Friday, February 3, 2012

From Shanghai - Dr. Wang's Story

Dr. Wang, a 45-year-old medical officer at a multinational company in Shanghai, has lived through the “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality. Wang began having sex with men in college, but did not know the correct term for his lifestyle. He was also at an all-male medical military school where men weren’t allowed to date. However, after graduating, with no gay bars existing yet, he began to frequent parks and public gardens to meet other gays and realized his sexuality at age 23.

But even more than two decades later, he has not come out to his friends or colleagues, despite an anti-discrimination policy at his workplace, believing it is his personal business. He hasn’t told his family either, but suspects they can guess. They have stayed with Wang and his boyfriend on visits and Wang has taken his boyfriend to visit his family.

“We never talk about this because it’s the best way to handle it,” Wang says. “I don’t want to give them too much pressure because many people in China still don’t think gays are normal. Others might think your children are not normal. I think maybe they can guess, but they don’t want to discuss it because of the pressure, because it’s too embarrassing or because of the culture, but I know they love me.”

Wang doesn’t plan to tell his parents, saying it’s the best way, but says if they ask, he would tell them.

Though Wang is 45 years old, his family hasn’t given him pressure to marry. One reason may be he was married for half a year. He worked in an army hospital where he would only be given an apartment if he was married so he paid a woman to marry him in order to obtain an apartment. Though his friends knew it was a fake marriage, his parents did not and still have not pressured him to remarry, a sign they may know his sexuality as Confucianism emphasizes the importance of marriage in society while having children to continue the family line is considered a duty to one’s parents. Some consider a childless son to have failed in his filial duty.

“Chinese people think it's the biggest duty for sons and daughters to get married and have children,” says Robin, a gay student living in Shanghai. “Someone who can't have children, that's the biggest disrespect to their parents.”

Despite being content with his current status quo, Wang has hopes for the future.

“I think some day if gays can get married in China, that will be perfect,” Wang said. “I don’t think it will include my lifetime, but that’s just my hope.”

SOURCE: "Homosexuality in China," US-China Today


silvereagle said...

Interesting -- the similarities of stories in the east and west....The name can be chenged to Charles and the setting any city in the US I am sure. We think tht we are the only person with a specific problem, when in fact there are others to mirror us somewhere in the world.

fan of casey said...

Joe: Wang? Is that supposed to be a sly pun? :-)

. said...

Very interesting article you shared Joe...I found it a very good read. Hope all is going well with you...happy weekend!!