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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, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

From Online BL Fandom to the CCTV Spring Festival Gala

From Online BL Fandom to the CCTV Spring Festival Gala

The Transforming Power of Online Carnival

(p.91) 5 From Online BL Fandom to the CCTV Spring Festival Gala
Boys' Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols

Shuyan Zhou

Hong Kong University Press

Regarding the question of politics and play in Chinese Internet culture, this chapter re-examines particular effects of netizens’ carnival practices, as well as the complex interactions and contradictions among cyberculture, the official culture, and consumerism in China, by centering on a specific case of “Looking for Leehom” (zhao Lihong) and its related media discourses in 2012 and 2013. The case serves as an influential online carnival, starting from an online Boy’s Love fandom of those who participated in the fantasy matchmaking of two male celebrities. Further, it raises large questions about resistance, complicity, and negotiation among different cultures and media, particularly considering that online carnival was appropriated by a performance on the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in 2013 and then commented on by newspapers and magazines. The chapter inspects how the pleasure of Boy’s Love fantasy has been transferred, censored, and re-enabled between cyberculture and offline societies. By rethinking Bakhtin’s interpretation of carnival, the chapter concludes by exploring the cultural and social implications of “Looking for Leehom” and the potential power of the netizens’ fantasy.

Keywords:   Boy’s Love, Carnival, Cyberculture, Internet Parody, Male Homosexuality

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