Welcome to China, where angry gay men abuse their wives

15 Jun

anti-gay protestorsI’ve just spotted this curious little China Daily article from a couple of months back. Can’t remember how. I think someone tweeted a link to it – that’s usually how it starts. Anyway, the report detailed in the piece reveals an astounding stat: there could be as many as 16 million women married to gay men in China. Or to put it another way, there could be 16 million gay Chinese men living what I believe is technically called ‘a lie’.

Wowzers. How did the Qindao university professor who arrived at the figure, er, arrive at the figure, you may ask? Well, we don’t know because the Daily chooses not to tell us. But we can probably trust him because he is, after all, a “leading expert”. It just turns out that it’s not in the complex socio-sexual lifestyles of gay Chinese men, it’s in HIV and AIDS. Hmmm. Considering hacks can now be struck off and imprisoned in China for reporting stories not fully grounded in truth or reality, one the face of it this would seems a pretty risky piece.

Now I’m not disputing the stat. In fact, I find it eminently believable that in China, where homosexuality is not illegal anymore (since 1997) but is more than just a little frowned upon, there are a lot of unhappy men who feel they have been coerced by societal/family pressure into marrying birds.

If you’re in any doubt about the prevailing Chinese attitude towards homosexuality, have a closer read of the piece, which concentrates for the most part of the plight of the poor wifies.

“Most gay men’s wives I’ve known are silently suffering at the hands of husbands who couldnever love them, and like me, some even got abused by husbands who were also under greatpressure,” says the ex-wife of a gay man. Hmmm, seems a slightly extreme example to put in the story.

Then there’s Mr professor who is quoted as saying “their wives are struggling to cope and their plight should be recognised.”

Not the most balanced piece in the world. But then again this is China, where homosexuality is viewed for the most part as something decadent foreigners do.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Party began briefing journalists that gay men represent a threat to social order and a potential national security risk. Imagine if they found their way into the PLA? We all know the gays can’t shoot straight.

China Daily saves the best till last with the poignant vignette of gay student Wang Zi (not his real name, but a fantastically chosen one by the paper).

Wang says he will never tell his folks about his sexual orientation.

“I may marry a lesbian and we can keep going with our own lifestyle more honestly,” he adds.

More honestly? Blimey.

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