Tu Er Shen

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In Chinese mythology, Tu Er Shen (兔兒神 or 兔神) is the god of male homosexual love. As the story goes, he was once an ordinary man named Hu Tianbao, who fell madly in love with an attractive imperial inspector, which he kept to himself because they were socially unequal; when he was caught watching the object of his affection through a bathroom wall and confessed to his infatuation, he was punished with death by beating. What might have been a tragic gay-bashing tale instead has a happy ending: The lord of the underworld judged Hu’s crime to have been love, which was no crime at all, and appointed him the deity of gay romance. He then appeared as a rabbit (hence the name Tu Er Shen, which means “The Leveret Spirit”) in a dream to a man from his hometown and prompted him to erect a shrine in the new god’s honor.

Worship of the Leveret Spirit has continued on and off since its 18th century inception. This website lists traditional methods of praying to Tu Er Shen, including offerings of paper charms and description of the deity’s generous nature. An online vendor now sells love spells named after Tu Er Shen (the website even includes handy instructions for determining if you are homosexual).

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