China

Hong Kong tycoon's daughter defends sexuality in letter

  • 29 January 2014
  • From the section China
File photo: Gigi Chao, right, daughter of the Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao, poses with her partner Sean Eav at an event in Hong Kong
Ms Chao, right, married her long-term partner Sean Eav in France in 2012

The daughter of a Hong Kong tycoon has urged her father in an open letter to accept she is a lesbian, after he offered millions to find her a husband.

Gigi Chao says Cecil Chao should accept her partner and "treat her like a normal, dignified human being".

Ms Chao, 33, who married her long-term partner Sean Eav in France in 2012, also emphasised: "There are plenty of good men, they are just not for me."

Mr Chao last week reportedly offered to double his 2012 offer of $65m (£40m).

Hong Kong does not recognise same-sex unions, although homosexuality was decriminalised in 1991.

Mr Chao, a property and shipping tycoon who himself has never married, told the BBC last year that his daughter needed a "good husband".

He said at the time that his monetary offer for any man to woo his daughter had generated many replies from potential suitors.

The letter by Ms Chao, a socialite and businesswoman, was published in at least two Hong Kong newspapers, including the South China Morning Post newspaper on Tuesday.

In it she said she was sorry that people had been saying "insensitive things" about her father.

"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," she said.

"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."

She added that she did not expect her father and her partner "to be best of friends". But she said "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'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," she went on.

Ms Chao ended her letter by signing it: "Patiently yours."

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