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72-Year-Old Chinese Gay Tells His Sad Life Story

By Liu Rong (People's Daily Online)    03:47, July 09, 2015

Like many other gay men in China, 72-year-old Qu Bizhi, who lives in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has lived a suppressed life all his life. He had a wife, whom he married under heavy social pressure, but the two might as well be strangers even though they lived under one roof for 30 years.

Qu found he was attracted to the same sex as early as his childhood. While all the other boys gathered together to talk about girls, he preferred to sit in the corner looking at handsome men.

In his early teens, Qu couldn't deny his feelings any longer. He began to go to a local park, well-known for being a gathering place for gay men. He would sit on a bench quietly to watch every man passing by and introduce himself recklessly to those who were his type.

He found he liked handsome, mature, bearded men. When he succeeded in starting a conversation, he would sit down next to the man, lean his head on the other man's shoulder, and listened attentively to whatever he talked about.

At age 16, he met a man in his 30s. He was tall and handsome with a long straight nose and an athletic build. The two met on the street and fell in love quickly.

The man often gave Qu candies from Hong Kong as gifts, and Qu enjoyed their talks about life and the world. However, they only spent about six months together, after which the man told Qu that they had to separate because he was going to move to Macao with his family.

The night before the man left, Qu stayed with him until midnight. He felt there were so many things that he hadn't yet told him, but the clock just ticked away. Qu could still remember that on a bridge, the man took off his coat and wrapped it around him, while he closed his eyes and leant on the man's shoulder.

After that man, Qu did not have any serious relationships for a long time, the major reason was that China was very closed at his time and the society had zero tolerance toward homosexuals, who were either ridiculed or even bullied or sent to jails. So Qu had to hide his sex orientation and got married in 1984 when he turned 41. He met his wife, who was 12 years younger, at a blind date his friend set up for him. "I didn't feel a thing towards her," Qu said, but he married her nonetheless. On the wedding night, he refused to touch his bride.

Three months later, his wife wanted a divorce. It was no surprise to Qu. Actually, he felt quite relieved. "Marrying her was the biggest mistake I made in my life," he said. But the divorce proceedings were delayed until three decades later due to various reasons.

Qu's parents died early, so he had no family. "I nearly forget what it was like in a family," he said. The only time he felt he was loved was over 50 years ago, but sadly, as time passed, he even forgot the man's name.

In 1974, when Qu worked on a forest farm, he met a handsome young man nicknamed Aming. Qu fell in love with him. He liked to hang out with Aming. When Aming felt tired after work, Qu would make all kinds of delicious foods for him. However, Qu could tell that Aming was straight, so he hid his feelings carefully and pretended to be a kind, caring big brother. Even when they shared a bed, Qu didn't dare to do anything that might startle Aming.

With nowhere to vent his frustration, Qu used to run into the mountains near the farm to shout and sing songs about love until tears poured down his cheeks.

But now, Qu has calmed down as he is in the evening of his life. He has no sexual desires anymore. The only thing that makes him happy every day is to go to the park after lunch to look at the handsome young men. Fortunately Chinese society also became a little bit more tolerant toward gays and lesbians after 30 years of opening up. But most people still have prejudices and most gays still keep their sex orientation as top secrets .

Every night, Qu stays at home watching a Hong Kong soap opera called "Come Home Love," which has nearly 800 episodes after it was first aired in 2012. Qu has been watching it from the very beginning and has hardly missed an episode, but when he turns off the TV, he doesn't know where he can find his love and home.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Tian Li,Yao Chun)

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