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Queering Body and Sexuality: Leslie Cheung’s Gender Representation in Hong Kong Popular Culture<sup>1</sup>

Natalia Sui-hung Chan

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622099876.003.0009
Queering Body and Sexuality: Leslie Cheung’s Gender Representation in Hong Kong Popular Culture1

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This chapter re-contextualizes Leslie Cheung's (sudden) suicide in light of Cheung's cross-dressing gender performativity, his “bisexuality”/“androgyny” and “intersexuality”, and the polarizing reception and consumption of his work both locally and internationally. It also provides the first sustained study of Cheung's gender and sexual representations as consumed locally, while mapping his suicide as a result of various forms of stigmatization he had suffered from Hong Kong's own inadequacies in negotiating its contradictions embedded in glocalized consumer culture. In addition, it carefully questions the ways in which a cultural icon with his various nonnormative behaviours and expressions, struggled to negotiate with mainstream media. Cheung's suicide was caused by his depression and health problems. However, the local media in Hong Kong made Cheung's tragic story into a negative example that linked being gay to being depressed and suicidal. In spite of his suicide and death, his charisma and his beautiful face and voice onscreen preserve his everlasting image, fame, life, and glory.

Keywords: Leslie Cheung; suicide; gender performativity; bisexuality; intersexuality; Hong Kong; stigmatization

Chapter.  7685 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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