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19 Apr 2016

LGBT in China pledge not to enter sham marriages

A social media campaign has taken off on the Chinese mainland in with the hashtag #I’m gay and I won’t marry a straight person# trending on microblogging network Sina Weibo

This week saw a number of the Chinese LGBT community reject the fairly common practice of sham marriages, in which a LGBT person enters into a marriage with someone of the opposite sex to appease family members.

In the social media campaign, LGBT have been uploading selfies and declaring that they will not marry a straight person. Several parents of LGBT have also uploaded photos declaring that they will not push their children into sham marriages.

China’s sham marriages have received a fair amount of press attention both in local and international media in the last few months. Recent local media reports had painted gay men entering into straight marriages despite their sexuality in a bad light and highlighted the suffering of women who found themselves married to homosexuals.

The online campaign was initiated by LGBT rights group Pflag China and spokesman  Zhou Ying told the BBC they had come up with the idea after noticing greater discussion in the media and online on gay rights and the issue of marriages in recent weeks.

One participant, known as Peng Peng, posted a photo of himself with words saying: "I'm not willing to pretend for others, no matter how big the pressures are, I still want to be my true self, and so I use this campaign to take a stand."

"Many homosexuals because of various pressures get forced into marriages of convenience with straight people, or even real marriages,” Peng Peng said of sham marriages.

Kenneth Cheung, founder of LGBT rights group Rainbow China, told the BBC that he “hopes that when straight people see this, they would understand that the issue of LGBT rights closely affects them too, and thus garner more support for marriage equality."

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-04-20 12:12  
good on you , glad to hear that you are sticking to your principles :)
2. 2016-04-20 14:04  
Lol. That's great for those men that marry through love and attraction to a woman but later identify as more gay than straight.

Equality includes everyone. Why is it so hard to understand this?
3. 2016-04-22 12:50  
Hmmm ... Gai ... I am curious what it is you do find 'funny' about this topic.
4. 2016-04-23 05:51  
It's hilarious how "activists" want men, unknowingly unsure of their sexuality, not to marry women.

If you know you're gay and you're up for using the hashtag, you were never going to marry opposite sex anyway. To think everybody who at some point identifies as gay is going to embrace this is just bonkers.

Be different.

Be yourself.
5. 2016-04-24 12:22  
So they are not marrying straight women. Are they going to marry lesbians?
6. 2016-04-26 06:27  
I know several Asians in Canada that come from various areas of China, including H/K Beijing and Shanghai. They have married women in China to please their parents and in one case married a gay women to have kids while he lives with his Asian boy friend in Canada. I guess the countries attitudes can often dictate the behaviour that causes the least amount if grief.
7. 2016-05-05 06:34  
In each country the majority rules which dictates what is supposedly normal.

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 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia