• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:54am

Cecil Chao

Born in 1936, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung is a Hong Kong based real estate tycoon and chairman of HK-listed developer Cheuk Nang Holdings. Known for his flamboyant playboy lifestyle, Chao raised eyebrows the world over in September 2012 when he announced a HK$ 500 million bounty to look for a man who could win the heart of his daughter Gigi Chao, who is believed to be lesbian and have married her partner in a civil union overseas. 

NewsHong Kong
GIGI CHAO

Dear Daddy, you must accept I’m a lesbian: Gigi Chao pens plea in open letter to tycoon father

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 January, 2014, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 9:48am

Hong Kong socialite Gigi Chao was reluctantly thrown into the spotlight when her tycoon father Cecil Chao Sze-tsung declared his refusal to accept she was a lesbian by issuing a HK$500 million ‘dowry’ to a man that could marry her. Now she has written a poignant open letter to him after he doubled his offer last week.

Despite the fact that Gigi Chao married her partner of nine years, Sean Eav, in a civil ceremony in France in 2012, her property developer father has continued to attract the attention of the world’s media with his bounty. In an interview this month with the Malaysian newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau,  Cecil Chao insisted his daughter was still single, adding that he believed it was not too late to change her thinking because she was only 33.

Previously, Gigi, an executive director at her father’s Cheuk Nang property development company who has made no secret of her sexuality, has laughed off the bid to find her a husband.

However, today she issues a plea to her ‘Daddy’ in an open letter she hopes will finally halt his interference.


 

Dear Daddy,

I thought the timing was right for us to have a candid conversation.

You are one of the most mentally astute, energetic yet well mannered and hard-working people this humble earth has ever known.

Your confidence, quick wit, and charisma brightens any room you enter.

I love you very much, and I think I can speak for my brothers also, that we have the utmost respect for you as a father and role model in business.

I am sorry that people have been saying insensitive things about you lately. The truth is, they don’t understand that I will always forgive you for thinking the way you do, because I know you think you are acting in my best interests. And we both don’t care if anybody else understands.

As your daughter, I would want nothing more than to make you happy. But in terms of relationships, your expectations of me and the reality of who I am, are not coherent.

I am responsible for some of this misplaced expectation, because I must have misled you to hope there were other options for me. You know I’ve had male lovers in the past, and I’ve had happy, albeit short-lived, relationships. I found myself temporarily happy, buoyed by the freshness, the attention, the interest, of someone physically stronger than myself.

But it was always short-lived, as I quickly lost patience, and felt an indescribable discomfort in their presence. It usually made me frustrated, and I would yearn for my freedom again. I’ve broken a few hearts, hearts of good, honest and loving men, and I’m sorry that it had to be so.

But with Sean, a woman, somehow it was different. I am comfortable and satisfied with my life and completely at ease with her. I know it’s difficult for you to understand how I could feel romantically attracted to a woman; I suppose I can’t really explain it either. It just happens, peacefully and gently, and after so many years, we still love each other very much.

My regret is that you have no idea how happy I am with my life, and there are aspects of my life that you don’t share. I suppose we don’t need each other’s approval for our romantic relationships, and I am sure your relationships are really fantastic too.

However, I do love my partner Sean, who does a good job of looking after me, ensuring I am fed, bathed and warm enough every day, and generally cheering me up to be a happy, jolly girl. She is a large part of my life, and I am a better person because of her.

Now, I’m not asking you to be best of friends; however, it would mean the world to me if you could just not be so terrified of her, and treat her like a normal, dignified human being.

I understand it is difficult for you to understand, let alone accept this truth.

I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out who I am, what is important in my life, who I love and how best to live life, as an expression of all these questions. I am proud of my life, and I would not choose to live it any other way (except also figuring out how to be gentler on the planet).

I’m sorry to mislead you to think I was only in a lesbian relationship because there was a shortage of good, suitable men in Hong Kong.

There are plenty of good men, they are just not for me.

Wishing you happiness.

Patiently yours,

Your daughter, Gigi.

 

Watch: Gigi Chao: 'Love shall prevail.'

 

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This article is now closed to comments

Peter.Chan.HK
Excellent, eloquent English.
A shortage of good, suitable men in Hong Kong?
No doubt, because they are all gay and are not meant for women ^_^
But by the way why in the world should this ever appear on the headlines?
It has already become a pathetic culture - especially in the Chinese columns - that celeb gossip could appear on the headlines. I mean, WHO cares??
And now even on SCMP ? Shame on you !
Dai Muff
Unfortunately, the bigotry of certain sectors of Hong Kong IS front page news.
sampson_zero@yahoo.com.hk
The letter is damn good,respectfully and smartly written
I somehow want to save it and reread it some day
aplucky1
zx, for a g a y person you are so intolerant of other schools of thought
so if we do not buy into your g a y propaganda we NEED TO BE RE-EDUCATED ?
maybe they can put us in special areas and mark our clothing with little insignia's , will that please you?
btw i do not want my child to know what dirty filthy things you lot do to each other
zambanini
Just incredible. As Shakespeare said in Hamlet act III, scene II:
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
Numerous studies have repeatedly shown that such an excessive h o m o p h o b i a marked by vitriolic fear and disavowal of anything having to do with LGBT people, as you present here in these commments, is a sure sign of repressed h o m o sexual desires. You can spout this vitriol all you want but you won't find any relief, from your personal torment.
Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?
****www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014
Homophobia may reveal denial of own same-sex attraction, study suggests
****www.cbsnews.com/news/homophobia-may-reveal-denial-of-own-same-sex-attraction-study-suggests/
zx
@aplucky1 To your previous comment (which is unsurprisingly deleted): Bigoted people like you are the reason why this is news in the first place. Nobody cares if you continue reading this newspaper, but you (and other homophobic people like you) are clearly in need of more education.
frederick.yu.12
Why is this the headline news? First, this letter is well written, and surely encourages more people to read English newspaper. Second, the most important is that Gigi expresses her true feelings in this letter. It explains why she chooses to be what she is now. I guess this letter will have an impact of how our Chinese society views same sex love and marriage. Third, it is fun to imagine how Cecil Chao looks like after he reads this letter (without his sun glasses). If will be entertainging to see an interview with him afterward.
zambanini
As a medical professional, I have to disagree. Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people do not "chose" their sexual orientation, anymore than straight people do! They only choose to come out of the closet and live their lives in happiness with the companion that makes them happiest emotionally, romantically, and sexually - just as straight people do! All reputable psychological, sociological and medical societies - like the APA, for example - agree that one's sexual orientation, whether it be heterosexual, homosexual or any point in between on the Kinsey Scale, is NOT a "choice", but that countless studies have shown it is due to genetic and/or epigenetic factors. An inborn, immutable characteristic, like race and gender. When did you make the "choice" to be straight?
zambanini
It is really extraordinarily backward that a newspaper for one of he major cities in the world is censuring the words "L e s b i a n" and "h o m o sexual", putting in asterisks in their place! Really, South China Morning Post??!! How embarrassingly behind the times! It's simply unacceptable in this day and age and needs to be addressed by your editors!
zambanini
After posting the above post I see that this HK paper has censored my reply by replacing the word "Lesbian" with "****" - asterisks! Unbelievable! Whether this is due to a real human censuring these posts, or to an automated word censurer - it's reprehensible and should be corrected! Come on - this is the 21st century! The word "Lesbian" comes from the Island of "Lesbos," one of the Aeolic Greek Islands which was the home to the poetess, Sappho in the early 6th century B.C., who loved and wrote love poetry for women, and which the ancients referred to as "the 10th Muse".

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