There’s power in being the king who sits upon the throne, but also power in being the throne upon who the king sits. This was true as ever in the court of Emperor Ai in Han Dynasty China in 22 BC. We’re going to be talking about someone who in 21 short years of life rose from a low class status to being one of the most powerful imperial officials in China – all by becoming the favorite of the Emperor. Their passion was so renowned it led to the creation of what remains a Chinese idiomatic expression for homosexuality. But we’ll also be talking about prevailing bisexuality in the Han dynasty court, the reception culture of this story both in China and outside it then and now, and how people in both China and the West have adopted this story.
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Intersections: Interview with Samshasha, Hong Kong’s First Gay Rights Activist and Author,” accessed May 15, 2023, http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue4/interview_mclelland.html.
Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner.