This paper explores the narratives and stories of a population of Chinese women who identify themselves as tongqi (同妻), meaning gay's wives. They consider themselves as heterosexual women who unknowingly marry gay men who purposefully hide their same-sex attraction and trick women into marriage to fulfill their societal obligations of fatherhood. While the majority of tongqi describe themselves as the victims of “marriage fraud” commited by “closeted” gay men whose homosexuality has discounted the “realness” of their marriage, this thesis problematizes such a generalized accusation by showing how tongqi’s authenticating process has rearranged the meaning of realness and objectivity through their techno-interactivity. Specifically, this thesis contends that tongqi have become both the producers and consumers of particular rhetorics of authenticity and a particular ‘authenticated’ and rigid understanding of homosexuality. Moreover, while their goal behind such an authenticating process is to earn social recognition as a unique group of the marginalized in China, this thesis argues that tongqi’s insistence that they are not others reinforces traditional gender scripts against women and fuels social discrimination.




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