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

  • Erika Junhui Yi University of Kansas
Keywords: BL, Ethnography, Fan practice, Interpersonal relationships


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.