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25 Oct 2013

80 percent of women in marriages with gay men say they have been 'seriously harmed': China survey

Renown Chinese sexologist Zhang Beichuan, whose latest survey found that 80 percent of the women in marriages with gay men said they had been "seriously harmed", has called for gay men not to be bound to traditional marriage values.

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A report on unhappy marriages between gay men and women
by China's Guangzhou Daily in 2012.

A survey of nearly 150 women in China who have married or divorced gay or bisexual men, or who are in unmarried relationships with such men, say they have experienced emotional abuse from their husbands or partners.

An estimated 16 million women in China are married to homosexual men, according to renown Chinese sexologist Zhang Beichuan who also led the research team. Zhang estimates that there are some 40 million homosexuals in the country.

According to Xinhua News which reported on the results of the survey, it found that 70 percent of the women suffered long-term emotional abuse in their relationship — principally, their partner's lack of sexual interest in them — while 20 percent endured repeated beatings.

Zhang said that this is the first quantitative research on 'gay wives', who are known as tong qi, in China.

Some 80 percent of the women said they had been "seriously harmed" by their relationship and 90 percent sought legal protection and nearly 40 of the women reported symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. And of the 30 who had been tested for HIV, two found themselves to be infected with the virus.

About 10 percent have made suicide attempts while 40 percent have experienced strong suicidal thoughts. Some 90 percent of the women developed symptoms of depression.

"'Gay wives' often painstakingly conceal their identity to avoid stigma; therefore, it was hard to obtain samples for our survey. As far as I know, this is the first quantitative research on 'gay wives' in the country," Zhang said, adding that similar foreign studies are also scarce.

The Xinhua report cited previous studies which suggested that nearly 90 percent of Chinese gay men are married to or intend to marry heterosexual women.

As Chinese society is said to be increasingly more tolerant of homosexuality, Zhang called for gay men not to be bound to traditional marriage values and for them to show greater awareness of equality to stop hurting women they are involved with.

The China Daily reported last year that tongqijiayuan.com, a non-profit website offering psychological consulting and legal assistance to wives of gay men, said that they have a thousand registered members who are women seeking support and help after finding out that their husbands are gay.

China

Reader's Comments

1. 2013-10-25 21:28
I feel very sorry for any such wives, and find it hard to accept cultural differences (eg, huge pressure on Chinese males to get married, compared to almost none, here) as an excuse for the lies, deceit, infidelity and risk of diseases that many such women face.

Frankly, it's also wrong that their emotional wellbeing is at risk - it's not right to waste your thought/emotion on someone else who's deceiving you, in key ways - "I love my wife BUT I want sex with guys" seems deeply wrong. Let her go off and find someone who'll love and respect her properly, fully and equally!

I just really can't stand the amount of Married guys that message me etc - I Always think of their wife (and, God forbid, any children they may have). While I certainly have sympathy for gay men who're deeply unhappy, and pressured into getting married, and being forced to live a Heterosexual life - even so, I can't accept that it's okay to lead your wife along, and put her in that situation...
2. 2013-10-25 23:56
This is all because of traditional Chinese culture in China which places huge pressure and shameful stigma on unmarried Chinese men.
Pity them and their 'untrue loved' wifes who become victims of culture & society...
3. 2013-10-26 09:46
As an American, it is very hard for me to understand some Chinese culture. When I am told by a Chinese gay man that they will have to marry a woman, I say why. You are doing them harm by marrying them. They respond that they must marry to keep the family happy, their parents happy, and to allow the family to have a happy social life in their community. Gay may be accepted in the larger cities, but not in the rural areas. So, until the traditions change in these areas, gay men will continue to marry a woman he definitely does not love; have sex with her so they can bear a child; and live a very unhappy life while cheating sexually and lovingly against his wife. It makes no sense.

In a society where marriage is a form of social security for the parents, you would think parents would be happy to have a gay son. After all, it is all about money in China. Instead of having a straight man with one salary to support the parents, a gay couple will have two salaries to support the parents. It is a win-win for the family.

Yes, homosexuality is making huge leaps in progress to acceptance in China. But, it will take a generation or two to get traditions and culture to change with it. It is happening already. Just look on any Chinese gay personals website. Most of the postings are from younger gay men in their teens and twenties. As more and more become comfortable with being gay, they will influence how homosexuality is viewed in China.
4. 2013-10-27 15:06
If you are interested in a fake marriage, here is
a gay-directed comedy movie from Korea.

