Theorising LGBTQ Family Relationships Through Intersectionality and Life Stories

  With Professor Susanne Choi, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

*Please note that this event will now only take place in person in the Department of Sociology*

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While LGBTQ individuals in Western societies have gained freedom to construct their family of choice as a result of winning same-sex marriage rights and equal rights to parenthood, sexual minorities in many non-Western countries continue to struggle with balancing the pursuit of desire and the maintenance of obligations to their family of origin.

Based on 178 life stories of Chinese LGBTQ individuals and nearly a decade’s fieldwork, this paper examines the continual struggles of many and the battles some have won.

It demonstrates how an intersectional analysis of class, gender, and sexuality could help explain why some Chinese LGBTQ succeeded in gaining the acceptance of their family of origin whilst others have failed. It illustrates how life stories can shed light on the complicated and long process of their journeys.    



Susanne Yuk Ping Choi is Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at the School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford, and Professor of Sociology/Co-Director of the Gender Research Centre at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Her research interests include migration, gender, family, and sexuality in Asia. Her lead-authored book Masculine Compromise: Migration, Family and Gender in China, published by the University of California Press, received the Best Book Award of the International Sociological Association’s Sociology of Migration Section (RC31).

Her journal articles have been published by American Journal of Sociology, British Journal of Sociology, Sociology, Journal of Marriage and Family etc. She is currently working on her second book, tentatively entitled: Intersected: Class, Gender and LGBTQ Intimacy in China.