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Ai Ti
(ruled 6 BC - AD 1) China

Ai Ti

Emperor of the Han dinasty

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Emperor Ai died without sons or a designated heir, and made attempts to give his succession to his male lover Dong Xian.

Once, the two of them were sleeping side by side when the Emperor woke to find Dong lying on his sleeve. Not wanting to disturb his lover, the Emperor cut his sleeve. From then onwards, his courtiers adopted the cut sleeve as a fashion statement, in honour of Emperor's great affection for Dong Xian.

Gay love was refered to as tuan hsiu, or the passion of the "cut sleeve".

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