Tung Lo Wan: A Lesbian Haven or Everyday Life?

Denise Tse Shang Tang

in As Normal as Possible

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789622099876
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206625 | DOI:
Tung Lo Wan: A Lesbian Haven or Everyday Life?

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This chapter shows how lesbian commercial spaces in Hong Kong — including karaoke bars, upstairs cafés, and lesbian specialty stores in a high-density shopping hub known as Causeway Bay or Tung Lo Wan — function as sites of community formation for lesbians to escape from heteronormative society, validate their self-images, build and maintain social networks, and/or perform political subjectivity. It also argues that these physical spaces are in a continuously mobile process of transforming themselves through customers who take part in the reproduction of social and sexual relations within them. In general, it reviews how lesbians have been marginalized in the field of gender and space and how notions of resistance can offer a theoretical framework to understand the spatial decisions made by Hong Kong lesbians. It attempts to position everyday resistance in the city of Hong Kong as lesbians negotiate with capitalist ideologies as entrepreneurs or as customers to lesbian spaces such as bars, café or specialty stores.

Keywords: Tung Lo Wan; Causeway Bay; Hong Kong; commercial spaces; lesbians; gender; karaoke bars; upstairs cafés

Chapter.  9724 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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