- Apr 17, 2009
Homosexuality is quite common in China or so one infers and so they are tolerant.As attitudes evolve, progress can be achieved on same sex marriages[/PHP]
By Linda Xu Source:Global Times
I attended a special wedding anniversary celebration recently. It was held by a gay couple. They neither have a legal marriage license nor did they get "married" in public, but they have been known as an openly gay couple among their intimate friends for 16 years.
The party was private. The two men, wearing matching rings, blended in perfectly with their straight friends. They pledged they wouldn't separate until death. All attendants, both heterosexual and homosexual, felt happy for them and wished them the best.
Compared with advancements in same sex rights in other countries, China lags far behind. But now there is more tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality in China, especially in big cities and among young people.
Earlier this month, wedding photos of a British diplomat and his American boyfriend in Beijing went viral on Weibo. The post drew thousands of comments, with the vast majority of the commentators congratulating the couple. One netizen encouraged more same sex couples to come out and announce their unions, pushing forward the legalization of same sex marriage in China.
My gay friend and his mate are also hoping to cement their relationship by getting a legal marriage license, so that they can enjoy all the rights of married straight couples. However, China still has a long way to go in terms of homosexual acceptance and legalization of same sex marriage.
In many places of the country, especially the vast rural areas, gay and lesbian couples are still stigmatized. They are considered sick, shameless and dirty, and as a result, millions of homosexual people have migrated to urban areas to be the people they really are.
Besides, although some gays or lesbians confess their sexual orientation to friends, they don't come out to their parents unless the parents are very liberal.
Many Westerners think Chinese homosexuals don't undergo extreme pressure, since there are no religious prohibitions on sexuality. However, Chinese homosexuals don't have it easy in a country where family is everything. My gay friend hasn't come out to his parents yet, although he and his mate have secretly lived together for years.
The past year has witnessed great progress in same sex rights in some Western countries such as the UK and the US. Many same sex weddings took place after gay marriage became legal, which is inspiring in China.
Will the legalization of same sex marriage come to China? There is still no sign of this. But we could be optimistic and become more open to embracing progress. At least, compared to years ago, China has made strides in tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality, and there is actually increasing public awareness of gay marriage in China.
A few activists have been striving for pushing forward homosexual rights. It won't be an easy task and will take time. I am not discriminating against gays or lesbians, and I hope you won't either.
Linda Xu, a white-collar employee based in Beijing
As attitudes evolve, progress can be achieved on same sex marriages - Global Times
That is why they. use the word 'Tongzhi (åŒå¿—,)' which means 'same purpose' but was used in earlier days for "Comrade', and now for a homosexual.
The Chinese society has been quite liberal and 'modern' historically.Traditional terms for homosexuality included "the passion of the cut sleeve" (æ–è¢–ä¹‹ç™–, Mandarin, Pinyin: duÃ nxiÃ¹ zhÄ« pÇ), and "the bitten peach" (åˆ†æ¡ƒ Pinyin: fÄ“ntÃ¡o). An example of the latter term appears in a 6th-century poem by Liu Xiaozhuo:
— She dawdles, not daring to move closer, / Afraid he might compare her with leftover peach.
Other, less literary, terms have included "male trend" (ç”·é¢¨ Pinyin: nÃ¡nfÄ“ng), "allied brothers" (é¦™ç«å…„å¼Ÿ Pinyin: xiÄnghuÇ’ xiÅngdÃ¬), and "the passion of Longyang" (é¾é™½ç™– Pinyin: lÃ³ngyÃ¡ngpÇ), referencing a homoerotic anecdote about Lord Long Yang in the Warring States period. The formal modern word for "homosexuality/homosexual(s)" is tongxinglian (åŒæ€§æˆ€, Pinyin: tÃ³ngxÃ¬ngliÃ n, literally same-sex relations/love) or tongxinglian zhe (åŒæ€§æˆ€è€…, Pinyin: tÃ³ngxÃ¬ngliÃ n zhÄ›, homosexual people). Instead of that formal word, "tongzhi" (åŒå¿— Pinyin: tÃ³ngzhÃ¬), simply a head rhyme word, is more commonly used in the gay community. Tongzhi (literally, 'comrade'; sometimes along with nÃ¼ tongzhi, literally "female comrade", å¥³åŒå¿— Pinyin: nÇš tÃ³ngzhÃ¬)
Here is an example of how emancipated they were and are.
Young men sipping tea and having sex. Individual panel from a hand scroll on homosexual themes, paint on silk; China, Qing Dynasty (eighteenth to nineteenth centuries); Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Just a clarification: being appended since it is in the public domain and can be seen at Kinsey Institute, US.
There is a skewed gender ratio that has led to a variety of social problems, including homosexuality in China.
Therefore, if you can't beat them, then join them is China's way and so same sex marriages are gaining ground.However, if you are persuaded that homosexuality is in part influenced by social factors, then it is worthwhile to explore what impact such a large population of unmarried men might have on the issue of sexual orientation. There is already a thriving LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community and subculture in China, but as 'coming out' continues to find acceptance and support in the younger generations, will this significant gender imbalance have any effect on the perspective of the LGBT community in the China's future mainstream consciousness?
China's Growing Problem Of Too Many Single Men - Forbes