User:Yobmod/LGBT themes in chinese mythology

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Dragon-gods, from Myths and Legends of China, 1922 by E. T. C. Werner. Dragons sometimes sexually assaulted older men.

Chinese mythology has been described as "rich in stories about homosexuality".[1] The mythological stories and folklore of China reflect ancient Chinese perspectives toward homosexuality, rather than modern views. These myths are greatly influenced by religious beliefs, particularly Taoist and Confucian, and later incorporated Buddhist teachings.[1]

The pre-taoist, pre-Confucian tradition of China was predominantely shamanistic, with the majority of shamans being female. Male same-sex love was believed to have originated in the mythical south, thus homosexuality is sometimes still called "Southern wind". From this period, numerous spirits or deities were associated with homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism. These include Chou Wang, Lan Caihe,[2][3] Shan Gu, and Yu the Great, and Gun.[4]

Homosexual encounters are common in chinese folk stories. The animal spirits or fairies often choose same-sex partners, usually young men or boys.[5] One exception to this is the dragon, a powerful mythological beast. Chinese dragons "consistantly enjoy[s] sexual relationships with older men", one example being in the tale of "Old Farmer and a Dragon", in which a sixty-year old farmer is forcibly sodomised by a passing dragon, resulting in wounds from penetration and bites that require medical attention.[5]

Tu Er Shen is a deity in chinese folklore who manages the love and sex between homosexual men. His name literally means "rabbit deity". According to "The Tale of the Rabbit God" in the Zi Bu Yu, Tu Er Shen was originally a man called Hu Tianbao, who fell in love with a handsome young imperial inspector of the Fujian Province. One day Hu Tianbao was caught peeping on the inspector, at which point he confessed his reluctant affections for the other man. The imperial inspector had Hu Tianbao sentenced to death by beating. Since his crime was one of love, underworld officials decided to right the injustice by delegating Hu Tianbao as the god and safeguarder of homosexual affections.[6] In order to cater to the needs of modern homosexuals, worship of the Rabbit God has been resuscitated in Taiwan: A temple was founded in Yonghe City by a gay, Taoist priest.[7]

  1. ^ a b Xiaomingxiong (2002), p.1
  2. ^ Eberhard, Wolfram (1986). A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. ISBN 0415002281. 
  3. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/journals/jras/1916-21.htm
  4. ^ Conner & Sparks (1998), p. 12, "Chinese Shamanism..."
  5. ^ a b Xiaomingxiong (2002), p.2
  6. ^ Szonyi, Michael "The Cult of Hu Tianbao and the Eighteenth-Century Discourse of Homosexuality." Late Imperial China - Volume 19, Number 1, June 1998, pp. 1-25, The Johns Hopkins University Press
  7. ^ "Taoist homosexuals turn to the Rabbit God: The Rabbit Temple in Yonghe enshrines a deity based on an historic figure that is believed to take care of homosexuals" BY Ho Yi, STAFF REPORTER, Taipei Times, Sunday, October 21, 2007, Page 17 [1]