Chinese: Homosexuality: Prostitution: Aids: Healthcare: Young People: Religious folk were too busy going to Bible studies or Home meetings, and secular organisational people needed miles of bureaucratic red tape unravelled before they could do anything. So at times I have been left to care for those for whom no one else cared.
Continuing the story of a homeless Gay Chinese Boy in SuZhou
I shall refer to this boy as 'Jian'
On May 2nd 2007 he turned 17.
On the evening of April 27th, the 2nd night that Jian stayed in my apartment, Raymond Zhou of China Daily telephoned. We had a brief chat, after which he talked at length with Jian, and subsequent to which he again spoke with me.
Mr. Zhou felt that there was somewhat of a credibility gap in Jian's story, because he was reluctant to give specific answers to certain questions. I had the same problem when talking with him, and had warned him to speak 'exact truth' when talking to the reporter. Whether it was just habit, Chinese custom or some other reason, at the time of his conversation with the reporter, he was not straightforward in his replies.
After the telephone conversation, Jian and I talked at length, and he was upset that Raymond Zhou seemed unwilling to help him. The next morning, before I left with Chiara for Shanghai, I made Jian write an email to Mr. Zhou, with some specific family details that would enable him to check Jian's story. He was only half finished when it was time for me to leave, and so that half complete email was sent, and he was given instructions to send another later from the internet bar.
At about 9am, I saw Jian off to the front gates and sent him on his way back into 'no man's land'. The day before I had given him 40 rmb for internet use over the next 10 days, and additionally, had given a local Muslim Restauranteur 100 rmb advance payment to provide Jian with one meal per day for 10 days.
On May 3rd I received an email from Jian, that contained the following brief message;
Subject: I wanna tell you about my life recently. Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 18:33:02 +0800 (CST)
I cannot stood it any more after 2 meals since you gave the 100RMB to the cashier of the northwest food restaurant. Because everyone needs 3 meals every day. So I always hungry. I've never heard a letter from Raymond Zhou After you left here. Now I have to keep asking foreigners for money. You see! What should I do? When will you back?
When I read this email I just shook my head. You see, although Raymond Zhou believes the boy to come from a poor farming community, everything I have observed about him indicates that he comes from a rich family, and the thing that really drives that home to me, is how he eats.
Since the day we met, and the three of us ate together, I have taken Jian to lunch twice, and on both occasions, ordered for myself, and allowed him to order whatever he wanted for himself. On both occasions, he ordered two expensive dishes, and only half ate them. Aware of this, I gave him strict instructions to order only one dish per day, and that that dish should not exceed 10 rmb. I also told him to be polite like a guest, and to be appreciative of the Muslim man's honesty.
When I read Jian's letter, I could immediately see him going to the restaurant several times on the first two days, and ordering multiple expensive dishes. If he did in fact do this, then it would indicate to me that he is either used to dining out, or that he does have some intellectual difficulty. At any rate, the following was my reply email:
Sent in the early hours of May 5th
2 meals do not cost 100 rmb. You could have had one really good meal each day at the muslim restaurant, and maybe some rice in the morning or evening. You also did not need all of the 40 rmb which I gave you, for internet, and could have used some of it to buy noodles. It is my guess, that you went to the restaurant and just ordered anything you wanted, and discovered that they were expensive meals. You had a better life than your parents had. You are too young to know what kind of life they had. China did not begin to become like it is today, until just 20 years ago. You have been lucky. Your grandparents had a worse life than your parents. I think you do not appreciate what you have had, and expect too much of everyone. I don't think you take too much care about how you spend money.
You say you are always hungry. That is what your parents were like as children growing up in China. Between 20 and 40 million Chinese people died of hunger during the 1960's and 1970's. One very good healthy meal per day, will keep you from falling ill or dying of hunger, but only one meal per day does leave you hungry, and I think you need to feel the hunger to appreciate life. The hunger should make you decide what you want to do. Do you want to live the dirty life or not? Do you really want to go back to school or not? Are you just a spoiled child who does not appreciate what is done for you? I wonder!
Raymond Zhou called you after he arrived at his family home for the May Holiday. Maybe he has not yet called your parents. Maybe he has someone looking into the matter. Maybe your parents have changed telephone numbers. Maybe they have gone away to another province. There can be many reasons. It will take time.
I did forward your email to him, and asked him for information. You sent one email from my house, but tell me, did you write another email to finish your story? I don't think so! You have to start WORKING AT MAKING YOUR LIFE BETTER. You should not be waiting for someone else to make it better.
