A Critical Discourse Analysis of Antigay Discourse on Chinese Tongqi Forum

Ke Zhang, Jingyuan Zhang, Chao Lu


Although gay marriage has been legalized in more than 20 countries and regions around the world, the marriage between gay people is illegal in China. This article adopts a critical discourse analytical approach to explore how Chinese gay men (CGM) are represented in netizens’ antigay discourse in Chinese online forum, while also inquiring into the gender ideologies reflected by these representations. For this purpose, we assembled a collection of 3,476 user comments posted on the tongqi “homo-wives” forum in China. Tongqi is a label commonly used to describe and refer to heterosexual women who unwittingly marry gay men in mainland China. We examine netizens’ posts by applying Ruth Wodak’s discursive strategies that include nomination, predication, and argumentation. Our findings reveal that CGM are mostly represented as husbands who bring trauma to their wives, and as fathers who have a negative influence on children. Meanwhile, we explicate gender ideologies that emerge from public representations of gay men in China.



Chinese gay men, representations, antigay discourse, tongqi forum, discursive strategies, gender ideologies

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