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Conditional SpacesHong Kong Lesbian Desires and Everyday Life$

Denise Tse-Shang Tang

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083015

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083015.001.0001

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(p.xi) Acknowledgements

(p.xi) Acknowledgements

Conditional Spaces
Hong Kong University Press

This book is a point of confluence. It is as if I have come full circle. My deepest gratitude goes to the informants for sharing their stories and providing invaluable support for this project. I take responsibility for any shortcomings in this book. This project first grew out of my doctoral research at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. My supervisor, Travis Kong Shiu-Ki, has been insightful and encouraging through thick and thin, when many transitions were taking place for both of us. I would have felt alone without his support on many levels. On the committee, Ho Chi-Kwan, Chan Kam-Wah, Choi Po-King and Josephine Chuen-juei Ho provided me with intellectual guidance. Thanks also go to the organizers and volunteers at Nutongxueshe, the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, Queer Sisters, and Women Coalition of Hong Kong SAR.

I am indebted to the Queer Asia series editors, publisher Michael Duckworth and staff at Hong Kong University Press for believing in the book project and for all their assistance. I especially want to thank Chris Berry for his initial suggestion to submit the manuscript and to Helen Hok-Sze Leung for all her personal encouragement.

I sincerely thank the Graduate Institute of Gender Studies at Shih Hsin University. I am truly grateful to Luo Tsun-Yin, for taking a leap of faith in giving me a job before graduation. I appreciate the advice and witty comments from Chen Ming-Li. Chen Yi-Chien has been more than supportive on many occasions, always being there for me and making me laugh (even in meetings). The warmth and generosity of Ou Hsing-I and Huang Shu-Yi will always be treasured. I thank many students at the Institute for their commitment, intellectual vigour and activism beyond classrooms. I have especially learnt a lot from the following individuals: Chiang Ying Fan, Fan Shun Yuan, Hsieh Ma Li, Hsiung Pei Hsun, Lai Cheng Hong, Lin Chi Hsuan, Lin Chia Hsin, (p.xii) Lin Shu Yu, Tsai Hsien Ti, Yeh Ching Yi, Wu Yu Chieh. Peng Hsin Yun, in particular, has been a wonderful student to bounce off ideas and a delightful friend to speak on many subjects.

This book is a culmination of much travelling and many presentations over the past few years with travel funding from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the National Science Council, Taiwan. I thank Gina Marchetti for the Hong Kong/Hollywood at the Borders: Alternative Perspectives, Alternative Cinemas conference, the Asian Center for Women's Studies at Ewha Womans University, the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University for the Bodies and Urban Spaces workshop, Olivia Khoo and Sean Metzger for The Future of Chinese Cinema conference (Sydney), Anita Kit-Wa Chan at The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Chu Wei-Cheng and Yin Pao-Ning at the Cultural Studies Association (Taiwan), Ding Nai-Fei and Liu Jen-Peng for Querying the “Marriage and Family Continuum” International Workshop, Saori Kamano and Takashi Kazama for the Japan Association for Queer Studies, and the Graduate Institute of Sociology, National Sun Yat-Sen University. Many inspiring friends, mentors and colleagues have been made, and for some reconnected. Here I would like to mention Eunice Au, Chan Wai-Yin, Eleanor Cheung, Cho Man-Kit, Anne Xuan Clark, David L. Eng, Thomas H. Gamble, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Lili Hsieh, Hans Tao-Ming Huang, Saori Kamano, Dredge Byungʼchu Kang, Diana Khor, Mary Ann King, Henry Koo, Lai Yao Mei, Shirley Law, ManChui Leung, Janet Pang, Leslie G. Roman, Waveman, Day Wong, Queenie Wong, Ellen Yuen, Ivy Zhu and Xiang Qi. Yau Ching has been a dear friend beyond words, time and place. Without her, I would not have returned to Hong Kong for my doctoral studies. I also salute early activists, writers, artists, film-makers and pioneering scholars for social justice who have made it possible for this topic to be finally acknowledged and valued. I have often found myself looking back to times spent working at Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS, Asian Pacific AIDS Council, Downtown Eastside Women's Centre and Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center for many moments of reflection.

My four years in Taiwan have allowed me to remain still and ask questions of myself on teaching and research, but most crucially, on one's life. Ding Nai-Fei has been encouraging from the very beginning of this book project and other research endeavours by inviting me to the Center for the Study of Sexualities at National Central University for a talk. I have learned much from her intellectual work, her humility and her integrity. I especially thank Amie Elizabeth Parry for all her emotional support and giving me feedback on various book chapters during numerous visits to cafés and restaurants (p.xiii) in Taipei. Last but never the least, I thank Yang Chin-Yi for spending time with me in my pending departure, hearing out my anxieties and sharing her love and affection with me. There is a place for us in this life. My personal and career transition to leave Taipei for Hong Kong has been a tremendously difficult decision. It would have been much harder had it not been for caring friends and colleagues who have been supportive of my decision to leave; and knowing that friendships do surpass geographical boundaries and life transitions made them deeper.

My family in Vancouver BC and Hong Kong have been crucial to this book. They have indulged my constant relocations. In particular, my mother and her many ways of acknowledging her daughter's sexuality in public have been touching and fascinating. Phone conversations with Karen (and Sam, Ethan and Sidney) have kept me real and connected. Karen's meningioma and surgery in August 2010 makes living so far away from family immensely difficult. I am only glad that closeness is never measured by physical distance and spending twenty days with Karen was to be cherished for every second of it. Text messages from Owen in the middle of the night often led first to a scowl but then a smile. Handmade gifts from Emma have been very sweet. My father provided a much-needed space in Hong Kong for me to write. Without it, it would have been challenging to finish what I had begun. Thank you to Kam Yip Lo, for her love, caring and patience across distances.

Parts of this book have been previously published. Chapter 2 appeared as “Tung Lo Wan: Lesbian Haven and Everyday Life”. It was included in As Normal as Possible: Negotiating Sexualities in Hong Kong and China, Hong Kong University Press (March 2010). Chapter 5 appeared as “Demand for Cultural Representation: Emerging Independent Film and Video on Lesbian Desires” in Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures, Intellect Books (September 2009). The Epilogue was published as “Urban Intimacies in Yau Ching's Ho Yuk: Let's Love Hong Kong” in Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University (November 2006). Methodological Notes was published as “The Research Pendulum: Multiple Roles and Responsibilities of a Researcher” in the Journal of Lesbian Studies, Routledge (February 2007). (p.xiv)