001372acd0b512546bea01When Lin Xiaotao came out as gay to his female best friend, in 2007, she responded in the way that many caring BFFs in China would: She offered to marry him so he could keep his sexuality a secret from his parents indefinitely.

“I was in my mid-20s and she was the first person I came out to,” says Lin. “She half-heartedly said we should marry. She said she’d help hide my sexuality and keep my mum from being heartbroken. But after thinking about it for a few months, I decided this wasn’t the way to go.”

Lin, who is from Ganzhou in Jiangxi Province and is now 28, kept his sexuality secret for another three years. He describes his mother’s personality using a Chinese phrase that translates as, “Having a mouth like a knife and a heart like tofu,” meaning a person who is outspoken but has a soft heart. READ FULL

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