In a nondescript lounge somewhere in Shanghai, men and women giggle, eyeing prospective partners, visibly nervous about making the first move. This isn’t your average matchmaking event—it’s a “fake-marriage fair,” where gay men and women meet to make matrimonial deals with members of the opposite sex in order to satisfy social and familial expectations of heterosexual unions. And pretend marriage is just the start… Inside the Chinese Closet tells the intricate tales of Andy and Cherry, homosexuals whose families demand of them (heterosexual) marriages and a babies. Will they deny their happiness and sexual orientation to satisfy their parents’ wishes? Andy and Cherry’s stories mirror the legal and cultural progress taking place in China against the backdrop of a nation coming to terms with new moral values. Touching and troubling in equal measure, Inside the Chinese Closet exposes the difficult decisions young LGBT individuals are often forced to make.
“Amazing in its depiction of how LGBT thirtysomethings—living in slick metropolises, armed with iPhones—are still suffocated by traditional expectations that they will marry and have kids, and the lengths they go to fulfil those expectations.” – Sophie Richardson, China Director, Asia Division