The emergence of same-sex households is one of the results of family changes in contemporary Chinese society. Despite biological, social and legal barriers faced by same-sex people, the long-term stable relationship and the development of ART (assisted Reproductive Technology) create the structural condition for them to achieve parenthood. Based on in- depth interviews with members of 20 same-sex families raising children and a national online survey of 595 LGBT parent families, this paper focuses on grandparents’ involvements of childcare in these families. Like mainstream heterosexual families, grandparenting constitutes a distinctive feature, which differs Chinese LGBT parent families from their western counterparts. The procreation and the subsequent participation of their original families in childcare, greatly alleviate the pressure of Chinese LGBTs caused by their alternative sexuality regardless of their decision of coming-out or not. Grandparenting in LGBT parent families manifests changes in intergenerational relationship, which results from people’s complicated but creative negotiation between the traditional family-centered culture and the rising individualist ethics.
Wei Wei is a Professor of Sociology at East China Normal University. His teaching and research interests include gender and sexuality, urban sociology and social movement, with a focus on LGBTQ communities and politics in contemporary China. In addition to authoring two Chinese books Going Public: The Production and Transformation of Queer Spaces in Chengdu, China (2012, Shanghai Joint Publishing Company) and Queering Chinese Society: Urban Space, Popular Culture and Social Policy (2015, Guangxi Normal University Press ), he has published more than thirty articles in both English and Chinese peer-reviewed journals, including Feminist Studies, Culture, Health & Sexuality, Journal of Homosexuality, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and Chinese Sociological Review.
Co-sponsored by Women and Gender in Global Perspective and the Center For East Asian and Pacific Studies