Shanghai’s ‘marriage market’ at People’s Square is where Chinese parents eagerly scout out potential spouses for their children.
Last Saturday, for the first time 11 mothers of LGBTI people tried to join the market to find a same-sex partner for their children.
But things got heated between a group of parents who wanted them gone. An argument broke out and the rainbow parents were forced to leave.
PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and lesbian dating app Rela organized for the mothers to attend on May 20. The date also known as 5.20 is called ‘Lover’s Day’ in China.
‘If parents of straight people can be here, parents of gay people can also be here,’ Sixth Tone reported mother, Dong Wanwan, saying to the crowd.
‘We have every right to be here — I’m here to find a boyfriend for my son.’
Dong had travelled 1200 kilometers from Shenzhen to be at the market.
Love for all
Other parents were unhappy with the LGBTI groups and confronted them. The groups argued for about one hour until police intervened and kicked out the 11 moms.
‘What they’re doing here is illegal — they’re fraudsters,’ one man said.
‘LGBT issues shouldn’t be a public display. Their choice is wrong and is against Chinese values.’
Xia Danning, 63, is mother to lesbian daughter and came from Chongqing city in southwest of China. She said that the other parents’ reaction at the marriage market reflected how most Chinese people thing about LGBTI issues.
‘There’s still a long battle ahead. Today’s event wasn’t successful, but I’m sure we’ll find another way,’ she said.
Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but the topic is still very taboo.