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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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Queering the Post-L Word Shane in the “Garden of Eden”

Queering the Post-L Word Shane in the “Garden of Eden”

Chinese Fans’ Gossip about Katherine Moennig

(p.63) 4 Queering the Post-L Word Shane in the “Garden of Eden”
Boys' Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols

Jing Jamie Zhao

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter presents a critical analysis of Chinese fans’ queer gossip discourse surrounding the American actress Katherine Moennig, most famous still for her breakthrough role as a butch lesbian character in the television series The L Word (Showtime, 2004–2009). Through a deconstructive reading of the gossip that imagines Moennig’s real-life lesbian gender identities and homoerotic relationships in one of the largest cross-cultural fandoms in Chinese cyberspace, The Garden of Eden (Yidianyuan), the author reveals that, rather than simply assimilating or rejecting the normative understandings of the West as a civilized, queer-friendly haven and China as a backward, heterocentric nation, the fans’ intricate fantasies about the Western queer world reflect their subjective, hybridized reappropriation and reinscription of the Chinese queer Occidentalist imaginations. Ultimately, she argues that the queer Occidentalism exemplified in this cross-cultural gossip functions as a survival strategy for queer fans to interrogate the depressing, heteropatriarchal realities in contemporary mainstream Chinese society.

Keywords:   Queer Fantasies, Queer Gossip, Queer Occidentalism, Lesbianism, The L Word, The Western Queer World

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