Zheng Banqiao - openly bisexual 18th century magistrate honored with a shrine for disaster relief work
Zheng Xie, aka Banqiao, one of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, declared his sexual preferences in a 1750 autobiographical essay
Zheng Xie, aka Zheng Banqiao, was a famous painter, calligrapher and poet of the 18th century, one of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou. Zheng was credited with saving more than 10,000 lives during a famine in the mid-18th century, when he was serving as Wei County magistrate in Shandong. 
Zheng declared his homosexual preferences in his 1750 essay “Banqiao’s autobiography”, written 2 years after the famine, when he was 58:
I am obsessed with the mountains and rivers. I also enjoy eroticism, especially male homoeroticism. But I know that I am old and ugly, and these people come to me for my money.
Chapter 16 of “The Little Bean Trellis”, a collection of short stories by Zeng Yandong, contains an anecdote about homosexual affair between magistrate Zheng Banqiao and a guard at the Fan County courthouse:
Zheng always had a taste for male homoeroticism. One day, when Zheng Banqiao was hearing a case in the county hall, he saw a young guard standing some ways off at the foot of the stairs, holding a bamboo rod.[i] Wearing a red hat, his pale skin contrasting with his black uniform, he cut a striking figure. After this, Zheng engaged him in love and intimacy. A friend joked with him, asking, “[NSFW joke]”. Zheng answered, “[NSFW response].”
OK, some of you are probably thinking, engaging a staff member in a sexual relationship - isn’t that problematic? Here are a bunch of people in the present day who had heterosexual relationships with members of their staff: “15 Celebs Who Fell In Love With Their Staff | TheTalko” (Whether the married Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually in love with his housekeeper is debatable.) Let’s just be sure to judge them all by the same standards regardless of race and orientation.
Anyway, back to The Little Bean Trellis: the author Zeng Yandong was not even born at the time of the alleged affair between the county magistrate and the guard. Zheng Banqiao served as magistrate of Fan County from 1742-1746. Zeng Yandong was born in 1750.
A brief timeline of Zheng Banqiao’s life and career:
Zheng Banqiao was born in 1693 into a poor, educated family.
Between 1716 and 1723, he worked as a schoolteacher. After his son’s death, Zheng quit teaching to make his living as a painter while studying for the Imperial Civil Service Examinations.
Zheng passed the jinshi exam in 1736.
In 1742, Zheng was posted as county magistrate to Fan County on the border of Henan and Shandong.
In 1746, Zheng was transferred to Wei County in Shandong, where there was a great famine. Reports of cannibalism were rife. Seeing the urgency of the situation, Zheng opened the government warehouses and distributed relief supplies. When someone tried to stop him, suggesting that he should first ask for permission from superiors, Zheng replied, “What time is it already? By the time we receive approval for action, there will be no people left alive.” 
Zheng took additional measures to alleviate the famine. By 1748, the famine had eased, and refugees began to return home. Zheng Banqiao turned his attention to flood control and reducing banditry. His calligraphy and paintings were commissioned for the emperor’s tour of Shandong.
In 1751, Zheng went to north Wei County to oversee disaster relief after a tsunami. He introduced policy reforms to protect working class residents and small business owners.
In 1753, the 61-year-old Zheng resigned from his magistrate post, claiming that he had conflicts with superiors over his aid requests for county residents. As Zheng was leaving the region, residents blocked the road to persuade him to stay. When that failed, they built a shrine in honor of the magistrate’s contributions.
In 1766, Zheng passed away at the age of 73. He was buried at Xinghua in Jiangsu province. His former residence is presently open to tourists.
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[i] The bamboo rod is used in the courtroom for caning criminals.