Forewarning: I often make bad jokes and puns.
Tu Er Shen
AKA: The Leverent Spirit
Tu Er Shen’s name literally translates into “Rabbit Deity”. And, while not very well known, he has quite a story that seems strange to the Western World.
Long ago in China (like 17th century China), there lived a solider named Hu Tianbao who fell in love with an Imperial Inspector that was in charge of the providence he was stationed in. One day Hu Tianbao got caught sneaking peeks on the naked Inspector through a bathroom wall.
The angry Inspector demanded why Hu was peeping. Rather reluctantly, Hu told the Inspector that he had a crush on him. Unfortunately for Hu, the Inspector didn’t return his feelings. Instead he had poor Hu sentenced to death by beating.
The story does not end there folks! Soon after his death, an old farmer from Hu’s hometown had a dream in which Hu appeared to him and told him that the God of the Underworld had made him the Rabbit God and that he must build a temple in the town for homosexual males to pray to him, as he was now a deity to answer their prayers.
What’s so strange about him?
Well, as I mentioned, from a modern Western perspective, an idea of a homosexual deity who prayed to by homosexual males would seem pretty strange.
Another thing, men looking for match with another man should make sure to go to Tu Er Shen, since if they go to the regular matchmaker deity, Yue Xia Lao Ren, he’ll be confused by a man asking for a another man and match him with a woman instead.
Tu Er Shen is also a very hard working deity, if you choose to believe and pray to him they say he’ll work earnest and hard to assist you. And he would prefer to be referred to as Ta Yeh (“master”). I’ve read that he’s not only for gay men but also for lesbians.
One more thing! I was told by a friend of mine, that the word “rabbit” was used as not-so-nice slang for gay men in China. So that might explain why he was the Rabbit God.