Gay husbands and their wives suffer in silence

Updated: 2012-02-02 22:26


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Getting married is supposed to be the happiest day for any couple as they start life together as man and wife, but for many it is the beginning of a secret hell as they slowly discover their partner's true feelings.

"The best time of life has been ruined," a woman who was married to a gay man said in a show focusing on homosexuality produced by China Central Television.

She is just one of the millions of women leading a fake heterosexual lifestyle and living with mental anguish in China.

An estimated 16 million wives in China are married to gay men, the Guangzhou Daily reported Thursday, citing Zhang Beichuan, an expert in homosexuality and a councilor at the China Sexology Association.

The majority of male homosexuals are believed to enter into heterosexual marriages due to Chinese traditions and carrying on the family bloodline, the paper said.

"Most wives did not know their husbands were gay when they got married," said Li Bai, a divorced wife of a gay man.

According to the 2005 show "In the name of life", about 90 percent of gays in China get married without revealing their true sexuality to their wives due to the pressure of traditional social concepts, which leads to many unhappy marriages.

"I loved him and did not know he was a gay when I married him," a woman said in the show.

To protect their privacy, many women choose to endure their faux marriages and pour out their woes on the Internet.

"What Can I do? It was 20 years into our marriage that I found he was gay," a blogger in Chongqing named "Bingyusuoxin" said on her micro blog. "I know I should get divorced, but what about our kids?" The woman said she had to keep the truth from her family.

Many women still hide in dark corners and stay helpless, said an online organization for women who are married to gay men. Some are still suffering pain and shame.

According to, a non-profit website offering psychological consulting and legal assistance to wives of gay men, more than a thousand women have become registered members to complain about their marriages and seek for help.

"We hope more parents will know about the stories of women who marry gay men and do not push their children to marry someone they don't love," said Wu Youjian, president of a Guangzhou-based grassroots organization for parents and friends of homosexuals.