Imagine that? Like in a fairy-tale. You marry a princess and get half-of-the-kingdom as a dowry…
Cecil Chao Sze-Tsung is a Hong Kong based billionaire who shocked the whole world in 2012, when he made an open offer to all the men of his country. This is what Cecil Chao has said in his statement, distributed by the national media: “This is an open appeal to all the fellow men of my country. I’m now willing to unconditionally offer five hundred million Hong Kong dollars to any man from Hong Kong who can convince my daughter Gigi Chao into a marriage.”
"I only hope for her to have a good marriage and children as well as inherit my business," Cecil said in a 2012 interview with the Malaysian newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau. But he added that he has no plans to meddle in his daughter's personal life.
“I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor – the important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted,” he said of the ideal husband for his daughter. “Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work,” he told the South China Morning Post.
You are probably curious what made Cecil Chao to give such a weird statement and offer so generous bounty…
Based on the Cecil Chao perception, Gigi Chao, his 33-year old daughter, is in an ugly and unnatural relationship with another lady, Sean Eav, for many years. Cecil Chao did everything possible to destroy this relationship and to convince his daughter to have normal marriage with a man. However, this didn’t work as Gigi refused every attempt her dad made.
But that didn’t stop Cecil Chao from making further efforts to convince his daughter for a natural marriage with a man. He made a full-scale buzz in the country again by doubling the earlier offer he made to his fellow men.
With such an attractive offer, coming from their country’s most popular billionaire, almost every man in the Hong Kong streets started sending funny and serious marriage proposals to Gigi Chao. That was amusing at first but eventually started to irritate greatly Gigi Chao, so she published the following statement in an effort to stop the marriage proposals campaign.
Later, Gigi used national media to broadcast the open letter to her father, explaining her life statement, her views and thoughts on having a female partner.
I thought the timing was right for us to have an honest 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 greatest 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.
Your daughter, Gigi.
Ms. Chao is an executive director of luxury property development company Cheuk Nang, which has projects in Hong Kong, China, Macau and Malaysia. Ms. Chao is now considered as a LGBT activist and has become closely involved in Big Love Alliance, a gay rights group that lobbies the government to pass anti-discrimination legislation.
Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Hong Kong.
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