Print Email A mobile number and a few personal details: Under xinghun, the couple know each other's orientation and can live accordingly - while staying married. Zhong, 23, who has not come out to his family, signed up on Queers — a pioneering app in a country where LGBT relationships still face serious discrimination and fierce opposition from conservatives, especially older family members — to prepare for the inevitable moment when his parents pressure him to get married.
Xinghun is not based on love, so all the terms and conditions are put on the table Stephanie Wang, researcher China decriminalised homosexuality in and removed it from the list of mental illnesses in While China is slowly opening up to discussion of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, traditional views are still hard to shake. Even well-educated Chinese who might be open-minded about LGBT issues tend to find it difficult to accept if their own children are gay.
Zhong is not alone in his predicament. With Queers, his options have expanded exponentially. The app lets users chat with prospective mates and keeps identities relatively secure.
To register, Queers asks users to confidentially upload a photo of themselves holding their identity cards for verification purposes. Profile pages give an initial indication of whether it would be a good match, showing information like whether the person would like children.
But Zhong says the process is no piece of cake, as this could be a lifelong commitment. Zhong wants someone who lives in Beijing. He also wants to have a baby someday.
I was constantly asked if I had a girlfriend or why I was not married. My mother would talk to me in a tearful voice, which made me feel extremely guilty Lin Hai, founder of Chinagayles. To give an idea of these terms, Chinagayles. For many Chinese, there is no such thing as privacy. For us, they made a great couple. Then he told me that he found out [she is a] lesbian, and it just occurred to me that I could introduce this girl to my parents as my girlfriend. But even before the idea of xinghun flourished in online forums in , gay men in China have for decades been marrying straight women — without telling them the secret.
Their plight came into the national spotlight in after the suicide of a teacher in Chengdu city, Sichuan province, who found out that her husband was a closeted gay man. Chinese scholar Zhang Beichuan had estimated that there might be 16 million women who are unknowingly married to gay husbands. Xinghun and tongqi are just symptoms of the problem of heavy social pressures in mainland China to marry and start a family, preferably at a marriageable age though it varies per region, it is typically in the late 20s.
Unlike their Western counterparts or peers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, staying single is often not an option for gays and lesbians in mainland China. And even when they come out to their parents, they will usually be besieged by inquiries, criticism or even ostracism from family, friends and neighbours. Some would rather choose xinghun to avoid this. The man ended up locking himself up and refused to go outside. People will keep setting up blind dates for you [until the day you are married].
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