China has started its first hotline for lesbians following the success of a similar gay service.

The Shanghai based operation is run by the Chi Heng Foundation, which also organises AIDs related projects.

Volunteer staff for the line will be lesbians, one of the members, Shen Yiwu, told the Shanghai Daily, “To have female counsellors at the centre will make the women callers feel more secure.”

Although homosexuality in China is no longer considered a mental illness, it is still taboo.