Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cross Dressing In China

I find it interesting that you cannot express yourself politically in China  but there is an opening in terms gender expression.  While they cannot participate in gay pride parades there seems to be some genuine progress.  I do find it troubling that homosexuality is something that is seen as the preserve of the young.  Forcing people to lead heterosexual lives, marrying and reproducing is still very limiting and wrong.  While I am excited to learn that attitudes towards gender and homosexuality are changing there seems to be a lot of work that still needs to be done.  Having to pay exploitation money to keep a gay club open signals that part of the reason for this loosening of the moral code, is the invention of yet another sub group to exploit for gain.

I am not sure whether this is the fault of this video, or a direct relation of the social acceptance of homosexuality in China, but I cannot help but notice that lesbians are once again invisible.  We know that they must exist, but it is telling that their stories are not explored.  Just as with any other civil rights struggle some voices end up becoming the denominate voices, while others are sidelined and just as relegated by the out group, as they are be in  group.  We cannot assume that just because someone is a gay male, that they are necessarily pro-woman.  Sexual orientation does not necessarily breed an ally. They (read: gay/trans males) are equally subject to ideas about what constitutes a man, and what constitutes a woman. So while I celebrate this little video as a sign that change is occurring, I must ask where are the lesbians? It is not okay for one group to achieve social acceptance while another is invisible and forced to live in the shadows.

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