Reflection on Chinese boys' love fans: An insider's view

Erika Junhui Yi


The fandom of BL, as it is known in China, celebrates explicit homoerotic relationships between boys or men—fictional characters taken from mainstream media, real-life celebrities, and male personifications of day-to-day objects and animals, as well as original characters. Mainstream media reports on BL fandom and BL fan girls in China have never been favorable; this subculture and the fans within it are constantly represented in a negative and biased light. But because I am a BL fan girl myself, I can offer an insider's perspective. This essay is a reflection on my personal experiences and observations as a member of BL fandom, and a response to erroneous, stigmatizing claims and moral panic about this community in China.


BL; Ethnography; Fan practice; Interpersonal relationships

Full Text:



License URL:

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), ISSN 1941-2258, is an online-only Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works. TWC is a member of DOAJ. Contact the Editor with questions.