China Already Has Gay Marriage: Gays And Lesbians Just Marry Each Other!

We interrupt your Crate and Barrel-registered, middle-class American narrative with a late-breaking ongoing development from the most populous nation on the planet: There are a lot of closeted, Chinese gay men and lesbians marrying heterosexuals.

That’s news, you ask?

Well, maybe not, but the situation has become so prevalent that it even has a name. No, not John Travolta Syndrome: It’s called tongqi or, roughly translated, ‘homo-wife.’ According to The Economist, 70% of gay men are in these untenable situations, says scholar Zhang Beichuan. It’s believed some 16 million straight women are married to gay men in China.

But there appears to be a middle ground emerging that allows Chinese tongzhi (literally, “same will” or “comrades”) some degree of freedom: marrying each other. Sites like are uniting gay men and lesbians based on a host of preferences that may offend our freedom-loving sensibilities but work well within the Chinese culture.

And while these arrangements still involve deceit—not to mention strategically placed personal items in case the ‘rents drop by—they beat the alternatives, including social isolation, depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

Just don’t expect us to bring a present.


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  • skeloric

    THIS… this is very disturbing.
    Just wait until some GOP idiot grabs this idea and tries to import it to the USA.
    Well, some could say that the Bachmanns already are in just such a ‘marriage’… trying to show everyone how well it ‘works’.
    But overall, playing each others’ ‘beard’ just does not seem like any sort of good situation at all.
    Hey… Aren’t some GOP already offering our community the ‘right’ to marry… a person of OPPOSITE gender?
    So while some might think this is all cute and silly, it is really a very dangerous precedent being set.
    We should be strongly protesting this.

  • Spike

    No surprise given in China if the first born male in the family is gay, no one cares as long as he provides a male child heir to the family bloodline and last name, apparently there are not enough Chings, Changs, Wongs and Yangs in the China, or people for that matter.

    As for gays and lesbians marrying, if it works in China, go for it, as for here in the US, err, there is a reason why dykes on bikes start every pride parade, and then there is a 20 break before the parade continues with the gays.

  • Dan Avery

    The right wing always talks about how gays and lesbians can always marry members of the opposite sex, but it’s always in theory. Imagine if it was their daughter who came home with a flaming fiancee?

  • Dylan

    China is culturally different from the US. Considering the PRC’s awful record on gay rights, I’m not surprised that gay men might decide to marry a lesbian or a straight woman. Not really any different than the pink marriages that existed in Hollywood during it’s heydey. China’s very culturally different from the YS, you can’t expect them to have the same notions of homosexuality as well do. Hell, homophobia in many eastern countries such as Asia, India, and even in the MIDDLE EAST are western imported phenomenon. Before the the westerners came along with their Victorian Morality, there was plenty of evidence of flourishing homosexual culture in both China and Japan, and in Iran as well.

  • skeloric

    @Dan Avery:
    Good point.
    But now they’ll be able to say, “see how well it works in China?”

  • InscrutableTed

    > According to The Economist, the condition is especially widespread among gay men, who account for 70% of these untenable situations

    No, gay men account for 100% of those situations. But 70% of gay men are in that situation, according to Economist.

    You’re misunderstanding the statistics, Queerty.

  • MonkeyOnMoon

    It actually does not work well. The marriage between gays and lesbians is known as xing-hun ?lit. formal marriage or situational marriage). According to interviews and other people’s personal experiences, this method is painful and depressing, because there is always needs for hiding. Some of the people are not out to their family members, and others choose to marry the opposite genders under the pressure of their families. Personally, I think these people generally feel uncertain and insecure about their sexualities, since there are few role models to look up to, and many people, especially those who are older, do not understand the concept of sexual orientations.

  • Eddie

    And perhaps this is the country which culture will be prevalent in the future. Maybe till then the chinese will change this shitty arrangement. No human being can be happy whith its own private life screwed up for those arranged weddings. Maybe in a country where women are seen as second class people, couples are allowed to have only one baby and marriage still can be a family affair this crap may be seen as good. Chinese fags and dikes are really fucked up there.

  • GC

    Spike: More like “only-born”.

  • Vincentious

    @Spike: So Im curious, why do dykes on bikes start every pride parade? Is it because gays take too much time to dress up???

  • TracyDom


    You are talking as if people in these marriages were arranged to be in it by someone else. These young men and women hook up through the Internet, and choose to become registered husband and wife to maintain an appearance.

    No one “arranged” their personal lives other than those directly involved.

  • Eddie

    @TracyDom: Oh, I see.It’s worst because they make their own shit. There’s no one to blame here but the couple! It’s weird!

  • Hephaestion

    Who chose the happy, smiley picture to go with this story? It gives the false impression to readers that Chinese gays & lesbians are happy to marry each other. They are not. They are simply trying to survive in a homophobic society. And this has been done in every country on earth during homophobic eras.

  • Belize

    @Spike: “No surprise given in China if the first born male in the family is gay, no one cares as long as he provides a male child heir to the family bloodline and last name, apparently there are not enough Chings, Changs, Wongs and Yangs in the China, or people for that matter.”

    Hmm… apparently you still think that China and Taiwan are the same country. It seems that your “first world” education is lagging.

  • Eddie

    The couple choose a fake marrige to one of them ( the gay/lesbian one ) not be discriminated. So what is the profit for the ” homo-wife “? (As they are closeted, I first understood that their families hooked up in the internet for them. LOL )


    I am moving to China , , , ,

  • disgsuted gay american

    Ive been saying that for a few yrs here – they think gays/lesbians marrying ruins the sanctity of marriage? well – why not have gays/lesbians marry/divorce/marry/divorce etc etc etc….over and over again….they wanna see Marriage sanctity ruined – we can do it for them. These on-going,non-binding marriages and divorces….we can help UP the stats of divorce..

  • Michael

    @skeloric: I agree but I’d rather see two people serving as beards for one another than the deceit and danger involved in the sham of a union between a gay man and an unsuspecting heterosexual woman.

  • Spike

    @Vincentious: Not really sure why, I have my suspicions, then again if you were to base the theory on what we ready here on Queerty, given the only thing the gays wear at pride is underwear, it can’t be taking too much time to dress up.

  • Adonis007

    This is the complete opposite of what we’re fighting for..

  • Nicholas

    When I was a lad growing up with a gay dad, he had some friends in a rather unusual situation. They were two couples, one lesbian, one gay. Both members of the lesbian couple were in the military, and afraid of being exposed and losing their careers. One of the men in the gay couple was a UK citizen, whose work permit was running out. So they agreed to legally marry each other. This allowed each of the lesbians an airtight defense against accusations of homosexuality, and for the Brit to be sponsored for a green card in return. This kind of situation isn’t new or unique to China; I’m sure it’s a strategy lots of queer folk have quietly used to escape detection and find a measure of freedom and personal autonomy over the years within oppressive, homophobic cultures.

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