LGBT rights in Tibet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

China Tibet.svg
Tibet Autonomous Region within the PR China and disputed Tibetan areas controlled by India
StatusLegal (China since 1997)
Legal(India since 2018)
Gender identity
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo recognition of same-sex couples[citation needed]

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Tibet face legal and social difficulties not experienced by non-LGBT persons. The lands comprising the Tibetan Plateau are divided between the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India. In China, same-sex sexual activity was legalised in 1997 and in India since 2018.

There are no known Tibetan support groups, however Han Chinese living in Tibet have been known to establish community structures, such as bars[1] like the reported Lanse Tian Kong, translated "Blue Sky", in Lhasa.[2]

According to a number of interviews by a reporter from a Singapore-based Asian gay website,[2] Tibetan youth are mostly lax about homosexuality, but Tibetan culture does not allow for public displays of affection. However, as some argue, this is not specific as homophobia, rather, any public display of sexuality is generally frowned upon, partly due to Buddhism's glorification of celibacy.

Ernst Schäfer during his 1938–39 German expedition to Tibet in his account of Tibetan homosexuality he describes the various positions taken by older lamas with younger boys[citation needed] and then goes on to explain how homosexuality played an important role in the higher politics of Tibet.[citation needed] There are pages of careful observation of Himalayan people engaged in a variety of intimate acts.[3]

Terzing Mariko, a former Buddhist monk from Dharamshala, is said to be the first out transgender woman in the Tibetan community. She has been an invited speaker for Tibetan social organizations and has had private audiences with religious leaders.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "LGBTQ Communities and Issues." The Himalayas: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture, edited by Andrew J. Hund and James A. Wren, ABC-CLIO, 2018, pp. 27-29. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 5 Dec. 2018.
  2. ^ a b Gardner, Dinah (6 April 2007). "gay in lhasa". Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  3. ^ Peter Levenda, Unholy alliance: a history of Nazi involvement with the occult, 2nd edition, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002, 423 p., p. 194.
  4. ^ Gurung, Tsering D. "The Former Buddhist Monk Who Is Now A Tibetan Queer Icon". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 5 December 2018.