Guest post: “I like men”

Today I’m featuring a story from Laura. Laura is a fellow-expat and blogger who is currently living and working in Shanghai. She blogs at Pausa Monk and will marry her Chinese fiancé at the beginning of October. Congrats!

Illustration by Ruth Silbermayr-Song

Illustration by Ruth Silbermayr-Song

When I take the elevator the other day, one of my neighbours starts talking with me.

He: “Hello, where are you from?”
I: “I’m from Spain, how about you?”
He: “Spain! I’m from Shanghai. Is it also hot in Spain?”
I: “Yes, well, it depends, not where I come from.”
He: “I like men, I’m gay!” (Big smile, laugh…)
I: “I also like men! I live here with my husband!”
He: “Thanks!” (He laughs even more and leaves the elevator with a huge smile on his face). “Bye-bye!”

When the doors close, I realize that for him this was probably the first time to tell anyone that he was gay, he was super excited, I was his yoga mat and I did not even realize it.

I find this very interesting because a Chinese friend who came out one year ago told me that he was gay before telling his mom. Then we discussed about how to come out to his mom. He confessed to me that he wanted to tell me that he was gay since the moment he heard that I was from Spain.

Sometimes it is easier to be ourselves with people that we don’t really know than with people who are close to us.

What do you think? Have you ever experienced a similar situation? I’d love to read your comments.

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Would you also like to write a guest post that is somehow connected to the topic of this blog? Send me an e-mail at chinaelevatorstories{at}gmail.com. I do reserve the right to refuse publishing guest posts for any reason.

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13 thoughts on “Guest post: “I like men”

  1. My husband had lots of incidents where he would have guys tell him they were gay. Most of the time though, they would flirt with him to see if he was gay. It happened to him so many times when he was getting his hair cut I now have to accompany him every time he goes to the salon. It’s quite funny.

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  2. I don’t think it was his ‘first time’ or you were a yoga mat. Most gay Chinese just assume that all westerners are open to gays. (I try to explain to my gay friends that this is just not true, but, hey, Chinese have the darndest ideas about us.) 别想太多!

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    • Hi Jason, as far as he felt comfortable we can call it as we want!…you can call it yoga mat, advantage, stereotype, …some people feel comfortable being themselves, some don’t, some people think all foreigners are open to gay marriage, some foreigners think all Chinese are close to interracial relationships… 🙂

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  3. 别想太多! Most Chinese gays think ALL Westerners are open to gays. He’s just taking advantage of some ‘gay friendly’ zone. It’s Shanghai, I doubt you’re his yoga mat.

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    • Hi Jason, if you feel this is being condescending to him, that is your personal opinion, that was a personal experience with him, and he did not feel bad about the “yoga mat” term. It is very easy to think you know what people think by just reading a short piece, reality is different

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      • Right, because I have never seen reality.

        I am gay, and I’ve worked with gay Chinese for 7 years. And my personal opinion is that reality and you are strangers. It’s so fun going to new countries and speculating about those people.

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        • Jason reality has nothing to do with being gay or working with them, reality has to do with this specific individual. And he is great with that term, other people may now, he is. It’s so fun bullying people behind a screen, little you know if you think that I move to other countries to speculate about locals..

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  4. Pingback: Guest Post at China Elevator Stories | Pausa Monk

  5. Pingback: Top 10 posts on China Elevator Stories, post 51-100 | China elevator stories

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