A Viral Video Urges Chinese Parents to Welcome LGBT Kids Home This Lunar New Year

This week, hundreds of millions of Chinese will crowd on to planes, trains, cars and motorbikes to make their way home for chun jie, or spring festival. It is a celebration — cue the fireworks — and a chance to reunite with loved ones after months, even years, away. It is also a time to eat, a time to rest, and, for many, a time to field a whole lot of questions from family members: Where's your girlfriend? When are you getting married? Don't you know we want a grandchild?

For LGBT folks in China, those questions can be particularly tough. Though China decriminalized gay sex in the late 1990s, stigma and discrimination persist in the workplace and at home, as documented in a report by the UNDP released last year. Though many find a degree of freedom and acceptance in China's big, booming cities, some struggle to discuss their gender and sexual identities with their parents — a fact that prompted the Chinese branch of PFLAG (formerly known as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to make a short film about the issue.

The video, Coming Home, tells the story of a young man who summons the courage to talk to his mom about being gay, only to be criticized and cast out. After a long period of heartache and estrangement, his mother comes around, tearfully welcoming him home. As the credits roll, real mothers speak directly to the camera, offering words of encouragement and advice to young people facing the journey.

The message to parents: "Accept your children, welcome them home." And for children: "Don't give up. Your parents might not understand today, but maybe they will tomorrow." It's a sentiment that obviously struck a chord : the video has already racked up 100 million views.

Read next: New Google Doodle Honors Chinese New Year

Chinese passengers walk as they make their way to trains as they leave for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
Passengers walk as they make their way to trains as they leave for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.Kevin Frayer—Getty Images
Chinese passengers walk as they make their way to trains as they leave for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
Men wait in line with their belongings as they enter a railway station during the Spring Festival on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
A couple says goodbye before leaving to visit their respective families for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
Travelers crowd the station while leaving for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
A traveler sleeps as others read and relax as they wait to leave for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
A young traveler wheels her bag as others wait in the departure area for a train at a local railway station on Feb. 16, 2015 in Beijing.
A traveler smokes as he and others prepare to board a train while leaving for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
A boy uses a portable device as he lays in a sleeper on a train before leaving for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
A security guard watches over passengers leaving for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb. 17, 2015 in Beijing.
Passengers walk as they make their way to trains as they leave for the Spring Festival at a local railway station on Feb
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Kevin Frayer—Getty Images
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