Korean Movie - Two Weddings And a Funeral (2013)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj3T0CvdP1M
http://asianwiki.com/Two_Weddings_And_a_Funeral
5. 2013-10-27 17:42
I don't like this story, which describes Chinese gay men as monsters who "seriously harm" their wives, transmit them HIV, etc. People, be careful!
6. 2013-10-28 04:22
I have been in this situation... its never easy. I did not cheat on my wife or family and still don't, even though I am now out. I love my wife and family. I hope I have not inflicted pain. But I say, do not just marry for the sake of your family and destroy or harm an innocent person.
7. 2013-10-28 12:26
Re comment no 5 by drelin: "I don't like this story, which describes Chinese gay men as monsters who "seriously harm" their wives, transmit them HIV, etc. People, be careful!"

I don't think this story says that at all. All it's saying is that gay men should reconsider marriage with a woman especially an unwitting woman who would be much better off with a straight man. ANY gay man (regardless of where he's from), who marries a woman and lies to her about his core being, feelings, needs, and thoughts, is indeed a monster.

If a gay man has to be married for whatever reasons, it's perhaps a lesser evil to marry a woman (lesbian or not) who knows what she is in for...
8. 2013-10-29 21:05
No suprise that gay men in China transmit STD of HIV to their wife. I have seen a married gay man in Shanghai when to Sauna and have sex with another man. The man might caught disease and speard it to the wife.
9. 2013-10-31 01:50
Only cowards allow societal peer pressure to supersede their own responsibility and moral obligations to others.

Guys, if it's that hard for you, you don't have to come out (as I did to my own deeply-Catholic, deeply conservative and deeply-homophobic immigrant parents from Latin America - you know, China's not the only country in the world with "traditional values"); just say that you've decided to remain single to focus on your career and taking care of your parents.
Comment #10 was deleted by its author on 2013-10-31 01:52
Comment #11 was deleted by its author on 2013-10-31 01:52
12. 2013-10-31 23:28
I would think it ok if the wife is a lesbian & if both of them have an arrangement in that they accept each other plus negotiated terms of sexual freedom for each other, something like the American TV series, "Queer As Folk". They can still have insemination or adoption of kids to please their parents. But again, it is hard to find such marriage teams, and I have always dream of such an arrangement..
13. 2013-11-01 17:53
I M A CHINESE but i can understand that siuation
14. 2013-11-01 17:53
I M A CHINESE but i can understand that siuation
15. 2013-11-01 17:53
I M A CHINESE but i can understand that siuation
16. 2013-11-04 04:21
Most of the wives knew about the sexuality of their other half. They should blame themselves because most of them wanted to have the easy life, such as not working or keeping all the freebies that they get during their wedding and after the years together to their partner.
17. 2013-11-04 10:43
This website may help gay/lesbian seek Marriage of Convenience (MOC) partner : www.GayLesbianMOC.com . All the best! :)
18. 2013-11-05 07:46
Imagine if you are dating a guy who tells you that you can never marry! The pain is real in both situations. You are doing a disservice to both the guy you are dating and to the woman you are marrying to please your family, not yourself. When Chinese men can really start to be proud of their sexuality and speak out about it, then it will become more accepted by all.

Oddly enough, almost every person I tell I am gay, has no problem with it. It doesn't matter how old they are, they all say they can accept it. I do realize that many still wouldn't want their son or daughter to be gay, but I think over time they would simply accept it. I have seen a few parents here in China discover their son is gay and while they might not be happy at first, they do come to accept it. I think the fear of telling parents is the hardest part. But once done, it cannot be undone, therefor they must accept it or lose their children.

A long time ago I took the challenge and told everyone. It was the best thing I had ever done. I felt better about myself and many others simply accepted it. My friends and most of my family readily accepted it and moved on. At least half of them already knew and were simply just waiting for me to express it. Standing behind a fake face is still standing behind a lie. Some might call it a white lie, but it is a dark lie, one without true reason. It is one that creates a fake life and love is based on honesty and trust. Those who commit this lie are being dishonest to themselves, their wife, and to their partners. Goodness forbid that they meet another man who might actually want to pursue a real relationship with them.
19. 2013-12-09 13:13
My father was looking a "good" for me to married. You know what I did? I bring my partner home and show to my family. Now everybody happy with my choice. To make my parent happy is to take care of them, not to marry a women and bring suffering to her whole life. :)
20. 2013-12-09 13:13
My father was looking a "good" girl for me to married. You know what I did? I bring my partner home and show to my family. Now everybody happy with my choice. To make my parent happy is to take care of them, not to marry a women and bring suffering to her whole life. :)

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