Marriages of convenience between lesbians and gay men have been widely reported, but their numbers are likely small compared with cases of gay men or women feeling pressured into marrying heterosexual partners. Shanghai Daily cites a former Qingdao University professor’s estimate that some 10 million Chinese women may be married to gay men:
Zhang [Beichuan] estimates that 80 to 90 percent of gay men in China intend to marry or have married, citing a survey of more than 1,500 Chinese gay men.
“Having no progeny is considered in the traditional Chinese culture the worst kind of unfilial conduct,” said Zhang. “And under China’s one-child policy, the only son is under even greater pressure from his parents who want a grandson ….”
Breaking free of such marriages is not easy in China.
Divorce is rapidly rising but is still considered shameful, especially for women. Chinese law offers little help to women who might have difficulty proving their husbands are in homosexual relationships and thus can’t seek a divorce.