The Passion of the Cut Sleeve

Chinese emperor Ai of Han, fell in love with a minor official, a man named Dong Xian, and bestowed upon him great political power and a magnificent palace. Legend has it that one day while the two men were sleeping in the same bed, the emperor was roused from his sleep by pressing business. Dong Xian had fallen asleep across the emperor’s robe, but rather than awaken his peaceful lover, the Emperor cut his robe free at the sleeve. Thus “the passion of the cut sleeve” became a euphemism for same-sex love in China.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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