Wife of World’s First Gay Prime Minister Ignored on China Trip-2013
Prime Minister, Johanna Siqurdardottir, of Iceland
On a five day trip to China, in April 2013, the world’s first openly gay Prime Minister, Johanna Siqurdardottir, of Iceland, was accompanied by her wife, of thirteen years, Jonina Leosdottir. Wives of visiting Prime Ministers are mentioned in the Chinese media and are photographed with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s wife, celebrity wife, Peng Liyuan. This did not happen, and it seems unusual since Peng Liyuan regularly has photographs taken with dignitaries’ wives.
However, the Icelandic’s Prime Minister’s wife was hosted at the University of Beijing where her sexual orientation was largely off the table. Students found interesting tit-bits of information: there are no security guards at the home of the Prime Minister, both women are divorced mothers, they married on the day that Iceland granted same sex marriages. The students also questioned Jonina on her work as a journalist and writer.
Chinese parents of gays and lesbians had asked for a private meeting with Johanna Siqurdardottir, but the Prime Minister declined, citing her busy schedule as the reason. The main purpose of the trip was the signing of a trade agreement between Iceland and China. Gay right activists and their parents still saw the visit as positive despite of the black out by the Chinese media. When governments black out information, it has a happen of travelling underground.