EMPEROR AI OF HAN & DONG XIAN (4 bce)
Emperor Ai of Han China fell in love with a minor official, a man named Dong Xian, and bestowed upon him great political power and a magnificent palace. Legend has it that one day, while the two men were sleeping in the same bed, the Emperoror was roused from his slumber by pressing business. Dong Xian had fallen asleep across the Emperors robe, but rather than awaken his peaceful lover, the Emperor cut his robe free at the sleeve. Thus, the passion of the cut sleeve became a euphemism for same-sex love in China.