Chinese attitudes on gays

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    Apr 28, 2010 9:09 PM GMT
    A dear friend of mine is a Chinese lady who was a student in a couple of my classes (poetry and dramatic literature) . When she realised in the course of class discussions I was openly gay she sought me out privately to learn more as, under the Communists, homosexuality officially "did not exist" in China (despite a tradition of gay and bisexual emperors going back to the Han dynasty).

    She mailed me this today, and I was so tickled at her turnaround from shocked student to gay-rights crusader . With her permission, I share it:

    "My hair dresser is a Chinese lady who runs her hair saloon right in downtown which is quite a successful business.I like her because she is good at her craft and speaks fluent mandarin Chinese, much to my delight.

    She is never in a hurry. There are times when she stands over me with a pair of siccors in one hand and a comb in the other hand, gesturing right over my head, but will not take any actions until she has completely finished her story. Yes, frequently, my patience is being tried to it's limit. But whom am I to rush this lady?! Even saying good morning and bye, bye are all dragged out into one long lazy Chinese sentence. hee

    This morning we got on to the topic of gay people.It started by talking about loyal friends and she maintained that gay people are most polite, friendly and excellent customers to which I replied that one of my best friend was a gay man to which her mouth kind of fell open for a minute with surprise and then came pouring forward all the questions on her mind but she had never dared to ask.

    I will only give you a very brief account on how the conversation went and one can see how many people are still very ignorant on this question.

    Q; How do people become gay? A: They don't become gay.It's not a matter of genetics or choice, they are born like that. According to ancient Chinese saying a man is born with too much Ying and too little Yang (she got the Ying and yang very quickly;-) determines if he will be gay or straight.

    Q: Has it anything to do with their upbringing ? A; No, it has nothing to do with the environment they grew up in.

    Q: Can being (sexually) abused be a cause of becoming gay later in life? A: No, there is no connection between these two things.

    Q: Why do many gays get married and have children? A: Many gays have problems dealing with their sexual identity and there is still a stigma in society against gay people. They want to be regarded as normal as heterosexual people and strive hard to conceal their real identity. But sooner or later they have to acknowledge who they are and live their lives accordingly.

    Q;So people can be gay and also straight at the same time. A: Yes they can and they are called bisexual.

    Q; If your friend is gay and you like him so much don't you feel jealous him being physical with another man? A: No, I don't because my friend has been upfront with me on this matter from the beginning and I accepted it, respected it and I still want to be a close friend of his.

    Q: That must be nice to have a close friend like that with whom you can spiritually relate to. A: Yes, it is very fulfilling and uplifting.

    Then looking at me with a pondering and concerned look on her face: "Now you are sure you don't miss the physical part to make the relationship more complete???!!!" A: Finding a physical partner is never too difficult but finding a real friend for life is very difficult and it not always happens.

    Q; WOW A: LOL !!!"

    My thought: Talk about spreading the word with confidence!

    That was an email that really made my day!
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    Apr 28, 2010 9:16 PM GMT
    In related news:
    BEIJING — Days before travelers worldwide are to begin arriving for Shanghai’s world exposition, China has lifted a two-decade ban on travel to the country by people who carry the virus that causes AIDS or who have other sexually transmitted diseases.

    The action also removed a longstanding ban on travel to China by people with leprosy.

    The government approved amendments to a 1986 law governing quarantines and a 1989 law regulating entry by foreigners, removing prohibitions related to people with H.I.V., which causes AIDS, China’s State Council, a body roughly equivalent to the White House cabinet, reported on its Web site late Tuesday.

    The council’s standing committee approved the changes on April 19 and Premier Wen Jiabao signed decrees putting them into effect on April 24, the council said.

    With the changes, the ban on travel is officially limited only to people with infectious tuberculosis, serious mental disorders and “infectious diseases which could possibly greatly harm the public health.”