Speaking Bitterly, Desirably and Queerly : The Jinxing Show as Queer Chinese TV

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationJournal of Intercultural Studies
Online published25 Apr 2024
Publication statusOnline published - 25 Apr 2024

Abstract

This article examines one of the most sensational (and controversial) Chinese talk shows of the post-2010 years, The Jinxing Show (TJS; 2015–2017), known for its host, Jin Xing, China’s first transgender woman celebrity. I explore how the transculturally situated aesthetics, talk themes and presentation styles of TJS contributed to Jin’s on-screen presence as a form of ‘uneventful queer’ (McCarthy 2001) TV culture in a supposedly LGBTQ-censoring China. My televisual-discourse analyses of TJS reveal a ‘post-trans’, cosmopolitan-neoliberal rhetoric through which Jin promoted ‘proper’ Chinese womanhood and ‘desirable’ Chinese cultural citizenship in her unique ‘bitter-speaking’ style on the show. Meanwhile, I demonstrate that TJS crystalised certain queer-promising transcultural flows and encounters which were often endorsed by (or in fact dovetailed with) the government’s nationalistic-patriotic self-imaginary in an age of globalisation. Diverging from the scholarly criticism of Jin’s public persona as epitomic of Chinese-specific neoliberal tenets, this study emphasises the dual ‘post-trans’ and queer subjectivities generated through TJS and sheds light on the ‘Chinese-specific’ queer presences, desires, lives and possibilities that have been paradoxically enlarged and publicised through Jin’s on-TV advocacy for the state’s ideological-political projects. © 2024 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese talk show, Jin Xing, queer Chinese TV, transgender, womanhood, post-trans