This article explores how marriage is negotiated by Chinese queer subjects who face tension between the heteronormative expectations of their families and their desire to maintain a same-sex relationship. Specifically, we critically assess the cultural performances of xinghun (形婚), or contract marriage between a gay man and a lesbian woman. Focusing on the experiences of queer Chinese women, we investigate the enactment of marriage and gender dynamics in xinghun. Our analysis of personal accounts and online discourse in personal ads shows how Chinese queer subjects perform the “realness” of heteronormativity in their queer marriages. We argue that xinghun is an ambivalent cultural formation that at once reproduces heteronormativity and contests gender and sexual norms in a heteropatriarchal society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies