Two "男同志" got married in Changsha, China!!!
Happiness should be highlighted, although always surprising. It caused a huge storm among Chinese netizens. In the wedding, the traditional bright red Chinese character "囍" (xǐ) was replaced by rainbow flags!
And the marriage certificate was also made different! The marriage authorizing organization cannot be found in China at all! Their wedding photo is not compliant with the official regulation either.
It is the first homosexual wedding in China. The marriage certificate is self-made, as their marriage is not officially recognized in China.
The gay couple decided to get married on May 17, 2016, as it is The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
The day was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1990.
In Chinese, homosexuality is called "同性恋" or tóng zhì. The word "同志" was originally unrelated to homosexuality at all. Originally, it referred to people who are like-minded.
As early as in the turbulent 19th century, the word "同志" came onto the political stage of China, when Emperor Guangxu of the late Qing Dynasty addressed the innovationist ministers "同志", which demonstrated their shared determination of flourishing the country through reformation.
The Chinese democratic revolution pioneer Sun Yat-sen also said in his oral will, "The revolution hasn't been successful yet, and comrades should still work hard!"
So we can learn that "同志" as an appellation refers to members of a political organization as well. In the early period after the PRC was founded, the word "同志" had been used among the common people to address one another.
xiǎo lǐ tónɡ zhì
lǎo zhānɡ tónɡ zhì
It was heard constantly on both official and unofficial occasions in that time. In modern Chinese, except being used to address officials or officers in the communist government, army and so on, "同志" is rarely used as an appellation among people.
However, "同志" is not marginalized completely. It has been widely known as the collective reference to homosexuals.
The following sentences are accepted by the mass and will never be ambiguous again. Speak them boldly:
wǒ shì tónɡ zhì
I'm a gay.
wǒ yǒu hěn duō tónɡ zhì pénɡ you
I have many friends who are homosexual.
wǒ men yì qǐ qù tónɡ zhì jiǔ bā hē yì bēi bɑ
Let's have a drink in the Gay Bar!
"同志" has become a mild name of homosexuals, since the HK writer and movie critic Michael Lam addressed one of his lesbian friends "同志". In many of his later works, he keeps referring to homosexuals as "同志".
In 1989, the HK playwright Edward Lam planned a film festival called "Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (HKLGFF)", as he hoped "同志" would replace some derogatory terms to become the appellation of homosexuals on one hand, and homosexuality could turn from an issue about sexual preference to a social topic on the other hand.
However, for homosexuality and homosexuals to break the conventional fence in the conservative and restrained Chinese society, more efforts are to be made.
In Qipa Shuo (literally "Ridiculous Talk"), a well-known talk show in China that was premiered in Nov., 2014, homosexuality was discussed publicly. The famous Chinese TV host Kevin Tsai sobbed at his own experience as a homosexual, which touched tens of thousands of Chinese netizens. However, one month and a half later, the episode was forced to be removed from the websites.
The Chinese drama about homosexuality Addiction had been followed and discussed before it was premiered. However, it could not be found online at all presently. Even the actors in the drama have disappeared out of sight of the Chinese audience.
Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee from Taiwan won several Academy Awards in 2006, but has never been screened in China's cinemas.
Nevertheless, it is believed China as an ancient and civilized country tracing back to over 5,000 years ago needs more time to assimilate and tolerate homosexuality. We have seen such tolerance is being spread considerately among Chinese people.
In Shanghai, since 2009, the festival PRIDE has been held in June annually. It is a campaign in support of homosexuals.
In Changsha, the first of the 100 planned homosexual weddings has been held publicly. Believe the relay will keep evoking concerns and understanding of homosexuals from the mass.
This word "同志", going through vicissitudes of life and redefined with the modern identity, has been included into the Chinese dictionary in a mixed mind.
Have you kept it in mind?
[Original meaning]: people who are like-minded. 兴趣、志向相同的人。
People who work together for the common ideal or cause; or members of a political organization
Habitual appellation of one another among people.
Appellation of one another among homosexuals.
The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer.