(personal report by Mata Hari)
After a short visit to the exotic, wonderful Faerieland Sanctuary in Australia and a very easy-going Fools n Faeries Easter Gathering in New Zealand, I flew directly – for the first time – on a mysterious journey to the land of the Red Lion „China“ for the 3rd China Gathering near Beijing.
Actually, I never wanted to go there, because I had heard only negative things about this country: it exploits its people and monitors them, personal and political freedom is suppressed, gays are persecuted and are illegal. The environment slips from one disaster to the next and is mercilessly sacrificed to economic progress. Yet it was Francis, a charismatic Faerie whom I had met a year earlier at the Global Gathering 2017, an incredibly nice personality who had brought the Radical Faerie Movement to China and became a true friend to me, who convinced me to try it with China. The challenge was so strong and I accepted it.
When I landed in Shanghai and then in Beijing, I saw nothing of this huge country. Everything was white mist around me and light yellow smog clouds. There was a winter break in China in the spring and we landed in the snow and it was so cold. My only thought was, how can I reach Pablo. Will he be there? He was my only contact and I had to meet him at the airport, otherwise I would have been lost in this huge and unknown country because I did not know where the Gathering took place or who else should pick me up. After initial panic, some Chinese faeries arrived at the airport and took me through a snowy retort landscape to the space outside of Beijing, where the gathering was to take place, which I will not announce for safety reasons. Just a week ago, there was a sandstorm from the Mongolian desert that caused a 2000-fold air pollution in Beijing. The weather was crazy. But I safely arrived at my final destination. At the entrance of this place stood two golden lions, who were to bring happiness and prosperity to the newcomer. I was greeted by about 24 Chinese faeries with totally young faces. We three non-Chinese Faeries, Pablo, Chas Nol and I were by far the oldest in this gathering. But that did not matter. Right after the welcome we did a workshop „Face to Face“ and we got to know and love each other for the first time. Oh, all these won-derful, loving young faeries that I was allowed to hug now. Every single one I found beautiful in its own way. Is there anything more beautiful than the smile of a Chinese faerie who is plea-sed to see each other’s eyes? They should show me their „true self“ because that is the true „Faerie Being“ – this wonderful and compassionate being that only we can do and that we should not hide. Yes, I saw so many beautiful faces – or rather, the souls behind the faces, so many young faces, 19-year-old, with an incredible smile, heartwarming, lovely.
The next morning Chas Nol asked me to facilitate the Heart Circle. I did it and what I experi-enced then went into my annals. The sharings and the stories I heard made this circle one of the most emotional Heart Circles I’ve ever participated in. Some sharing of young faeries here almost broke my heart. The specialty of this gathering was that nearly two-thirds of all participants were young, students between the ages of 19 and 24, but they all told things as they might have been in Europe in the 1960s, where homosexuality was almost still illegal in all countries.
Here in China, family ties are much stronger than in Europe, and if you come out here as a gay in front of your parents, this is mostly the exclusion from your family, because it is the biggest disgrace for them if you are gay. Not only will you be cast out, you will lose all rights in your environment. It may also be that your lover is being persecuted by your own family and – as someone told us, in the worst case your own father wants to kill your boyfriend. So it was not surprising that every second person in the group spoke of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, both by himself or his friends. What came out of the mouths and hearts of the young Chinese people was so real and so heartfelt and so intelligent that I was totally ent-ranced. It showed a different reality that we can no longer imagine in our western liberal world. Most of them had never felt the true love of a man and they longed for it. So many here believed in love that I almost stopped thinking. How beautiful the world can still be in young hearts, and how much the grown-up world denigrates and, above all, does not appre-ciate it-even tramples it in every way. I believe in these Chinese teenagers. We three „old-fashioned“ – non-Chinese faeries began to love them more and more. For relaxation we went to a nearby restaurant where was served extensively on a round table and just so rustled the overfilled plates past me. On the way back to our home it snowed again. In the evening there should still be the NoTalent Show and an auction at the same time. The Chinese are very good at trading, so the auction was a big deal and was extensively prepared. But also on the show there were some wonderful Chinese music and literature acts and everything was pre-pared via WeChat platforms. Facebook and other social media platforms of the West are blocked in China. I hosted the show together with Chiffon, the very talented second youngest Faerie here.
Every morning there was Heart Circle, the center of our gathering and that made the China Gathering very intense and exhausting for me as well. You almost could not relax your head. Therefore, it was also very necessary for me – after receiving a professional Thai massage from Xisi, to take at least a short hike to the „Spring of Happiness“. Well, I did not find this source in the mountains, but in the hearts of the faeries here, in their yearnings and dreams. And I noticed how body contact and tender touch among the young Chinese faeries increa-sed during the gathering. The true „smile“ that we give ourselves here is the greatest gift that people can give themselves. It exudes recognition, positivity, love, affection, openness, beauty – everything that people can give, even sex. It radiates your innermost self – your being as Radical Faerie. Do not hide it – it’s what we can give the world – the best you have – because when you hide it behind a cold wall, you break with your humanity. Do not use your power for wars, negativity and cynicism, but for love – this is also the „legend of Kung Fu“ and that is also the legend of the Radical Faeries. At the end of our last full day, we formed a circle where we should reveal our emporer and our angel – slowly, gently, yet persistently. And I was surprised. Even I had an angel here, it was my last translator. With more than amazement, yes, admiration, I went to bed exhausted.
On the last day the sun suddenly shone friendly over the valley, colorful pinwheels turned wildly in the wind and wherever I looked I saw a pink bloom. How nice it was here all at once. Now my soul finally found satisfaction and relief. We all went as friends and enriched oursel-ves with the message that we should all be ourselves, „faeries“, and no one can take that from us. Chas and I loved these wonderful intelligent faeries here in China who were able to organize such an intense gathering. I was so impressed and wanted to carry this message around the world. The golden lion has really made his positive side resonate in us and brought us to enlightenment. With relief, I went back to the juggernaut of Beijing into the forbidden city.