Wednesday, May 8, 2024

From 16th c. China and 21st c. India, two accounts of virtuous transgender mothers who protected children

Duck and duckling on water
Meet You Ruiniang from 16th c. China and Gauri Sawant  from 21st c. India, 2 transgender women who devoted themselves to their adoptive children, protecting them from cisgender predators.

The ducks in the picture are Lesser Whistling Ducks, a species present in the India subcontinent, southern China and Southeast Asia. Female and male ducks are similar in plumage.

Read more LGBTQ history on our Substack

Happy Mother's Day to the trans moms!

Friday, March 8, 2024

Zhang Yujing, trans masculine folk hero, honored by the Emperor of China in 1405

15th century Chinese man holding up sheathed sabre

Zhang Yujing (a gender-neutral name) was born to Old Man Zhang of  Tongwei County in 1387. When their father wondered at the child’s pugilistic talent and disinterest in women’s work, Yujing told their father that they wanted to serve their country with martial arts and did not want to live as a girl. Old Man Zhang let Yujing live as a boy.  They became a local martial arts coach at age 15, and was selected for the National Academy at age 18.

Read more about their life at Zhang Yujing, trans masculine folk hero, honored by the Yongle Emperor in 1405

Share on Instagram.  Btw, March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Big Gold Drop - fancy coat names from the 19th century Cat Garden

Yellow Persian cat sitting in front of overturned honey jug watching ants

Mao Yuan (The Cat Garden) is a 19th century compendium of contemporary cat lore and cat literature from antiquity. It was compiled around 1852-1853 by Huang Han, a native of Wenzhou. Enjoy selections from the Cat Garden and other works of late Imperial Chinese cat lore here.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Zheng Banqiao, openly bisexual 18th century magistrate, honored with a shrine for disaster relief work

In 1750,Zheng Banqiao, magistrate of Wei County in Shandong, declared his bisexuality in an autobiographical essay after 4 years of winning peoples' hearts through his famine relief work.

Read more about the storied life of this eccentric, multi-talented character here. Zheng's legacy remains influential to this day; he inspired no less than 3 (straight-washed) TV series and feature films.