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Meet the Hong Kong heiress who accidentally became a revered LGBT+ champion

Jasmine Andersson April 2, 2018

Do you remember that story about the Chinese business tycoon who tried to get a man to marry his lesbian daughter for a handsome sum?

The woman in question is Gigi Chao, who was bombarded with thousands of marriage proposals from across the world in an attempt to make her straight.

Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao (趙世曾) offered US$65 million to any man who wanted to take on the ‘challenge’ – and as a consequence made his daughter an LGBT+ icon.

“I am glad it happened,” Gigi Chao said to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

(DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)

“It has been able to put a comic spin on a topic that is often marred by a lot of tragedies and taboos,” said the 38-year-old to the human rights organisation.

The 81-year-old billionaire doubled the offer to HK$1 billion (US$127 million) in 2014 to the suitor – in spite of the fact that she had married her wife in a civil partnership in France in 2012.

In response to her dad’s demands, Chao decided to pen an open letter which was published in Hong Kong’s national newspapers.

hong kong pride parade
(Getty)

Entitled “Dear daddy, you must accept I’m a lesbian,” and it urged him to treat her partner like a “normal, dignified human being.”

Homosexuality has been decriminalized since 1991 in Hong Kong.

Unlike in Mainland China, the country celebrates the gay community with an annual Pride parade.

More: Asia, Asia, China, China, lesbian, LGBT china

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