Jin Xing + Gender Binary

Image via Art Space China

I just finished reading “Jin Xing: China’s Transsexual Star of Dance” a chapter from Celebrity in China edited by Louise Edwards and Elaine Jeffreys. The chapter reviews various writing and interviews about the dance star Jin Xing. In doing so, the authors Gloria Davies and M. E. Davies unfold an analysis of Jin Xing’s experience as a public figure who is a known transsexual in China.

I was struck by the conclusion of the chapter (190-191),”…her gender conformity has enabled the media to narrate her life the way she prefers it: namely, as the story of a talented dancer who achieved fame and success, who ‘cured’ her gender dysphoria to become the woman she had always felt herself to be. This is not a story that challenges the sexual binaries (whether of man/woman, masculine/feminine, straight/gay) that rule our lives. Rather, it is a story that confirms how powerfully those binaries continue to rule our lives.”

The conclusion highlights a cut and dry perspective of gender and sexuality adopted by Jin Xing. It is important to consider that lens in regards to transgender. That being said, to me gender and sexuality are much more messy than that.

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