From Glass Clique to <i>Tongzhi</i> Nation: <i>Crystal Boys</i>, Identity Formation and Politics of Sexual Shame

Hans Tao-ming Huang

in Queer Politics and Sexual Modernity in Taiwan

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083077
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209817 | DOI:
From Glass Clique to Tongzhi Nation: Crystal Boys, Identity Formation and Politics of Sexual Shame

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This chapter conducts a critique of Taiwan tongzhi (“gay” or “queer”) politics through a re-articulation of Crystal Boys, one of Taiwan's first recognised “gay” novel that depicts the underground male prostitution culture in 1970s Taipei. It argues that the 1990s tongzhi politics as articulated through Crystal Boys is founded upon the normative exclusion of the gendered prostitute subject and that such repudiation is complicit with the dominant moral-sexual order upheld by Taiwan's state culture. It shows how the novel represents a particular ‘state-affect’ of gendered sexual shame linked to prostitution, which later came to be displaced by the emerging tongzhi movement through its political praxis of “coming out.”

Keywords: shame; Tongzhi; gay activism; feminist movement; Crystal Boys

Chapter.  13353 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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