Now in its 3rd year, a special course for graduate students has also been added. Both courses are funded and co-developed by the Chi Heng Foundation, an LGBT group based in Hong Hong, with offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Two year’s ago Fudan began offering the course about homosexual health concerns, focusing heavily on AIDS prevention. About 2,000 students have taken that course so far. The new course focuses on the sociological aspects of homosexuality than medical issues.

"The previous course mainly focused on how to prevent AIDS in homosexuals, but now we will pay more attention on how to have a proper view about homosexuals," said Gao Yanning, who will lecture students in the class. "We will give students an equitable judgment on homosexuals and help eliminate students' discrimination."

"At first, my tutor suggested I select the course, since I felt uncomfortable about the topic," said Liu Binyi, who took the homosexual health course last year. "But I am now relaxed talking about homosexuals and have started to accept homosexuality now."

"In China, there are about 30 million homosexuals. But our society doesn't accept them. So, opening such courses in university can be very helpful to dispel prejudice and understand such people," said Zhang Youde, a sociologist from Shanghai University.


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