Washington Post

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This year, like every year, Tiger Zhao will make the trip from the northern Chinese city where he works to his semirural home town. But this time, he won’t be traveling with a wife for cover. For much of his adult life, Zhao, a gay man, has periodically pretended to be straight to please his parents, a ruse that involved finding and legally wedding a lesbian looking for the same, in what’s known here as a “lavender” or “cooperative” marriage. Now divorced, 39, and heading home for the spring festival holiday on his own, he is readying himself for some version of the queries that haunt so many young Chinese: Why aren’t you married? And what about kids?

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