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MPhil Thesis Presentation
Identity and Social Boundaries of Hong Kong Local Drag Queens


Tongzhi, a term that describes LGBT+ population in Hong Kong, has built up its politic and identity in Hong Kong since the 1990s, and different related groups have developed from there ever since. Drag queen, a group of male cross-dressing artist in the gay circle, is one of them. They appeared onstage as glamorous women, which are contradict to the super-macho aesthetic in the modern gay scenes. Due to the nature of the groups and the local environment, Hong Kong local drag queens have to devote lots of time, money and efforts to keep performing and maintaining their identities. They are receiving double marginalisation from the gay scenes and society, and having strong devotion of their drag identity. Yet, they do not seem to have strong identity statements towards the public and the LGBT+ community.

This study aims to explore the lack of identity struggle among Hong Kong local drag queens through an ethnographic approach. The research started from following a group of local drag queens to observe their performances, rehearsals and daily activities. At the same time, it recorded different drag performance inside Hong Kong, with the supplementary research on foreign drag queens in Hong Kong. The thesis would describe drag queens’ lives as an individual, a stage performer and a member of the Tongzhi/LGBT+ community. I would argue that they have the intention to avoid confrontation, and their performing space are still present to fulfil their identity expression, so they would have less incentive to define themselves and expand their names outside their usual performing area.

Speaker(s) Ms. Tsz Ching Nicole LAI
Date 18 Dec 2019 (Wednesday)
Time 2:00 pm
Venue Room 3401, Academic Building (Lifts 17-18)
Language English