Queer seminars: Gay-lesbian contract marriage in China: Negotiating intergenerational relations and public expectations
Welcome to Queer seminars with Chuyan QIU, Master from the Department of culture studies and oriental languages, University of Oslo.
This presentation is based on Qiu’s recent MA dissertation on the phenomenon of gay-lesbian contract marriage in urban China
Contract marriage is a way for gays and lalas (lesbians) to construct the façade of heterosexuality with the intent to escape the intense marriage pressure from both society and family. The study documents the lived experiences of gay men and analyses their motivations and struggles when considering a contract marriage with lalas as an alternative way to resolve the intense pressure to marry. The negotiations in the families represent the intergenerational relations in China, including the ever-closer emotional and financial interdependence among family members which shaped by one-child policy, the instabilities in the reform era, and the lack of a well- orchestrated welfare system. The negotiations in society represent the public values towards gay men as well as a broad logic of a post-Mao middle-class good citizenship, within which filial responsibility strengthens the pressure to marry that gay men face. Practical regulations which tie the legal rights to the marriage, such as childbearing permission, also shape gay men’s motivation to conduct a contract marriage.
The presentation will be conducted in the English language.