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Interesting discussion about gay (gay and some Lesbian, at least) life in China, compressing 2 millenia into a fairly brief article.  I've heard this story many times:

"In the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), historians Sima Qian and Ban Gu both included reports on ningxing, the emperors' male concubines. From these, Pan concludes that almost every emperor during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24) had or was suspected of having male partners.

The best known among these was Dong Xian.

It is said that Emperor Ai woke up to find the sleeves of his imperial robes tucked under the sleeping body of his partner Dong Xian. Not wanting to wake his beloved concubine, Ai sliced off his sleeves, and hurried off to his day's routine.

From then on, same-sex love between males has often been referred to as the "sleeve-slicing affection" - a euphemism for a gay relationship by those who still find it embarrassing to publicly address the topic."

What amazes me, is this is the Han Dynasty - 200 years before the supposed Jesus wandered around Palestine with his 12 male best friends, to 200 years after that.   True, there is plenty of writing about the same sex proclivities of some Romans, especially emperors, and of course Greeks.  But it's interesting to read a Non-Western, totally non monotheistic culture's history.

As far as I can tell, Chinese homophobia is a Western introduction.  Now that China is ascendent, I think tolerance of LGBT people is improving.

Tags: China, Gay China, LGBTI, history, homophobia

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Replies to This Discussion

I didn't know this history Sentient. I hope tolerance improves as well.


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