According to estimates by Zhang Beichuan, a professor at Qingdao University and an expert on homosexuality and HIV/AIDS prevention, China has roughly 30 million same sex oriented person. They are 20 million gay men and the remaining, are lesbians.Professor found in a survey of 1,259 homosexuals that 8.7 percent were fired or forced to resign after revealing their sexual orientation, and 4.7 percent felt their salary and career advancement were affected. Some 62 percent keep their sexual orientation a secret in the workplace.
This is the story of a Gay couple 45-year-old Zeng and 27-year-old Pan who got married only 17 days ago but their honeymoon has been a long ordeal. Since China doesn't recognize and tolerate same sex marriages, it is claimed that the Zeng-Pan wedding ceremony is the first such public event in the country.
This couple made their relationship public in November and had a wedding ceremony in a gay bar in Chengdu of southwest China's Sichuan Province on January 3, 2010., they have been the subject of revilement from family and friends.
On the interview with China daily he said that he discovered when he was about 20 that he was not interested in people of the opposite sex. He said he felt sorry for his wife whom he described as dedicated and loyal. "What could I do at that time? I felt embarrassed to think of that tendency," he said. "I felt I was embracing a lifeless tree while holding a woman," Zeng said.
Zeng, is an architect in Chengdu. He married a dance instructor in 1983 and they had a daughter three years later. But try as he did, he said he could not be attracted to his wife. So he deliberately found a job far away from home the day after marriage and came back just once or twice a month.
When their daughter grew up and found a decent job, Zeng confessed to his wife. "She was shocked and kept crying for several days. Finally, she agreed to set me free" Zeng added. So the couple divorced last February.
Pan 27, is a demobilized soldier. He's already get a girl friend. They met last November at a bar. They fell in love with each other at first sight, his bright and enchanting smile almost blinded me. And I am so addicted to his gentle and soft voice. Pan is robust and masculine, he said.
This couple met frequently. One month after their first date, Pan broke up with his girlfriend and moved to Zeng's apartment. However, they faced pressure and prejudice. Zeng even had to tell others neighbour that Pan was my adopted son. Not bear with the situation, the couple finally moved back to Zeng hometown of Luodai, a remote town in eastern Chengdu, where nobody knew them.
The couple finally made their choice to get married in a bar frequented visit by male homosexuals, which was unprecedented in the city. More than 200 of the couple's friends who shared their orientation were invited to the wedding but many guests who saw their wedding photos were surprised to find the bride in the white wedding gown was a man.
"Gays in Chengdu hardly tell others they are gay. They only meet each other in bars or tea houses, and dare not tell family members or friends, we are no longer hiding any more. The wedding is our happiest and most precious moment. We don't care how others consider us, as long as we are together" Zeng said.
The only thing they regret is that they could not get a marriage certificate in line with Chinese law. "Thousands of gays and lesbians get married in France, Finland, the UK. Why couldn't we?"
There has been no response from the government and critics argue. The idea is too radical for present day in China. Their wedding ceremony was attended by their gay friends without a single relative both of the couple.
Picture and Source: China Daily