Tuesday, January 27, 2015

IDIOT NEWS: “Gay Man Seeks Lesbian Wife” Is Chinese Formula for Happiness


BEIJING – Marriages of convenience between gays and lesbians have become a way out for homosexuals in China who are under strong family pressure to get married and have children and face the fear of being excluded from a conservative society.

“Why haven’t you got married?” or “Can we recommend you a girl?” are some of the uncomfortable questions that were posed on a daily basis to Lin Hai, a homosexual man past 30 and whose future plans were far removed from the cherished wedding plans of his family and friends.

By that time, in 2005, homosexuals had two choices, Lin told Efe: to marry a woman who would be ignorant of her husband’s actual sexual orientation or not marry at all.

To him, the first option seemed unfair and immoral which is how he came up with the idea of a “xinghun” with a lesbian, a fictitious marriage in the interest of both partners that would allow them to live freely without family pressures to get married and have a family.

To help others in the same plight as himself, Lin created Chinagayles.com, the largest dating website in China and a way for homosexuals to be able to enter into a marriage of convenience.

The website now has nearly 380,000 users.

However, rather than marrying without love, Lin chose a third option which he had not considered earlier, of coming out of the closet about his sexual orientation.

Although the acceptance process was not easy, the fact that Lin had a brother with a wife and children helped his parents and other family members – over a course of time – to come to terms with his sexual orientation.

Being homosexual is not easy in many countries, but even less so in China where homosexuality was decriminalized only in 1997 and removed from the list of mental disorders as recently as 2001.

Even highly-educated Chinese who claim to be open towards the gay community have problems accepting that their own children are homosexual.

“Marriages of convenience are not based on love, that is why it is important to put the cards on the table and agree on important issues such as having children,” Stephanie Wang, a postgraduate student on this subject, told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper.

“If marriage was not considered obligatory in mainland China, and people were not stigmatized for staying single, there would be no need for a marriage of convenience (for homosexuals),” added Wang.

However, the biggest problem for the “xinghun” arises if one of the spouses is ignorant of their partner’s actual sexual orientation.

According to college student Zhang Beichuan, there could be 16 million women who are, unknowingly, married to homosexual men.

Such wives are called “tongqi,” literally, “wives of homosexuals.”

The difficult and painful situation of these women was widely reported by the country’s media after the suicide of a teacher in the western province of Sichuan in 2012 after she learnt of the homosexual orientation of her husband.

Unlike their counterparts in the West or even neighboring Hong Kong and Taiwan, remaining single is often not an option for gays and lesbians in mainland China.

Even when they do come out of the closet they are usually besieged with questions, criticism or ostracized by relatives, friends and neighbors.

In such a scenario, some homosexuals prefer to enter into a fake marriage as an alternative to life-long exclusion from society.


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