In Shanghai, transvestites challenge on stage the social pressure

À Shanghai, les travestis défient sur scène la pression sociale

SHANGHAI | blonde Wig, makeup glistening and gigantic false eyelashes: young man shy to the city, Yan Anyu is grime night in diva full insurance on a scene of Shanghai reserved for transvestites.

That evening in front of an enthusiastic audience, the teenager, 18-year-old struts around in a sparkly dress, and the pretext of the words of the inescapable disco hit “Last Dance” of Donna Summer.

The one who has the stage name “Miss Cream” has made his debut as a drag queen in line on the implementation of short videos Douyin (the chinese version of TikTok), where it has 140 000 subscribers.

“When I’m dressed as a man, I lack confidence in me,” he says, eyes fardés.

But in the skin of “Miss Cream”, the young man is transformed by his character that “has a high level of assurance, is elegant and seductive”.

The thematic LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) are often censored in China in the movies and on tv, where the morals of the conservative-dominated.

Some tolerance still exists in the big cities, especially in Shanghai (is), where in recent years the transvestite shows percent in any discretion.

Despite the family pressure, Yan Anyu has chosen to continue the adventure in a bar LGBT people in the economic capital of china, around 1,000 miles from his hometown in the province of Hebei (north).

“My relatives have come to accept” my identity transvestite, he says to the AFP, stating, however, have not revealed formally to his homosexuality to his parents.

“The finger”

Mr “R”, the owner of a gay bar who does not wish to reveal his real name, was one of the first to organize a competition of drag queens in Shanghai.

The concept is not new, however in China, where for centuries the men are cross dressing to play female roles on stage — this is particularly the case in the Beijing opera.

In 2013, in the first edition, only four participants were presented. The drag queens were judged then to be “bulky” in China, according to Mr “R”.

But things have since changed, according to him, to the point that he now holds events every week.

Now, “people who were more heterogeneous come to see the shows, they appreciate the drag queens and accept them,” says Mr “R”.

But “there is a lot of discrimination against the effeminate”, nuance, however, Lu Jianxiong, who performs on stage in drag in comedy roles.

“Playing a drag queen is a way to resist (…) and the finger to society.”

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