WHAT is believed to be the first-ever sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit is currently taking place in a Chinese court.

A Chinese man, under the pseudonym Mu Yi, is seeking both an apology and 50,000 yuan (A$10,174) in compensation after allegedly being fired from his job as a designer after it was revealed he was gay in an online video.

The video, filmed by the police in a street in Shenzhen, caught Mu and another gay man having an argument.

The plaintiff’s lawyer Liu Xiaohu said they were “very optimistic,” believing that the case “will definitely have an impact” on the view of gay rights in China, according to The Guardian.

China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, and continued to list it as a mental illness for four more years.

Mu’s former employer maintains that his dismissal has no link to his coming out, stating that his firing was due to “poor service attitude and improper attire”, according to Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News.

“During that time (when the video went viral) I was a total wreck. I couldn’t go out. I couldn’t answer the phone. I even lost my job,” Mu told reporters.

“I was the victim to begin with, it doesn’t make any sense for my company [to punish me more].

“Worst thing of all, when I was on break, the company lowered my salary substantially, which is clearly discrimination against me. I can find another job but the discrimination is unbearable. That’s why I decided to file the lawsuit.”

A verdict on the lawsuit is expected within the next three months.

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