Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for January, 2014

Chinese fascination with imaginary gay Brits

Timothy Kincaid

January 2nd, 2014

Most of us have heard of fan fiction, the amature storytelling of romantic liaisons between real or fictional characters who have no relationship otherwise. And we probably are familiar with yaoi, the boy with boy romantic animation that is created and consumed in mass by young Japanese women.

But I was unfamiliar with the fascination that many Chinese seem to have with the BBC show Sherlock. (BBC)

When UK Prime Minister David Cameron visited China in December and opened an account on weibo, China’s version of Twitter, the top request for him was to speed up the release of the new series of Sherlock. That day finally arrived.

The show was launched on Youku, a Chinese video-hosting website similar to YouTube, just two hours after its premiere in Britain. It got almost 3m hits overnight, and weibo has been lit up by fans discussing the new episode.

Nor was I aware that many Chinese viewers seem intent on seeing Holmes and Watson as a couple.

But the most fervent fans are those intent on finding a gay subtext to the relationship between Holmes and Watson. There are numerous Chinese sites that host Sherlock fan fiction, depicting the detectives as a couple. And among this group of fans, many identify themselves as funu or “rotten women” – young women who like gay stories.

“I have to say, this show is catering to our rotten girls’ taste more and more,” said one fan.

“Sherlock tortures Watson a thousand times, and Watson loves him like his first love,” wrote another. “I’ve waited two years, and it didn’t disappoint me.”

All of which is probably fine with the show’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch, who officiated at the same-sex wedding of friends last summer.

Meet your new favorite ally advocate

Timothy Kincaid

August 14th, 2013

South China Morning Post

This is the 90 year old grandmother of a gay man, both living in the People’s Republic of China. She’s asking the government to support marriage equality.