16 million Chinese women married to gay men

February 3rd, 2012 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Shaan Beijing, Feb 3 (IANS) Sixteen million women in China are married to homosexual men, an expert claimed.

Due to traditional family values in China, about 90 percent of homosexual men get married to women, said Zhang Bei-chuan, an HIV/AIDS expert at Qingdao University.

“Their wives are struggling to cope and their plight should be recognized,” China Daily Friday quoted Zhang as saying.

Twenty-nine-year-old Xiao Yao, a magazine editor in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, divorced her gay husband in 2008.

“Most gay men’s wives I’ve known are silently suffering at the hands of husbands who could never love them, and like me, some even got abused by husbands who were also under great pressure,” Xiao said.

She now runs a website called “Homeland of gays’ wives”, which has 1,200 registered users and provides support and advice.

“The website makes them feel they’re not alone and empowers them to make the right choices,” she said.

Zhang said that getting their voice heard was the first step to raising public awareness.

However, some within the gay community think otherwise.

Xiao Dong, 36, who is a gay and heads a HIV/AIDS prevention organization, said: “Zhang’s estimation is unsubstantiated and I even feel it’s pointless to research the issue.”

“To put gays’ wives under the spotlight might cause more public misunderstanding or even hatred toward the gay population, which does not help defuse existing social discrimination against them,” Xiao said.

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