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Cheng Yanqiu (1904-1958) was born to play the dan, or feminine role in Beijing Opera. Willowy and graceful, he made it through puberty with nary a crack in his sweet soprano pipes. While western teens in similar circumstances would have suffered taunting for such androgyny, Cheng enjoyed accolades, fame,...

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Alternative lifestyles in old China were not necessarily always a closeted affair. Admit it. When you look at old photographs and portraits from the past, you think the subjects were nothing like you. They had no cars, no Net, and funny hairdos. Tradition-bound, their souls stagnated in a dark...

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What makes a man a man? No, not that. That only makes him a male monkey. No, being a real man lies in manly actions no other be-testicled animal would undertake. The male essence is exalted in acts of courage, innovation. That same essence clouds when it turns into...

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Well la DEE da, the New York Times is making it hip to eat black chicken. High time, too, since in all objective terms, the black chicken, an wuji in China, a Silkie elsewhere, is the go-to bird. If you can get past the color barrier you’re in for...

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