Reactions of Chinese Mothers to their Children 'Coming Out' as Gay

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    Images and text from the 'People's Daily,' July 15, 2014

    Web Reference:

    In China, the problem's of dealing with a child's sexuality are more likely to relate to questions of grandchildren, rather than religious hate. Here are eight brief experiences.


    Mom Romantic comes from Handan, north China's Hebei province.

    "My son first told me he was gay when he was in high school. I didn't know what to do then. I told him that I would love him no matter he was gay or not but I kept thinking that maybe I had taken medicine I wasn't supposed to take when I was pregnant with him. And I sort of counted on that maybe with the passage of time he would change, physically and psychologically," she said.

    However, her son "came out" a second time in college and that was when she knew she had to deal with the fact.

    After that, she found herself searching information, seeking experts' opinion and getting in contact with other homosexual people to learn more about the group.

    "I was surprised that there are so many of them, and I decided to do something to help them get out of the shadows," she said.

    Now she's become a flag bearer in a association advocating equal treatment for gay people.

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    "He's a good boy, quiet, polite, just like a girl", Mrs. Xia from Zhengzhou, Henan province said of her son.

    Her son disclosed his sexual orientation when he was a junior college student.

    "One day out of the blue he came to me and said he wanted to tell me a secret. He said he had no feeling for girls, and I was like, half-jokingly, ‘You mean you're gay'? And he nodded. And that was it.

    I forced myself to appear calm because I was afraid I'd give him pressure. He showed me all the articles and video clips on homosexuality he had saved in his computer, while I was having all these thoughts swirling in my head, ‘what's he going to do', ‘how he's going to be treated by everybody else.'"

    She said she couldn't sleep that night with tears running down and her thinking about his son's future.

    The next day Mrs. Xia walked with her son to the woods beside their neighborhood and they talked there for the whole afternoon.

    "There was no whining or crying, I had to accept it, and there was no good giving a hard time to either of us," she said.

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    Ping'an, 30, works in Shenzhen while his parents live in Shenyang, Liaoning province.

    Tears kept rolling down her face as his mom recounted the experience when Ping'an first told her he was gay.

    "I came to accept it the next day, and it gives me heartache to think that he had to go through everything all by himself," she said.

    But she also shared her concerns.

    "His father has Okayed this as well, but he wouldn't accept his boyfriend. We worry that when he grows old, nobody's going to take care of him; we worry about his future," she said.

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    Muyezi's son has always been the pride of the family. Everything went well for him – A grades, med school, and bright future – until right before the final exams of his third year in college.

    "I remember clearly that he called me over the phone and said he was under so much pressure that he couldn't properly prepare for the exams and that he wanted to quit," said Muyezi. "I asked him why several times and at last he told me the truth," said she.

    It took her a while to come to terms with herself, and when she did, she drove to her son's school and accompanied him reviewing for the exams all day and all night.

    "He told me a lot during those days, from how awkward it was to live in the same dorm with boys, to the fact that he hadn't made any good friends since he entered college. He said he never liked to be with the crowd because he knew he was different," Muyezi said, unable to hold her tears back.

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    Anran had a smile on her face all the time as she recounted her daughter first telling her she was lesbian.

    "I noticed there was something going on when she was in junior high school," Anran said. "She was getting very intimate with girls while she treated boys as her buddies. But I didn't say anything."

    It was not until her daughter had a job that Anran knew for sure. "One day by chance she confided to me that she liked girls and not boys, and then it all made sense."

    Well educated herself, Anran wasn't surprised that her daughter was lesbian because she knew of the existence of homosexuals and knew that it was a normal social phenomenon.

    "What surprised me was that she'd been dating a girl for years and I didn't have the faintest idea about that," Anran said, smiling.

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    Xinyu's son came out simply.

    "He sent me a text message that said ‘mom I'm gay'," she said.

    At first she thought he was suffering from some kind of psychological disease and went about looking for treatment. Then she realized it was not going to work but still hoped that one day things would change. "Even if it's just getting married, having a child and then divorce," she said.

    She dared not to tell her husband and had to take it all by herself. "I asked myself ‘why, did I do something wrong and this is God punishing me? '"

    Her husband turned hysterical when he came to know that his son was gay. "Let him die!" He yelled and then burst into tears.

    Half a year later, Xinyu was still full of tears when speaking of her son's coming out of the closet. But the tears were of understanding and tolerance. Now she's been in contact with a large number of gay people through various means and is beginning to throw her support behind the group.

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    Mrs. Luo is a civil service officer with a 16 year old son. She feels a little abashed since she got her clue by reading her son's SMS messages.

    "He was talking with his friend about not knowing how to ‘come out' to his parents, and I didn't know what ‘come out' meant so I searched it on the internet," she said.

    Her son confirmed that he had feelings for boys and didn't like girls that same day quite frankly.

    "I'm glad that he didn't have to keep it too long, because the longer he keeps it to himself, the more he suffers," she said.

    "We're a democratic family and everyone is an independent unit, his dad and I have no right to interfere with this," she said, while conceding that she does have worries about his future.

    "My biggest concerns are whether he'll be engaged in unbecoming activities, how he's going to get married and have children."


    Jehovah will sort this out.


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    Like other girls her age, Xiaoyu got married to a man. Her parents were content with their son-in-law until one day a phone call disturbed the peace.

    "Dear Xiaoyu's mom, please let me free, your daughter's lesbian and our marriage is just a show."

    Xiaoyu's mother was stricken numb and Xiaoyu's father has since been confined to bed by the heart-attack inflicted by the news.

    Xiaoyu recognized her sexual orientation long before the marriage, but like many other homosexual people, she chose to conceal it and married a gay man. It didn't take long before the partner of her "husband" started to protest against the marriage, and the "son-in-law" had no choice but to tell Xiaoyu's mom the truth.

    After the skeleton's were out of the closet, Xiaoyu confided to her mother things that she hadn't been able to talk about for years.

    "I know I'll try to accept this," her mom said. "It just takes time."

  • Pistoff

    What a good series, thanks!

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