The end of the one-child policy and its effect on LGBT Chinese

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Conveners: China Centre, SIAS, Oriental Studies

Speaker: Prof. Timothy Hildebrandt (The London School of Economics and Political Science)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in China have seen growing social acceptance and greater visibility in the last decade, but real problems remain. In surveys and interviews, LGBT Chinese consistently rank ‘family pressure’ as their greatest struggle. In this talk, Dr Timothy Hildebrandt presents a social policy explanation for family pressure —alongside the better known and more commonly discussed sociocultural ones. In particular, he shows how family planning and eldercare policies have had an unintended, but strong negative effect on the lives of LGBT Chinese. He examines the extent to which last year’s repeal of the one-child policy might relieve family pressure and outlines the necessity for broader policy changes to improve LGBT wellbeing in China. Dr Timothy Hildebrandt is Assistant Professor of Social Policy and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research and teaching broadly explores how policies affect marginalised populations and how social actors mobilise to rectify inequalities. Dr Hildebrandt has written extensively on the emergence and development of non-governmental organisations in China and other non-democracies, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) politics and activism in China, Asia and beyond. He is the author of Social Organizations and the Authoritarian State in China (Cambridge, 2013).