Gigi Chao on being the woman whose dad tried to sell her straight

You might not know Gigi Chao by name, but you most likely heard about her not so long ago when her father promised to make a millionaire of a man who could turn his daughter straight. 33-year-old Gigi talked with The Hong Kong Tatler recently about being outed by her dad very publicly, as he is a well-known businessman in China and the offer of $500 million to marry his beautiful daughter didn’t fall on deaf ears. Luckily, Gigi knows who she is and that nothing will change her, exuding a graceful confidence in her cover story interview.

It was just Daddy flexing his social muscles. I think he meant it in a light hearted way but there world media picked up on the story and took it a bit too seriously. Daddy thinks society won’t accept me unless I marry a man. He was just expressing fatherly concern. I actually feel lucky to have such a loving parent.

She even gave shared some of the funniest responses she received after dad put out the request with the publication. Here’s an example:

One Chinese-born Australian attempted to woo Gigi with an 18-page handwritten letter in which he claimed to have created the Earth and said he could predict the future. In case Gigi was sceptical, he attached scanned copies of his life insurance documents, birth certificate, education details and even his very own marriage certificate.

Gigi said that there has been some good that has come out of the entire situation, as she’s become the face of a successful and strong Chinese lesbian. China is still a difficult place to be gay, and Gigi has received a lot of hate mail ever since her public outing, including “abusive and threatening emails and a package of medicine to cure her of her ‘ailment.”

A number of well known Hong Kong people have asked me to help them to come out. I felt very humbled because they said I would give them the strength to help them to finally do it. Of course I’m incredibly supportive, but I tell them it’s something they have to do for themselves. Some are sent away to live abroad. Others just settle down here, have a family, and pretend to be straight. It’s a tragedy that people still feel this way, but Hong Kong is still a very conservative place.

Gigi has had a partner, Sean Ev, for seven years and the two were wed in a Paris civil partnership in September. The two are a beautiful couple, and Gigi has a glamorous job running “the model management and public relations company Haut Monde Talent.” She also has her own private helicopter that she pilots, and now Sasha Baron Cohen is making a movie based on her father trying to sell her to a man, called The Lesbian.

Obviously not all gays or lesbians in Hong Kong are as blessed as Gigi in their class and power, but she has also chosen to be out and live honestly in a terrible and tough situation that her own father put her in. Besides her day job, she also does work for the Hong Kong Air Cadets Corps and her own charity, Zizi Workshop. Here’s hoping people can recognize that lesbians, too, can have it all — including a much-needed sense of humor.