• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 5:01am

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

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

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 !
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
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.
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!
Who cares!
what things should i talk to my fds. he is a gay, and he had just argue with his father. his father want him to marry a girl but he fall in love with a boy. he was sad. normally, he will listen to his father and he very very love him. what should i tell him. i just cant say`u are a gay. dont come near me.' right?
mind any one tell me what should i do? thx a lot~
Is there is privacy law in journalism? Why is a daughter's letter to her father published in a newspaper? Why should it be of public interest, except for people to make fun of the parties?
Gigi likes a male looking woman!
This is cyber bullying in the extreme ... Is it really that news worthy? Slow news day yet again I suspect.



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