Model filial son kept double life a secret

Updated: 2014-09-19 07:58

(China Daily)

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Model filial son kept double life a secret

To make himself look more like a woman, Liu starts to wear a bra. [Photo/]

Photo story: Life of a transsexual: A strong desire to be a 'woman' 

Liu Ting, 28, was once declared a model son - a boy who had been taking good care of his sick mother, even carrying her on his back when he went to college.

But the winner of China's top honor for his moral uprightness was secretly considering suicide.

While traditional Chinese culture upholds filial piety, it frowns on transsexualism.

Liu, who was born in 1986 in Shuanglin, Zhejiang province, liked to put on his mother's lipstick and her high heels when he was a child.

This worried his mother, Lu Yongmin, and she raised him strictly. Liu Ting realized he was different from other boys in primary school. Unwilling to be a boy, but daring not to act like a girl, Liu was at a loss.

When Liu was 13, his mother was diagnosed with kidney problems and his father lost his job and left the family. When Liu enrolled at Zhejiang Forestry College in 2005, doctors told him that his mother would live no longer than another two years. So Liu rented a room close to the campus, and carried her to the hospital every day.

When the media reported his story, Liu became a national model. He was inundated with donations and his mother received a free kidney transplant in 2006. Liu was chosen as the nation's best model of filial piety in 2007.

But Liu lives two lives and his torment is made worse by his mother's disapproval of gender realignment surgery.

His mother persuaded him to learn how to be a man. But he couldn't stand it. At the end of 2013, Liu and his mother went to see a psychologist, who suggested Liu live as a woman.

A hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, has offered Liu surgery.

Liu is planning a future after the operation to become an entertainer in a field that is tolerant of transsexuals.