Hey China, Forced Marriage Cannot “Correct” a Lesbian

Recently, Qinqin (not her real name), a young Chinese woman, swallowed a lethal dose of pesticide in an attempt to kill herself. Was she turning to suicide because she was alone, friendless, and felt no one cared for her? On the contrary, she was a young woman very much in love. But despite being in love with another woman, Qinqin’s family forced her into a traditional Chinese marriage — to a man. Her family wanted to “correct” her lesbianism with a forced marriage. Needless to say, the plan didn’t work, and the results were almost deadly.

Qinqin fell in love with her roommate Lanlan (not her real name) last year when they were working together in Beijing last June. The two women were inseparable — they slept in the same bed, walked around hand-in-hand, and were rarely seen without the other one. They were in every symptom a young couple in love. But when Qinqin returned home the following spring, she learned that her parents had arranged a marriage with a man she’d known only a couple days. They flatly ignored Lanlan’s presence in their daughter’s life and forced her to marry a man anyway.

Soon into their marriage, Qinqin worked up the nerve to tell her husband about her sexual orientation and asked for a divorce. He refused to give her one. For months, she begged him to let her leave their marriage and be with the woman she loved. But both her family and her husband forced her to stay trapped in the marriage. So Qinqin and Lanlan made a suicide pact, determined that if they couldn’t be together in life they could be together in death. Thankfully, it’s a pact that ultimately failed and both young women survived.

Even after their daughter’s suicide attempt, Qinqin’s family thinks of their daughter’s sexual orientation as something to be “corrected” and are planning on forcing her into therapy to make her straight. And sadly, they are not alone. In China and other countries around the world, forced marriage is used as a “cure” for homosexuality. Often, these marriages are forced upon lesbians, under the misguided notion that marriage to a man will somehow change their sexual orientation. And in many cultures where this practice takes place, women must rely on men for permission to divorce.

Forced marriage is a form of human trafficking, and is never the answer. And homosexuality is a legitimate sexual orientation which can’t be changed by forcing someone into an unwanted marriage. Straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual — marriage should be about two people agreeing to be together because they both want to.

source: http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/hey_china_forced_marriage_cannot_correct_a_lesbian

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