They Do

Gay Man In China Proposes To His Boyfriend On Crowded Subway, Crowd Goes Wild

proposalThere’s nothing like a marriage proposal between two men to liven up a dull train ride. Commuters on a crowded Beijing subway recently became spectators to a gay marriage proposal, as they watched a man get down on one knee in the crowded car and present his boyfriend with an engagement watch. The proposal was captured on video by many of the onlookers’ smartphones and has since gone viral in China on the social media network Weibo reports BBC News.

Reactions to the proposal from online commentators has been mostly positive despite a few shouts of “sin” and “disgusting” that can be heard in the background of the video. Weibo user Bai Yi Yan Vina’s comment on her uploaded clip of the romantic moment loosely translates as, “They do not care about the secular vision, they dare to break the old concept … As a spectator, I can only send sincere wishes.” Another online comment stated, “Those who say this is disgusting, you are not qualified to judge others.” Even the lonely straight gals are tossing in their two cents as one lamented, “I feel as though the whole world has become gay, and yet I’m still single.”

Unfortunately for the newly engaged couple, they won’t be able to get married in China since the country has not legalized same-sex marriage. However, unlike the United States, where the battles surrounding gay marriage revolve around the inability of intolerant bigots to separate church and state, China’s belief system about homosexuality is more of a cultural issue. Timothy Hildebrandt, an assistant professor at the London School of Economics who has studied China’s LGBT movement, told BBC News that while “some have never encountered a gay person and don’t know what homosexuality is, others are aware of homosexuality but don’t believe it exists in China.” Nevertheless, Hildebrandt noted there is increasing acceptance of gay people in urban areas.

Another problem in China’s acceptance of homosexuality lies in the country’s one-child policy. Although it has been relaxed in recent years, Chinese citizens can be fined for having more than one child, which increases pressure on only children who are gay.

Hildebrandt explained, “Parents will think that if their only child is gay, that will end their hopes for grandchildren. It’s family pressure which creates a disproportionate pressure on gays and lesbians.”

Watch the proposal below. While a timepiece might not seem as romantic as a diamond ring, perhaps they do things differently in China. Hopefully, it was an Apple Watch. Congrats to the happy couple!

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18 Comments

  • Giancarlo85

    Cute! :) I’m happy for them!

  • Glücklich

    On a subway? At least it wasn’t one of those DREADFUL flash mob proposals.

    And that train’s not crowded by anyone’s standards, least of all the Chinese.

  • JerseyMike

    And the crowd went wild… NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brian

    This appears to be fake. Gay marriage is not allowed in China. Heck, they don’t even allow free speech.

  • Bisexual-Transwoman

    Congrats to them, if it actually happened.

    @Brian: I’ve heard how they put LGBT people into prison?

  • Curty

    I hope they can fly from China to kingdom, france U.S. because they can’t actually get married in China. They don’t play that shit in asia anywhere.

  • Lvng1Tor

    is there really a reason to state “gay man” couldn’t it just be “man proposes to boyfriend…I think we all know…specially here..it’s a gay man.

  • Bisexual-Transwoman

    @Lvng1Tor: Not necessarily. One or both of them could be bisexual men.

  • bottom250

    So beautiful the happy tears are pouring out of me.

  • throwslikeagirl

    It’s an exciting and wonderful new world. LGBT progress has been amazing in the past few years. It’s a good time to be queer.

    I agree with the comment that there’s no need for the qualifier, “gay” in front of “man”. That’s part of progress too, and as part of the press, Queerty should set this example.

  • Giancarlo85

    @Brian: You have a habit of being a perpetual idiot. The Chinese government while not allowing same sex marriage, allows homosexuality. They do not persecute gay people since they abolished those laws in the 1990s.

  • captainburrito

    @Brian: While gay marriage is not legally recognized, they may have a ceremony. Chinese people did not rely on state issued marriage licences for eons anyway. And same sex marriage went on for eons in ancient China. There was no free speech back then either.

    Homosexuality is recorded plainly in official chinese history. Some of the euphemisms for homosexuals originate from anecdotes from chinese history dating back to the equivalent of classical greek times. In our equivalent of the Roman empire, the Han Dynasty… the history shows that almost every single emperor had males spouses / concubines – one seems likely to have been gay rather than bisexual.

    When Jesuit missionaries arrived they loved the patriarchal structure of chinese society except the prevalence of homosexuality, of which they left scathing accounts.

    It was only in modernity that attitudes really changed. Communists persecuted everyone who was different. But China now has an officially neutral policy towards gay people which seems unremarkable given attitudes in advanced nations but if you compare to Russia, middle east and Africa this is already a huge improvement.

    It will be interesting to see the gay rights movement in China as she develops socially. Instead of going up against Christianity, it will be going up against the patriarchy of chinese society / confucianism. One of the main requirements is that males produce and heir but that can be solved by surrogacy and in the past chinese were ok with gay marriage or gay affairs due to polygamy. Maybe i’m just excited at the prospect of 1/5 of the world having gay marriage as that will seriously bump up the portion of the worlds population with gay marriage which is about 15% at the moment.

  • DavidIntl

    The time is coming for Asia as well. When my ex-husband and I moved to Hong Kong four years ago, we were the first people ever to succeed in getting my employer (a local, public institution) to grant spousal benefits. I think you will see same-sex marriage in HK relatively soon. They are aware that they are increasingly in the minority among highly -developed countries. And in mainland China, there has even been some rather odd semi-official discussion of gay marriage as a positive way of dealing with the imbalance between the number of males and the number of females.

  • sportsguy1983

    Proposing on a subway? Must be true love. So classy.

  • Vartan X.

    @Giancarlo85: Oh, Jeez, thanks a bunch to Chinese government for allowing gay people to exist. They must be champions of LGBT rights. I am not sure if this is real or just a pathetic attempt to portray China as a gay-friendly nation. Asian countries tend to be profoundly homophobic. We have a few morons on Queerty who actually believe that even Muslim countries aren’t really homophobic, but instead very very gay-friendly because gays can engage in sexual activity only in privacy of their homes as long as they don’t tell anyone.. Whoa!

  • JDwrites

    US comments reflect the myopia of people whose experience of the world is pretty limited and whose understanding of it is shaped by a news media more interested in exciting ratings than informing people of the complexities of the world. When living in Asia, I was invited to a birthday party in Shanghai–a 4 day extravaganza in which the party journeyed through a schedule of great restaurants and lounges with dancing at a club–gogo boys in gold lamé shorts on the bar–and a stop at Eddy’s, a gay bar so packed as to bring out the “where is the fire exit” angst in me. Asia is behind the times in some ways, not in others, and the issues are not just matters of governance but matters of culture. Chinese gays typically must marry and produce an heir in a culture that has traced lineage, intertwined with social standing, for thousands of years. It will take a long time–and gay families with kids, to make a dent in that historical imperative.

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