Synopses & Reviews
This is the first ethnographic study of lala (lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) communities and politics in China, focusing on the city of Shanghai. Based on several years of in-depth interviews, the volume concentrates on lalas' everyday struggle to reconcile same-sex desires with a dominant rhetoric of family harmony and compulsory marriage, all within a culture denying women active and legitimate sexual agency. Lucetta Yip Lo Kam reads discourses on homophobia in China, including the rhetoric of -Chinese tolerance, - and considers the heteronormative demands imposed on tongzhi subjects. She treats -the politics of public correctness- as a newly emerging tongzhi practice developed from the culturally specific, Chinese forms of regulation that inform tongzhi survival strategies and self-identification.
Alternating between Kam's own experiences with queer identity and her extensive ethnographic findings, this text offers a contemporary portrait of female tongzhi communities and politics in urban China, making an invaluable contribution to global discussions and international debates on same-sex intimacies, homophobia, coming-out politics, and sexual governance.