Date: Mar 12th 2014 2:13p.m.
Contributed by: chelseastone

To quote LL Cool Jay in his song ‘All I Have’: “I don’t believe you wanna leave like this / I don’t believe I just had my last real kiss / I do believe we’ll laugh and reminisce / Wait a minute, don’t bounce, baby, let’s talk about this…”

Yes Shang-gays, the time has come for me to bid you zaijian. Not only will I be leaving this column, I’ll be leaving Shanghai as well. The latter will be the hardest part for me because, so far, Shanghai has been the longest relationship I’ve ever had.

I came to Shanghai from the suburbia of Midwest America as a wide-eyed, innocent gay boy. In these five-plus years, Shanghai has replaced that naiveté with a special experience. I have always believed that Shanghai has helped shape me into the gay man I’ve become today.

I have stood outside of the now-shuttered Club Deep in Jing’an with a broken heart. Kissed a girl against the backdrop of the Pudong skyline at the Bund after stumbling out of I Love Shanghai. I’ve cried with my friends, kissed, fondled and been fondled, all in the backseat of a taxi driving through the former French Concession.

Shanghai has seen me through a few broken hearts, damaged lungs and a scarred liver, yet not once have I resented this city or my time here. I know that my experience doesn’t speak for all of the Shang-gays, but at the same time, it bonds me to you. One gay man in Shanghai to another.

 

Whether you come from an oppressive background, a liberal background or just plain from the middle of nowhere, Shanghai welcomes you. It’s like that charming boyfriend we’ve all had. He can sweep you off ...


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