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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > July 2019 > THE PARENT TRAP

THE PARENT TRAP

A new Netflix documentary focuses on a clash of cultures as a Chinese filmmaker introduces his same-sex American partner, and their children, to his deeply traditional family for the first time
RESPONSIBILITY: Hao Wu as a young boy, with his parents

“MY DAD CRIED WHILE MY MUM WAS DEVASTATED AND COULDN’T GET OUT OF BED”

Chinese culture places great responsibility on a first-born son. It is up to him to carry the family line forward, to continue the family name and to look after his parents.

He is expected to study hard, go to a decent university, get a good job and settle down. He should be successful, all the while respecting his parents, grandparents and ancestors.

Although China is now the world’s second-largest economy, with (controversial) companies such as Huawei developing cutting-edge AI, mobile phones and 5G networks, the country is still bound by age-old traditions such as filial piety. It is also a country where gay marriage is not permitted and where some gay men marry lesbians just to please their respective families and to maintain the status quo.

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About Attitude

On the cover: Looking and Tales of the City star Murray Bartlett Inside: Swan Lake dancer Sam Salter, Ben Lewis, meet the countryside queers, and what’s it like to be gay in Brunei?