I admire the fact that you really want to go back to school. I admire the fact that it sounds like you don't want to beg. I admire the fact that you no longer do 'sex' things for money. It makes me think that you are really thinking about your future. But you should be DOING something as well. You should continue writing to Raymond Zhou. You should be thinking about the fact that maybe it is your parents who feel unloved by you. Maybe they feel you don't respect them. Maybe they feel that they have given you all that they could but you did not appreciate it. Maybe they find it difficult to forgive you for your unkindness, because they suffered so much when they were children. I have a friend who is now 16, and until I spoke with his grandmother, that boy did not know that his whole family were in a labour camp, and that his mother was born in a labour camp. You young people don't know how much your parents and your grandparents suffered. Maybe your parents are really hurt by your treatment of them.
Have you thought about that?
What should you do? Keep asking foreigners for money. Keep emailing Raymond Zhou. Maybe you should think about telephoning your parents and asking them to forgive you for being a bad child.
Maybe your parents are really bad people, but I find that difficult to believe. Maybe they are disappointed because you are gay. But now that you are hungry, you should at least tell them that you appreciate what they did do for you and did give you.
I will be back in time to go to class on May 8th. I will not have time to find you until the Saturday. I think the man teacher you met here in my appartment probably told you not to come here again - yes? I got into trouble for having you here. It is even suggested that I had sex with you. This idea does not please my school or the teachers.
You must try to stay out of trouble until Saturday, then I will meet you somewhere for lunch. But I want you to understand that I am not going to be the person who gives you money to make your life easy so that you don't have to beg. I will not be the person who allows you to waste your life by giving you easy money. I will only be the person who FOR A TIME is willing to do whatever I can to help you get your life into order.
If Raymond Zhou does not let me know what he is doing, then in a few days I will get a friend to telephone your parents and sister, and ask them some details about you. I am not here to make your life easy - I am here only to help you make your life right.
The reply on the same day:
You know! Last time, I back home at March 1st. Not only my father beated me but he ask me to give him 20,0000RMB to make up for him when I got home.
I hate my parents! I do not hate them unless them die!
I did send another reply but forgot to keep a copy, but since then have sent out another round of emails to every gay organisation in Shanghai that I could find on the internet. I am hoping that someone might be able to offer some assistance.
Why Bother? Why do you care?
On different occasions in my life, people have asked me this question, and I have only one answer:
How can a person NOT care?
I have suffered a lot of pain in my life, and I have at times had no one to turn to. No one cared (or at least that is what I believed). I have also at times had problem people drop in my lap, and when I tried to get help for them, no one was interested.
Religious folk were too busy going to Bible studies or Home meetings, and secular organisational people needed miles of bureaucratic red tape unravelled before they could do anything. So at times I have been left to care for those for whom no one else cared.
Since being in this school, I have received news that a male student committed suicide in his dormitory. This story was told to Sue, by one of her students, who claims to have been the person to have found the boy. My reaction when Sue told me was, "Yep! It happens all too often in China!" Her reaction was one of disgust that that boy's life ended because no one cared enough to notice. I think about Jian, and wonder what people's reactions would be to hear of his rape, suicide or murder. Would we be shocked and disgusted? Better yet, how would we feel if we knew that we had had the chance to do something, but really couldn't be bothered?
I am a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star news, and on May 6th, the day after I published the first part of this story at Magic City, J. Grant Swank, Jr. published an article there entitled: Maine Youth's Tragic Twist in which he wrote:
The next time I heard about Michael, late one Saturday night on Route 302 he'd darted in front of a car. Preparing for his final moment, he left a note in his pocket. In sum, he wrote that he had nothing to live for any more.
"What more could I have done to rescue him?" I asked myself over and over. Years have passed and I still ask that question over and over. In my memory Michael's face is still fresh as if photographed yesterday.
I don't know what the final outcome of my encounter with Jian will be. I think he really does want to get his life back on track; go to school; go to university, and get on with his life.
That he is terribly immature is quite obvious, as is also that he is gay. Was he a terrible kid who (metaphorically at least) deserved a good hiding from his father? Is he a victim of gay discrimination? Would he have been a victim irrespective of sexual orientation? Is he a spoiled brat? I don't know!
Will he do what he must to put his life on track? I also don't know. But for the time being, I will be there to assist in any way I can. To do otherwise is for me, unimaginable.
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About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.