In China, where same-sex marriage is not yet recognized by the state, many in the gay community are still tying the knot, and they are hoping that one day, things will turn for the better. But all things considered, the legalization of same sex marriage in China remains a distant prospect.
In June, a group wedding celebration was held for nine Chinese couples on a cruise ship, along with over 800 supporters of LGBTI rights. China doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, but that hasn't stopped couples, like Ren Weilian and Zhu Tiantian, taking their relationship to the next level.
==REN WEILIAN ==
I have thought about going to a country that issues same-sex marriage certificates and getting married there in a couple of years. It might not mean much in China but for me it's really a big deal.
The event came just after Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage this May. The move has proven that same-sex marriage is acceptable in Chinese culture. Many Chinese hope that their country will someday follow suit. However, the Chinese authorities and media adopted a cold attitude.
== LIU HUNG-EN Assc. Prof., LAW dept., NCCU==
In reality, the Chinese government hopes that they will be able to control opinions regarding gays and homosexuality. But on the other hand, they don't want to be harshly repressive, because they also know that a lot of young people support (gay rights).
China's LGBTI communities have a steadily rising profile online, yet in daily life, coming out can tear households apart and even lead to suicide. Tens of millions of gay people stay in the closet and face family pressure to marry and have children. Zhu herself previously married a man. Piao Chunmei was among those parents who think being gay is wrong until her son told her the truth. She believes society can be changed.
==PIAO CHUNMEI LGBTI advocate==
I want this group to be able to be visible, to be open, so that everyone can see them, and see that our world is diverse.
She is now a volunteer in PFLAG China, which is an NGO that helps parents accept their LGBTI children. Li Tao came out in 2014. It took his mother one year to get over the shock.
==HE FENGLAN Li Tao's mother==
I said, why should I accept it? You're gay, what does that mean? I said society won't accept it, everyone thinks being gay is bad.
With his mother's blessing, Li Tao married his partner in 2015.
They cannot come to terms with themselves and their children, so at that point you have to bring them into our circle with the other parents of other gay children.
The aforementioned cruise wedding was organized by PFLAG. The group will seek to register the same-sex unions in California, which allows them. Campaigners admit legalization in China remains a distant prospect, but they won't give up.
TRANSLATED BY：SASHA CHIU