“Gay brain drain”: Hong Kong lesbian, gay, and bisexual people’s consideration of emigration because of non-inclusive social policies

Yiu Tung SUEN, Chun Ho Randolph CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Introduction   In recent years, a “business case” has emerged to argue that social policies and practices that exclude sexual minorities are not only socially unjust but also economically costly for an organization and the society. This paper asks: in an era of globally uneven sexual landscape, what are the consequences of non-inclusive policies and practices for the retainment or attrition of sexual minority talents?
Methods   An online survey with 920 lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people, one of the largest of its kind in Hong Kong, was conducted in 2016.
Results   It was found that 52.5% had considered leaving because of the lack of LGB-relevant social policies. It was also found that LGB people who showed a desire and a need to access LGB-relevant social policies, those who perceived LGB-relevant social policies as important, and those who were on higher income levels were more likely to have considered emigration. The top four countries that were named as desired migration destinations by the LGB people were Canada, Taiwan, the USA, and the UK.
Conclusions   This paper coins the term “gay brain drain” to connect the research literature on LGB-related social policies, sexual migration, and brain drain.
Policy implications   Differential treatment towards sexual minorities is not only socially unjust but also means that the society would lose out on attracting and retaining the best homegrown talents. Copyright © 2020 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Early online date04 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 04 Sep 2020

Citation

Suen, Y. T., & Chan, R. C. H. (2020). “Gay brain drain”: Hong Kong lesbian, gay, and bisexual people’s consideration of emigration because of non-inclusive social policies. Sexuality Research and Social Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s13178-020-00497-z

Keywords

  • Sexuality
  • Homosexuality
  • Migration
  • Sexual minorities
  • Social inequality

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