Fang Chao is a young man who's made his parents proud, getting into one of the best schools in China and always "[playing] the role of 'good child.'" That's how the subtitled narrative for the film short Coming Home begins, before diving more into Fang's story: He's gay and afraid to tell his parents. "Running away, always avoiding, always evading. That is, until I started dating Da Bao. … It was in that moment that I decided to set myself free," he says. The 6.5-minute video produced by PFLAG China, which has already earned more than 100 million views on a Chinese streaming site, was released this week in time for the Lunar New Year to encourage LGBT kids to reunite with their parents for the holidays, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Even though CNN has reported that the Chinese crime of "hooliganism" (homosexuality fell under that umbrella) was eliminated in 1997, and being gay was taken off the country's list of mental illnesses in 2001, as per the New York Times, it's still difficult for many LGBT kids to approach their more-traditional parents. Fang's arc shows him telling his parents he's gay, becoming estranged from them, and then reuniting with them years later after his mom attends a PFLAG meeting and calls him. "No matter who you are, you'll always be our son," she tearfully pleads on the phone. "Come home." As the credits roll, Chinese mothers appear on the screen with advice for both parents and their gay children, urging, "Have the courage to live truly," "Don't allow social convention … to get in the way of your kid coming home," and "Kids, come home for the holidays—Mom's waiting for you." (Read more China stories.)