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Liz Carter senior contributor

On Chinese Valentine’s Day, Two Men Get Engaged While Netizens Cheer

Qiang Shao explained the two delayed their announcement when his father fell ill. Via Sina

Many Chinese celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14, but yesterday was the traditional Chinese equivalent of the holiday, called Qi Xi (七夕). On this day every year, many men and women will profess their feelings for each other or propose–one of the trending topics on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, was “Let’s get married!”

On this special occasion, Sina, one of the country’s main news outlets, ran a story about a gay couple in southern China who have openly announced their engagement. While homosexuality is still a taboo topic in many parts of China, Chinese society as a whole, and young city residents in particular, are becoming more accepting of it. In celebration of this romantic holiday and social progress, Tea Leaf Nation has translated and reprinted the story of Qiang Shao and Zhong Shao’s engagement below.

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Two gay men in Dongguan Get Engaged

Zhong Shao and Qiang Shao come from Fujian Province in southeastern China, and have been together for two years and three months. After announcing their engagement on their Weibo pages, most of the hundreds of comments are sincere best wishes.

Recently, social media is abuzz with the news of two gay men setting a date to be married. The two men, Zhong Shao and Qiang Shao, are from Fujian, and have been together for two years and three months. The reporters discovered that after the two had posted Weibos about their announcement, most of the hundreds of comments were well wishes for the two of them. Today, Zhong Shao and Qiang Shao will become engaged at a gay bar in Dongguan.

Weibo announcement of engagement draws attention online

Southern Metropolis reporters discovered that the earliest announcement of the pair’s engagement was sent out by @纹身痞子OR健身小帅de爱, which is the account of Qiang Shao and Zhong Shao. On August 14, they posted a Weibo saying that last year, they postponed the wedding because one of their fathers became ill and passed away. This year, they will become engaged at a gay bar in Dongguan.

After this post was made, it immediately became a hot topic on the site, reposted over 200 times. Many netizens expressed their congratulations. Zhong Shao said that many had offered to help them with the engagement party. It was not long after they decided to become engaged that they contacted someone to help with the wedding photography. Just two days alter, the photographer agreed. Zhong Shao said that on August 19, Qiang Shao and he would go to have their pictures taken.

At around 10 PM on August 19, @东莞韩风尚婚纱摄影 posted wedding pictures of the two on Weibo. The two handsome men both wore tuxedos in the pictures. Most of the hundreds of comments on these pictures were congratulatory in nature as well. @电影人程青松 also reposted the pictures, congratulating the two.

“We should have a name for what we are”

Zhong Shao and Qiang Shao share a special moment. Via Sina

Why did the pair decide to become engaged? Qiang Shao stated that the two had planned to get married in Fujian [province] the previous year, but it was delayed due to his father’s serious illness. “He said he was willing to sacrifice everything for me. I was very moved by this, and I thought we should have a name for what we are,” said Zhong Shao.

Zhon Shao and Qiang Shao are almost certainly the first gay men to openly become engaged in Dongguan. After the posts announcing their engagement, many netizens also posted about the greatness of love.

On August 21, @纹身痞子OR健身小帅de爱 posted on Weibo, saying that he hoped a venue would host the ceremony. A manager of a gay bar in Dongguan saw this post and offered his space to the couple for free. Last night, Zhong Shao and Qiang Shao began to make preparations for the ceremony. The two said that because their families were living elsewhere, they would tell their parents about their engagement ceremony by phone, and they invited the parents of other gay people to be witnesses.

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Tea Leaf Nation paid a visit to @纹身痞子OR健身小帅de爱’s Weibo page itself and found this heartwarming message: “On the evening of Qi Xi, we are getting engaged! We welcome all friends in the Guangdong area to take part in our engagement ceremony!” Too bad we couldn’t make it. 

19 Comments
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Liz Carter

Liz Carter is a DC-based China-watcher and the author and translator of a number of Chinese-English textbooks available on amazon.cn. She and her cat Desmond relocated to DC from Beijing, where she studied contemporary Chinese literature at Peking University, after learning that HBO was planning to adapt Game of Thrones for television. She writes at abigenoughforest.com and tweets from @withoutdoing.
  • Ryan Ng

    I thought gay partnerships were illegal in China. I live in the U.S. so I don’t really know

  • Ryan Ng

    I thought gay partnerships were illegal in China. I live in the U.S. so I don’t really know

  • F Young

    Thank you for posting this. As a Canadian gay man, I am inspired that China may become accepting of LGBT people, and that would be an incredibly important development, as major parts of the world (Africa and the Islamic world) are moving in the opposite direction.

  • F Young

    Thank you for posting this. As a Canadian gay man, I am inspired that China may become accepting of LGBT people, and that would be an incredibly important development, as major parts of the world (Africa and the Islamic world) are moving in the opposite direction.

  • zhao

    the south of china has always been a place of low moral.

    • http://twitter.com/krazywawa eva

      I don’t see how being gay is “low moral”?

    • eeeee

      and the north of china has always been a place of barbarians. What’s your point?

  • zhao

    the south of china has always been a place of low moral.

    • http://twitter.com/krazywawa eva

      I don’t see how being gay is “low moral”?

    • eeeee

      and the north of china has always been a place of barbarians. What’s your point?

  • Jaroslaw

    Thanks Zhao for letting us know south China is a place of low morals. I guess you’re unaware then that most of the evil in the world – wars, corruption, banking scandals etc. is perpetrated by straight people, since after all they are the majority. But two men who love each other is immoral? Give me a break!

  • Jaroslaw

    Thanks Zhao for letting us know south China is a place of low morals. I guess you’re unaware then that most of the evil in the world – wars, corruption, banking scandals etc. is perpetrated by straight people, since after all they are the majority. But two men who love each other is immoral? Give me a break!

  • http://twitter.com/ramatzah1 ramatzah

    ThankGod i’m a nigerian if you try this gay rubish you will just get 14years imprisonment with hard labour. This is evil.

    • eeeee

      It don’t make no sense to hate nobody, cuz whoever you hate will end up in your family. Hate gays, you’re gonna have a gay son!

  • eeeee

    It don’t make no sense to hate nobody, cuz whoever you hate will end up in your family. Hate gays, you’re gonna have a gay son!

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