China’s Faux Marriage Frenzy

The closet's corrosive effects are alive and well in China, where an estimated 70% of gay men marry women to satisfy parental expectations. While most of these marriages involve unwitting straight women, some of them are consensual, often conducted via a gay men-lesbian matchmaking site with some 153,000 members. The personal account of one of such couple:

Zhuang Xiang, a 30-year-old accountant from Shanghai, came to understand why he was drawn to boys when he was 17. On flicking through a gay comic book in a shop, he had his great "a-ha!" moment. He met his boyfriend in 2004. And then he married his lesbian wife in 2009. He and his wife don’t live together, but they visit each other’s parents once a week. Mr Zhuang even keeps some of her clothes on display at home, in case of unannounced visitors.

Mr Zhuang says he is lucky to live in a big city like Shanghai, where such a solution is possible. But he wants to live in a country where gay men are accepted. His parents have started to talk about a grandchild. Mr Zhuang and his lesbian wife will likely get a forged certificate of infertility. Keeping up the appearance of their marriage feels like a never-ending battle, he says. But sometimes lies are more sensible than the truth.

The Dish noted the practice awhile back.