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A CHINESE LOVE STORY - between two men -on national TV

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  • edwardxderwent
    this is the love story of two men, who did not even have words (except rude ones) to describe all their feelings. i suggest that if you watch some of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2008
      this is the love story of two men, who did not even have words (except
      rude ones) to describe all their feelings. i suggest that if you watch
      some of the youtube segments you will catch the positive tone of the
      interview even tho it's in chns.

      it was shown recently on a high profile national TV show in china


      Shanghaiist Sunday Show: Gay love story on A Date with Lu Yu
      A Date With Lu Yu, one of the most influential talkshows in China
      which has been known to constantly push the envelope and to broach
      topics previously considered too hot to touch. One such episode is the
      one below which features two homosexual men from the Sichuan Province
      — who, long before the word "gay" had entered the Chinese lexicon —
      married each other, adopted a son and have been together for 21 years.

      VIDEO 1: Host Lu Yu opens the show by introducing the couple, Li
      Lunzuo (李伦佐) and Ju Jiazhong (鞠佳仲) as "partners" (the
      gender-neutral "伴侣" instead of the oft-used "夫妻" which refers to
      "husband and wife"). She tells of how touched she was when she first
      heard of their story and all the trials and tribulations the couple
      have endured over the last 20 years, and invites her viewers to watch
      this episode with an open mind.

      On stage, Lu Yu notes how they seem to wear similar clothes and behave
      very alike and asks the couple if it was true they were becoming more
      and more alike outwardly after having spent such a long time together.
      Li says yes, this was true, and revealed that they were same-sized
      shirts and share lots of things in the wardrobe. At home, Li decides
      on most issues, while Ju makes grand decisions at work (the two run a
      small business together, so most people actually think of them as
      business partners). According to the couple, this "distribution of
      labour" has to do with their own personality.

      Li was born into a farming family in Chengdu, while Ju was born in
      Chongqing. Both of them were born in the same year and in the same
      month, just days apart in March 1956. The couple notes how growing up
      in the seventies was not easy for them. Nobody knew anything about
      homosexuality in those dark days and their parents would always press
      them to get married, and even attempt to matchmake them.

      VIDEO 2: Li was eventually emotionally tormented enough (as a youth)
      to go seek help with a psychologist who tells him the only way for him
      to "turn straight" was by trying out manual labour and focussing on
      his work - which he did try but it failed miserably. Back then in
      Sichuan, there was no word for "homosexual" in the local dialect and
      the only words people had in referring to homosexuals were a few very
      rude and vulgar words.

      The two first met each other in Chengdu on 12 Mar 1985, at a lake near
      the Wenhua Laodong Gong (Cultural Labour Centre). The lake was a
      popular local gay hangout then. Ju made the first move by asking to
      borrow a lighter from Li, even though he had a lighter in his pocket.
      The two struck up a friendship and soon became lovers.

      Subsequently, Li invited Ju to stay with his family. At first, the
      family had no clue what was going on, but later on, Li felt compelled
      to tell his sister that he was going to marry Ju and they would spend
      the rest of their lives together, at which point Li's sister almost
      flipped. After Li explained to his sister what sort of torment he was
      going through and would like her to convey to their parents that they
      should never try to matchmake him again, she finally gave them her
      blessing. Their parents, who were devout Buddhists and strict
      vegetarians, had a hard time accepting the fact.

      VIDEO 3: Staying and living together was a difficult decision to make,
      not only because both Li and Ju found it impossible to accept, but
      this was also unheard of in China's (then invisible) gay community.
      When Li and Ju decided they would marry and spend the rest of their
      lives together, they decided to go have a "wedding picture" taken, and
      they even had to tell the photographer they were "buddies". To mark
      the occasion of their union, Li and Ju took a taxi with a bouquet of
      flowers in hand (braving the awkward stare of their drier) out to a
      remote location, where they would exchange their own marraige vows,
      and write their own marriage certificate (not legally recognised of
      course). There were no rings exchanged, and no witnesses at this
      ceremony, just "the blue sky, white clouds, green hills and emerald
      waters" in Li's own words.

      Subsequently, the two decided to enter into business together. At that
      time, entrepreneurs were not well-regarded in society, but the two
      were unable to take the repressive culture in the workplace anymore.
      Seven year itch: In 1990, Li had an affair with someone else. He would
      go out at night to meet someone else at a certain bridge, only to
      return home late at night. When Ju found out, he wrote Li a letter and
      left it on the table saying that he was going to leave him. After
      reading the letter, Li was heartbroken and went in search of Ju high
      and low. Eventually, Li found Ju and successfully persuaded him in
      coming back to him.

      Today, Li and Ju are practically out to all their family and friends
      and ex-classmates and colleagues.

      VIDEO 4: At the end of 1990, at the suggestion of his father, Li
      decided to adopt the twelve-year-old son of one of his cousins. Now
      28, Li Lei calls Li "father" and Ju "uncle". Li Lei calls Li 'father'
      (ba ba) and Ju 'uncle' (shu shu). He says he adopted those terms on
      his own, and was not taught how he should address his parents.
      As he was growing up, Li Lei did think that it was somewhat strange
      that he didn't have a mother but instead had two male parents, but
      didn't think too much of it. When he became a freshman at college,
      there were rumours of his good friend and his teacher in a gay
      relationship, and it was only through that episode did he realise his
      own parents were "gay".

      Li Lei was originally named Li Liangjun but decided to change his name
      because the Chinese character of 'lei' (磊) consists of three 'shi'
      (石) or rock. He feels that his adopted parents are the two large
      rocks below, supporting him as the third rock on top/in the middle.
      Li Lei is heterosexual and has been dating girls since his school
      days. He said that when choosing a wife, the first criteria was that
      she must accept both his parents.

      VIDEO 5: Li Lei found that special someone, Xiao Ju, and married her
      in October 2006. For the tea ceremony, Li Lei insisted that both Li
      and Ju be on stage with his in-laws, instead of his biological parents.

      Ju was hesitant at first as he was worried that it may cause
      discomfort to the guests and problems for Li Lei and his wife in
      future. In the end, Li convinced him to just do it to give the new
      couple their blessings. The reaction of the guests at the dinner was
      surprisingly positive.

      Presently, Li Lei and his wife live with the two of them. She follows
      Li Lei's form of addressing them, and is very understanding and all
      four of them live very happily under one roof. When he has his own
      children in the future, they will call both Li and Ju 'paternal
      grand-father' (ye ye).

      The host Lu Yu wishes Li and Ju good health, great marriage and the
      chance to get to their Diamond wedding anniversary (having been
      married 21 years, they have another 39 to go). Lu Yu ends the episode
      by saying as long as two people love each other, they should be
      together, and that love can overcome all obstacles - skin colour,
      status, wealth, age and even gender.
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