Perspectives on Homosexuality and Gay Marriage in China

To this day, homosexuality is definitely a touchy subject in China. It is estimated that there are 60 million homosexuals, making up five percent of the population. Chinese society is based around the family, and it is very important to many families that their children get married and continue to reproduce. Chinese families consider it to be a complete embarrassment to have a gay child. Until very recently, homosexuality was known as a mental disorder and many were taken to see doctors. The Chinese explained other reasons for the rise in homosexuality. These reasons include despair in marriage or love affairs, and the desire to have new and different experiences. Although homosexuality is not illegal, it is considered to be “disgusting and decadent.” According to, “Gays in China are more concerned about getting fired, humiliated or blackmailed once their true identity is known than they are about AIDS.” This explains why many gays leave a double life, where they are married to the opposite sex and have children, but have gay relationships in secrecy. Gays that “come out” are harassed and beat up, even by the police. An amazing film called “Farewell My Concubine” was banned in China, simply because it showed homosexuals in love. However, there are some homosexuals living in Shanghai that are not bothered for being gay unless they disturb others. Gays play very influential roles in fashion and media in Beijing. In 2009, Shanghai allowed gays to celebrate by parading during Gay Pride Week. There are, however, less meeting places for lesbians than for gay men in China. Many gays agree that the most difficult task in the “coming out process” is telling their very own parents. Due to this fear of shame and embarrassment, many gay men marry lesbians in order to please their parents.


3 thoughts on “Perspectives on Homosexuality and Gay Marriage in China

  1. this was very descriptive and informative. family life clearly plays a huge role in the chinese opinions of homosexuality. In Italy, the country that i researched, gays and lesbians have much more freedom than in China.

    • In response to Hailee’s question, the government is completly against gay marriage. Although they are not as open about homosexuality as other cities, they do permit Gay Pride Week in a few countries, as long as it doesn’t disturb anyone.

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