Sunday, February 5, 2012

From Shenzhen - He Xiao's Story

He Xiao is a 25-year-old gay man working in hotel management in Shenzhen. He is comfortable and confident about his sexuality, even coming out to his colleagues on his first day of work.

Coming from a small town, however, he had a difficult time growing up with his lifestyle.

“My hometown is quite a small town, we didn’t have any information about what homosexuality is,” He says. “I did know that I liked my head teacher very much, but I wasn’t sure what I was. It was a very scary and confusing time. I didn’t know what I might be. I thought I might be the only one like that, I thought I might be sick or there was something wrong with me.”

At the time, with no computer and no knowledge of how to use the internet, he tried to avoid thinking about his problems.

In 2003, he went to Tianjin for university. The first classmate he met was a lesbian from Beijing who came out to him two months after school started. He confessed to her that he thought he might be gay as well. She introduced him to lesbian and gay resources. Within three months, He had come out to his classmates, friends and two brothers.

“For me, it was very easy to accept being gay,” He says. “It was very fresh air for me, as I was really longing for that information.”

While some of his friends viewed homosexuality as a curable psychology problem, on the whole, He says young people are more open to homosexuality.

“I came out to my brothers separately, but their reaction was very calm. Both asked me exactly the same question: ‘Are you happy?’ They said as long as I’m happy they’re happy for me.”

However, He is afraid of coming out to his parents, saying it is difficult since he comes from a small town, his parents don’t even know what homosexuality is. Every time he visits his hometown, his relatives ask if he has a girlfriend and urge him to get married.

But He is optimistic that his parents would accept it, especially having seen positive coming-out stories among his friends. His lesbian classmate who he first met is now living with her girlfriend and her parents in her parents’ house.

“I asked her parents once why they are so cool with her having a girlfriend and living together with them,” He says. “Her mom answered very simply, saying ‘She’s my daughter, I love her, I want her to be happy.’ They’re from Beijing, so they have a much better understanding of what homosexuality is.”

He hopes his parents will be as understanding. “I cannot imagine how my parents will react, but I’m sure they’ll want me to get married and have kids because they’re very traditional parents,” he says. “ But they’re very kind and understanding people, so if I explain it to them correctly, tell them I’m happy and have a good life, they’ll understand eventually since they love me.”

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


Unknown said...

It's stories like this that make me want to tell them that everything will be all right, even if it really is just a tired lie.

silvereagle said...

This series of stories affirm the fact that each person, and their situation, are individual and not of a cookie cutter variety. Just as in other situations, each individual must examine the facts and determine what is the best policy for him in his situation.