The ebb and flow of female homoeroticism in the online Chinese queer fandom of Super Voice Girl (2006)

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-45
Journal / PublicationThe Journal of Fandom Studies
Issue number1
Online published1 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


Super Voice Girl (SVG) was an Idol-style Chinese reality show that allowed only female contestants. The show became famous worldwide for featuring gender-nonconforming contestants. This article examines the rise and fall of the most popular online Chinese queer fandom of the 2006 SVG in the forum feise chaonv (FSCN). I focus on the fans’ ambivalent play with Chinese-specific female homoerotic imaginaries that initially popularized and protected but eventually led to the decay of FSCN as a queer fantasy space. First, I look at the subtle ways in which the 2006 SVG tactically normalized the female homoerotic imaginaries surrounding its tomboyish national finalists. Then, I examine FSCN fans’ struggles with both this female homoeroticism and the stigmatization of real-world lesbianism. I demonstrate that the fictional imagination of female homoeroticism sustained FSCN as a popular queer fantasy space after the show ended. Additionally, I detail the fans’ self-contradictory reactions to several real-life lesbian incidents involving the finalists that gradually came to light in the post-show years. I argue that the fans’ confinement of female homoeroticism to a youthful, memorable fantasy scenario that was substantially shaped by both Chinese mainstream and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender cultures eventually contributed to the abrupt end of FSCN’s queer-themed practices. © Intellect

Research Area(s)

  • female homoeroticism, lesbianism, Chinese fandom, queer imagining, online fandom, Super Voice Girl