In honour of the Year of the Dog here’s an illustration by the excellent artist Silverjow.
The Lunar Year became part of my cultural celebrations 16 years ago when I met Hubby. Being from Hong Kong I adopted his traditions over the years we were a couple.
After him, the tradition stayed as few of my next long-term boyfriends were also of Chinese background. And the last time I properly celebrated was 2 years ago with my last hot nerd bf (PatrickA,) who was from Shanghai.
Although, the Lunar Year is a time for millions of Chinese families to come together and celebrate, it’s also a time to endure a barrage of questions from parents demanding their kids when they’re ever going to meet someone and settle down, and those questions are even more stressing when you’re gay.
Homosexuality still a taboo in the very conservative Chinese culture… In fact three of my exes (PatrickA included) were in the closet when we met. One of them came out years later and the other one during, but for PatrickA the issue was a lot more complex as he’s the only son of a wealthy business man. And while he felt free in Montreal he also had the pressure of his dad whenever he had to go back to Shanghai…
Which I believe was one of the reasons of our breakup.
Anyhow, hopefully one day all the people dealing with retrograde cultural ideas will be able to free themselves and live a full life. In the meantime enjoy a delicious hot pot and some yummy nian gao.
Happy Lunar New Year!