Scroll To Top
Arts & Entertainment

Eighty Percent of Gays in China Marry People of Opposite Sex

Eighty Percent of Gays in China Marry People of Opposite Sex

China_gay_marriagex400

By some estimates, 12 million gay men in China are married to straight women.

deliciousdiane

Qingdao University professor Zhang Beichuan, who is an expert on gay and lesbian issues in China, told The Guardian he believes about 80% of gay men and lesbians in China marry -- people of the opposite sex. Often they have unsuspecting straight spouses or they "partner" with another gay person for a marriage of arrangement to please their parents. Xing Fei, an expert from the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences, goes so far as to estimate that approximately 12 million gay men in the country are married to straight women.

The Guardian's Shanghai-based reporter Tania Branigan talked to Beichuan and Fei and met with numerous gay people who are in seemingly straight relationships, like Tom Wang, a 40-year-old software engineer who met his (lesbian) wife online, married a year later, and is now living together in a facade of a marriage "erected to satisfy their parents and protect their careers."

According to Branigan, "homosexuality was illegal in China until 1997, and remains a sensitive issue, the country does not have the deep-rooted, vicious homophobia of many other places." In fact, she says, the country not only tolerated same-sex love among men, it "celebrated" it, though "such relationships supplemented marriage rather than replaced it. According to the tenets of traditional society, the worst kind of unfilial behaviour is failing to continue the family line. Even now, the pressure to marry and have children is intense."

Read Branigan's interviews with lesbians and gay men in China visit the Guardian.co.uk.

deliciousdiane
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Diane Anderson-Minshall

Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.
Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.