A normal reaction of conservative parents who learn that their son or daughter is gay is to force them into a heterosexual marriage, with their partners introduced by the parents.
To ‘counterattack’ forced marriage by their families, LGBTs are working together to establish a lesbian-gay forum with an aim to introduce ‘well-matched’ couples to their families.
The fake couples are normally described as having the ‘same bed but different dreams’. They do it for two benefits: to still have the chance to spend time with their true lovers, and to prevent someone from being forced into a marriage.
LGBTs agree that these marriages bring two people into living together, but they keep their feelings and emotions separate.
The website www.thegioithu3.vn hosts a forum called ‘gay-les matchmaking’ to help LGBTs of the ‘two worlds’ meet and come together, but only for a fake marriage.
On the forum there is an introduction from the website administrators explaining why LGBTs have to cheat their parents and families and the community.
“This seems like a major screenplay of life. If this scenario makes participants happy, then why don’t we do it. Is it right? It is still better than cheating yourself and others into a heterosexual marriage that you don’t like. So if your family forces you to do that, come here to find a suitable LGBT so that you can both keep your private sentiments and respect each other.”
On the forum, a member nicknamed aiyeutoi (who loves me) writes, “I am a lesbian. My girlfriend and I wish to live together but her family is forcing her to marry a man. She told me she will marry the man to please her parents and will later divorce him to live with me.
“I know many members on this forum are gay and want to ‘match’ with a lesbian girl to ‘screen’ their family. I want to find that for my lesbian girlfriend. She is now 26 years old, has long black hair, and lives in the Mekong Delta.”
Many members have even set up very detailed plans for their future life to shield the fact from their family.
The matchmaking forum is also full of sad tales of LGBTs suffering.
Nguyen Tran Dai Hai (R) and his partner in their wedding party
Mr. Le Quang Binh, head of the Institute for Studies of Society, Economics and Environment (iSEE), said he has seen many LGBT friends forced into heterosexual marriage by their family.
“They eventually divorce because they can’t live with a person they don’t love”, he said. “They didn’t want to cheat their wives/husbands. It is because they couldn’t resist pressure from family.
“Many women were taken out as a screen. All are hurt and miserable.”
Others choose to ask for help from a close friend and then organize a wedding party with that friend to please their family.
Mr. Huynh Minh Thao, a communications officer at the ICS Center, said, “I don’t support the cheating, as it can only make a complicated problem more complicated.
“A lesbian-gay couple living in the same house may cause other problems related to assets, children, and responsibilities with the families of both sides. Anything dishonest is not good.”
He advised that, “Instead of cheating your family, you should struggle for your rights to be accepted, even though this is tough.”