More and more LGBTQ Chinese people are leaving cities and towns in China for more accepting locations.
Last May, we shared with you the story of LGBTQ Chinese people leaving their home-born country for the more inclusive country of New Zealand. That said, it looks like that’s not the only location that they are fleeing to.
The Bangkok Post and Juwai.com report that Bangkok and Phuket are the top two destinations in Southeast Asia for LGBTQ Chinese people.
With China constantly going back and forth with its treatment of LGBTQ people, many have fled in order to find solace elsewhere. It seems that these two cities in Thailand have become a home, or at least second home, for many Chinese citizens (gay or otherwise).
Carrie Law, the chief executive for real estate company, Juwai.com, shared that Chinese people have made 32.7 billion baht (about 1 Billion US dollars) worth of inquiries into Bangkok buildings in the past 18 months. LGBTQ people have made about US$50-80 million of those inquiries.
"They want to own property in a place they can feel comfortable visiting and living in," said Law.
This is an argument that former Chinese residents Tracey Bo and Effie Liu can attest to.
"In China, there is a stigma about being a lesbian and we face strong pressure from family and society," said Bo to the New Zealand Herald.
"We found it is impossible to settle there."
That said, the inclusiveness is only part of the reason for increase in Chinese home buyer when it comes to Thailand. The other part is because of how cheap Bangkok and Phuket are in comparison to Chinese cities.
Bangkok is one-sixth as expensive as housing in Hong Kong, according to Juwai.com. In addition, these houses are often more spacious and come with more features/amenities.
On the lower end of the spectrum, many Bangkok condominiums start at $130,000.
While the Chinese government will continue to decide whether it really wants LGBTQ people or not, it seems some are leaving ahead of time and making a hope in Thailand. Honestly, we can’t blame them.
h/t: Bangkok Post, Juwai.com