Shanghaiist: Li Yinhe on ‘Homowives’

Sexologist and sociologist writes about the plight of women married to gay men in China on her blog (Chinese).  The Shanghaiist has adapted this from Yawning Bread:

I attended a forum that discussed the problem of ‘‘. The so-called ’homowife‘ (tongqi 同妻) is the wife (qi 妻) of a homosexual (tongzhi 同志). It has been said that China has 20 million male homosexuals, of whom 80 per cent would marry a woman. These women are the ’homowives‘, and there are 16 million of them.

The ‘homowife’ phenomenon is a phenomenon unique to China, seldom witnessed in other countries. In other countries, homosexuals would remain single or live together or marry other homosexuals. Very few would enter into a heterosexual . This difference comes about because Chinese culture places such a great emphasis on marriage and reproduction, as to make them compulsory.

[…]The condition for ‘homowives’ is extremely tragic. At the seminar, there were ‘homowives’ who burst into tears as they spoke, leading all of them to hug each other for a good cry. Most days, they wash their faces with tears. I heard what I considered the most shocking testimony that from a woman who told of how she even doubted her ability to attract men — why wouldn’t her husband even want to look at her or touch her? Am I really that unworthy as a woman? She assumed that all men would treat her like that, not knowing that this is far from the . She did not dream that her husband would be gay. Under the circumstances, even the most beautiful and accomplished woman would not arouse him.

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