Quinta-feira, 17 de Janeiro de 2013
“the passion of the cut sleeve boys”
The traditional term for homosexuality in China is “the passion of the cut sleeve boys” (断袖之癖), so named from the story of Emperor Ai of Han (27 BCE - 1 BCE) and Dong Xian (23 BCE - 1 BCE). As the story goes, Emperor Ai fell in love with a minor official named Dong Xian. Dong Xian quickly gained the Emperor’s favor. One afternoon as they slept in bed, Emperor Ai woke up. Rather than wake his lover, he cut the sleeves of his robe to let his lover sleep longer. Homosexuality was regarded as a normal affair up until the late Qing dynasty when the government attempted to westernize the country.