Queering Chinese Comrades! Through the Lens of Director Cui Zi’En
I will first give a brief introduction of queer theory development in the United States during the 1990s. Then, I will discuss the applicability, merits, and uncertainties of using ‘western’ queer theory as a way to understand China’s tongzhi (a now-mainstream term for Chinese gays and lesbians) culture within a domestic and international context. There is a widestretching spectrum of arguments regarding the universalism and anti-universalism of queer theory, and the conceivably colonialist connotations of this application to non-Western societies; I make an appeal for a universalist application of queer theory that places Chinese tongzhis as unique queer global citizens, and members of a not-necessarily imperialistic movement.