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Boys' Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous IdolsQueer Fan Cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan$
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Maud Lavin, Ling Yang, and Jing Jamie Zhao

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390809

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390809.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use (for details see www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 11 December 2018

Dongfang Bubai, Online Fandom, and the Gender Politics of a Legendary Queer Icon in Post-Mao China

Dongfang Bubai, Online Fandom, and the Gender Politics of a Legendary Queer Icon in Post-Mao China

(p.111) 6 Dongfang Bubai, Online Fandom, and the Gender Politics of a Legendary Queer Icon in Post-Mao China
Boys' Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols

Egret Lulu Zhou

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter studies the gender politics of a legendary queer icon, Dongfang Bubai, in post-Mao China. In Jin Yong’s original novel (1967–1969), this character is a self-castrated man who satirizes Mao Zedong and his Great Cultural Revolution, and then Tsui Hark’s film (1991) cast a female star into this role, invoking Hong Kong’s postcolonial experiences. In Yu Zheng’s television drama (2013), this character was changed to be a woman played by a female star. Yet, this seemly conservative change did not stifled fans’ queer reading tactics in cyberspaces. Using internet ethnography, the author found that at least three reading tactics had emerged: (1) gay readings which imagine Dongfang Bubai as a gay lover even though now a female role played by a female star; (2) heterosexual readings which understand Dongfang Bubai as a “leftover woman,” which is a newly coined term that stigmatizes those unmarried highly educated women with relatively high age and high professional status; (3) lesbian readings which celebrate transgressing both incest taboo and heterosexuality but at once reject gay readings. By studying the complicated case of Dongfang Bubai, this chapter contends that there are simultaneous symbiosis and conflicts of queer and nonqueer articulations in fan cultures.

Keywords:   Dongfang Bubai, Fandom, Jin Yong, Leftover Women, Queer Reading

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