In China, the pressure for young women to get married is huge. So what do you do if you are a gay woman? Ou Xiaobai, a 32-year-old living in Beijing, describes how a marriage of convenience helps her please her family and preserve her freedom.
I want to protect and be with my girlfriend for my entire life. And that’s why I married a man in 2012.
At that time I was living a happy life with my girlfriend in Beijing. But I was under constant pressure from my family – who lived in Dalian – to get married.
Ironically my situation would have been easier a decade ago. Then there was less awareness of homosexuality and therefore less suspicion.
My parents kept asking me if I was seeing anyone. And the situation got worse after my father passed away, because my mother – concerned that I didn’t seem to have settled down with anyone – started coming to live with me for a few months every year.
Realising there was no way that I could avoid the issue, I went to my friends for help – and that’s how I got to know about “marriages of convenience”. Read more