Lesbian partners tying the knot with gay couples to satisfy their parents

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New Delhi, June 8 (ANI): There is an increasing trend of fake marriages between lesbian couples and gay partners in order to escape family and social pressures.

Zhang Nana and her partner Shenlan (not their real names) are in a relationship. In 2006, she married 31-year-old university lecturer surnamed Wang - who was already with his partner Lian.

But three years later, the couple divorced - Zhang came out to her parents.lthough China removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 2001, people like Zhang's parents continue to see it as an abnormity that can be corrected.

"They believe I've 'degenerated' into same-sex love because of troubles in the marriage. But Wang, too, is gay.

"Our marriage was a cover from the very beginning," The China Daily quoted her as saying.

It was while trawling the online lesbian-community forums and reading of the personal experiences of other homosexuals, that Zhang and her partner decided to look for a gay couple "so we could help one another".

Guo Xiaofei, law school lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law, and author of Homosexuality in the Prospective of Chinese Law, says that in a country where same-sex marriage/partnership is not legal, a sham marriage is the gay community's creative response to the pressure to conform.

Though the ratio of gay-lesbian marriages is hard to tell, "they are a reaction to the social pressures," he adds.

Despite arranging a marriage without a hitch, things became difficult and eventually, it became hard to deceive people. The couples' collaboration ended and Zhang saw a chance to come clean with her parents.

"I was sick of lying to them," she says.

"My life has become an endless round of deceptions. I'm exhausted with all the lying. I have even had to abandon some of my cherished friendships," Shenlan says.

Guo says Zhang's decision to come out also reflects the growing economic and social status of Chinese women, and the increasing confidence with which homosexuals are approaching their sexual identity. (ANI)

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