• Tue
  • Jul 22, 2014
  • Updated: 6:47pm

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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52

This article is now closed to comments

royko68
Support
allan94
scmp! how is this headline news???
your editor in chief should be fired!
i am a subscriber and i am so disappointed. you are fanning family gossip about a dysfunctional family..........
pwdwong@gmail.com
Gigi...
If I may address u that, it's a very suitable name for such a wonderful human being as u r...
1, for having the forthright to admit your sexuality as what u r given and how strong u upheld the issue..
2. For your strong will to stand up for what u believe in, and the guts to tell your parents, to definition of acceptance of your belief and love as being their offspring...
3. Always believe what your conscience dictates your every moment of life, and enjoy every second of it, as no one can do that for u, expressing love to your partner is releasing an essence of love from your heart...
That's all I can comment, and if u don't see its correct please delete at your own time...
Meanwhile, I wish u and Sean a very Happy Chinese New Year, I don't have to express it inthe traditional Chinese way, as u already have that...but u want is "Money" cannot buy...
Cheers....Peter Wong x- Hongkong resident
ps. I met Cecil once and had a brief chat...
chuchu59
A well-written letter from Gigi. Kudos to her for speaking her mind.
paula.key.330
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.
I would like to add that I am sure that Sean does more than just "feed, bathe and keep Gigi warm."
That to me looks like a servant role, but I know that for such a busy woman as Gigi, this is an act of love.
To be a better person because of Sean is so important.
刘湘
你妈,美妞 嫁给我 我让你和你同性恋老公睡一起 我要那5个亿 其实我更喜欢你老公 我对帅T更有性趣
dtks888
@daily - there's nothing "dirty" about this, Gigi is responding to the public outing her father's actions caused, and her response is dignified, good-humoured and measured.
Coming out is culturally significant for other LGBT ppl, esp. the young, in a sometimes closed, occasionally parochial place like HK. The tone of both yrs and @pangkf's comments shows the importance of her act, and the need for greater EQ education in such matters.
daily
Yeah, really who cares?.......keep your dirty laundry with the she-man to yourself........this type of nonsense belongs in garbage gossip magazines.
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. Spout this hateful stuff all you want, but it still won't help you find any relief, from your personal torment.
****www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014
****www.cbsnews.com/news/homophobia-may-reveal-denial-of-own-same-sex-attraction-study-suggests/
****www.advocate.com/latest-news/2013/07/09/study-homophobia-driven-fear-unwanted-sexual-advances
zambanini
How is it that troglodytes like this have survived into the 21st century?!

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