My fortune and fame. I suppose those are the things you are most interested in
hearing about. I will tell you a bit about how I built up all what I have.
However, this story cannot be told
without mentioning the things that happened in Beijing throughout my lifetime.
40 years ago, Beijing was a very polluted
place. Every once in a while, smog would settle in unexpectedly and you
wouldn’t see a thing around you. You would inhale the dirt that was coming from
factories burning coal. This was the setting of Beijing in which, as a young
man, I have started discovering my talents and I have put them into good use. I
started running many enterprises in the nightlife scene of Beijing and making
It all started by organizing drag show in Beijing.
I did the LGBT Center gala years ago. Reaching out to people, attracting them
to the events was the easy part, the difficulty was in getting permissions,
breaking the norms and preconceptions. It was a difficult time just to be gay in
Beijing, let alone demanding to change things. On the other hand, there was big
money in the pink business and that helped. In fact, during the times of economic
development, anything helping growth was accepted. A factory or a nightclub was
always welcome as long as it kept the things moving.
Beijing kept on changing. It was the 20s when
the city started opening up parks at various locations in order to get rid of
the polluted air by creating ventilation corridors. One after another, large
areas were confiscated by the city, demolishing works took place and they
turned them into parks. A lot of people had to be relocated on the process, the
city had to clean its lungs, yet it worked and the air of the city started
moving and we no longer have the smoggy days anymore. Besides, the parks of Beijing are
its coolest features today. Go there
on a sunny day, you’ll see gays and straight people, from Myanmar to Japan,
mixed together and having a good time. They come here to experience the freedom
that they could not experience anywhere else in Asia.
At the mean time, I have kept on
doing what I do the best and provided events, bars and clubs for LGBT community
to enjoy themselves and be present in the city. If all of these are normalized
today for our community, it is thanks to continuous fight we had to make in
order to make these places reality.
was not uncommon, to hear hate crimes and discrimination targeting gay people
in Beijing. We would wake up into dirt and smoggy days. There was no escape
from this mess, we had to inhale it until we have cleaned it.
Today, it is common amongst
the people who have been living in Beijing as long as I do and who have inhaled
the polluted air for as long as I have done, to have a specific form of lung cancer.
I am no exception. Anyone
roughly at my age in Beijing, turns out to have a similar story. We all thought
that coal and oil, manufacturing and growth, were things of the old world.
Yet, they were hidden
in the most discrete of places: within our lungs.