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As Normal As Possible

Negotiating Sexuality and Gender in Mainland China and Hong Kong

Ching Yau

Publication Year: 2010

Drawing from the fields of ethnographic and sociological studies, cultural activism, public health and film studies, this volume poses new and exciting challenges to queer studies and demonstrates the study of Chinese sexuality as an emergent field currently emanating from multiple disciplines. The essays here showcase the work of emerging and established scholars working mostly outside Euro-America and focus on cities including Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. This book is one of the first sustained collections on Chinese non-normative sexual subjectivities and contemporary sexual politics published in English. It highlights the various ways in which different individuals and communities––including male sex workers, transsexual subjects, lesbians and Indonesian migrants––negotiate with notions of normativity and modernity, fine-tuned according to the different power structures of each context, and making new and different meanings.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. 6-7


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pp. 8-9


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pp. 10-13

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Dreaming of Normal While Sleeping with Impossible: Introduction

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pp. 1-14

Issues related to sexuality have emerged in China and Hong Kong1 in unprecedented ways in the past several years. The growth of religious fundamentalisms and global gay discourses, heightened media attention linking the rising nullnull nullures primarily ...

I Travelling Bodies

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1 Outcast Bodies: Money, Sex and Desire of Money Boys in Mainland China

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pp. 17-35

Initiated by the then General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Deng Xiaoping, in 1978, many reforms have changed China’s economic, political, social and cultural landscapes over the past few decades. This series of reforms ...

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2 Lesbianism among Indonesian Women Migrants in Hong Kong

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pp. 37-50

For the casual visitor to Hong Kong who stumbles on Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on Sundays, what becomes immediately obvious is that it is occupied almost entirely by migrant women, and more strikingly, that ...

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3 Tung Lo Wan: A Lesbian Haven or Everyday Life?

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pp. 51-71

Lesbian spaces as sites of resistance have been studied in the last decade with social geographer Gill Valentine urging geographers and urban sociologists to map lesbian neighbourhoods “from nowhere to everywhere” (Valentine ...

II Communities

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4 GID in Hong Kong: A Critical Overview of Medical Treatments for Transsexual Patients

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pp. 75-85

When the general public in Hong Kong hears the word “transsexual”, crime, cabaret, suicide and mental illness are some of the notions that often spring to their minds—as that is often the kind of news that get covered ...

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5 Opening up Marriage: Married Lalas in Shanghai

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pp. 87-102

This chapter is part of the research I did during 2005 to 2007 on lala1 individuals and communities in Shanghai. I carried this research during the formative period of identity-based lala communities in China. It is one of ...

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6 My Unconventional Marriage or ménage à trois in Beijing

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pp. 103-110

In the 1990s, the lesbian and gay or tongzhi movement started in China. I was among those organizing some activities. In 1997, some friends and I set up the first tongzhi pager hotline in Beijing. To avoid police harassment, we used a ...

III Representations

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7 Porn Power: Sexual and Gender Politics

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pp. 113-131

This chapter seeks to queer a part of Hong Kong cinema history considered to be most heteronormative through studying some of the most controversial works of one of the most prolific and influential ...

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8 Queering Body and Sexuality: Leslie Cheung’s Gender Representation in Hong Kong Popular Culture

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pp. 133-149

Top Canto-pop star and Hong Kong actor Leslie Cheung proclaimed his bisexuality in an interview in 2001 after finishing his last concert tour, the Passion Tour, during which he wore six Jean Paul Gaultier outfits, from a white tux ...

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9 Performing Gender, Performing Documentary in Post-socialist China

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pp. 151-175

In the 1980s and early 1990s the People’s Republic of China saw the fluorescence of independent documentary filmmaking. Wu Wenguang, Duan Jinchuan, Zhang Yuan and Jiang Yue launched a wave of documentary filmmaking ...


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pp. 177-187


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pp. 189-194

Works Cited

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pp. 195-214


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pp. 215-218

E-ISBN-13: 9789882205727
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622099869

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 20 b/w illus
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 711004311
MUSE Marc Record: Download for As Normal As Possible

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Transsexuals -- China -- Social conditions.
  • Gays -- China -- Hong Kong -- Social conditions.
  • Gays -- China -- Social conditions.
  • Sexual orientation -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Sexual orientation -- China.
  • Sexual minorities -- China.
  • Sexual minorities -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Transsexuals -- China -- Hong Kong -- Social conditions.
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