An elderly gay couple in China who recently came out on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, found themselves becoming a controversial topic on the social network, reports Hong Kong’s Southern Chinese Morning Post.
The men, one who appears to be in his 50s and the other probably in his 60s, say there were inspired by Hong Kong’s “Big Love” gay rights campaign launched by openly gay Hong Kong singers Anthony Wong, and Denise Ho this month. Since first posting about their relationship on Jan 18, the couple, who did not reveal their names, now has more than 5,000 fans.
“Two old men’s love” (两个老头的爱情) Weibo page
On their profile page named “Two old men’s love” (两个老头的爱情), they said that they are deeply in love and plan to marry this month and asked their online friends for their blessings.
“Please give us your well-wishes, there’s no use objecting even if you want to,” read the scrolling message on a video recording of the pair singing Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (The moon represents my heart), a classic love song by Taiwanese songstress Teresa Teng.
In the video, they kissed passionately, stroked each others’ faces and bantered. “I really love you, little darling,” said one and the other quipped, “Old darling, old darling.”
According to the newspaper report, the retired and divorced history teacher met his partner – a water delivery worker – when the latter was making a delivery.
In another video posted three days later, the pair addressed Weibo users who opposed their relationship and urged them to not be close-minded. The more outspoken of the two shared how they met and he came to love and care for his partner who is a migrant worker.
Their photos and posts have drawn thousands of comments some which were supportive and while others were not so.
“We won’t part till we die,” the Post quoted the couple as saying on Weibo. “We will strive to be together no matter how hard and painful it is.”
The retired teacher added that he become estranged from his own child after he came out.
“Being together has been tough,” he said. “Few people support us, except a few of our older friends.”
Same-sex marriage or civil unions are not recognised in China although a number of same-sex couples have held wedding banquets that were covered by the mainstream media.
Beijing court recommends marriages with gay spouses can be annulled
In a report released last week, the First Intermediate People's Court of Beijing recommended that the state allows those who discover their spouses to be gay avoid the messiness of divorce by filing for an annulment instead, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
After winning an annulment, the person who filed the request would be legally listed as “single” instead of “divorced.”
The report said the number of such cases has been increasing. Current marriage law does not provide an "out" for such marriages and many of the wives view divorce unfavourably.
China has at least 10 million "gay wives," according to prominent sexologist Zhang Beichuan, adding that nearly 90 percent of gay men are already married to or will eventually marry heterosexual women, as same-sex marriage is banned in the country.