Cross-dressing 'Happy Boy' stirs up debate on gender in China

16:36, May 31, 2010      

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The "He" that dresses like a "She" and constantly blurs the lines of division between male and female has ignited a fierce debate in China.

Liu Zhu wants to be a television star after having earned some fame in a television talent contest that he was eliminated from.

The 19-year-old young man who looks and sounds every bit like a young woman was a smash hit on "Happy Boy," China's all-male talent show equivalent to "American Idol."

His name returns more than 19 million results hits on leading Chinese search engine Baidu while his blog has received 3 million hits.

In a previous talent show this year, Xu Long, a boy known as "Tongtong," also became famous because of his cross-dressing.

Thanks to the them and the sensation they have created, there is a buzzword in China: "Weiniang."

The word has entered Chinese from the Japanese word "Nisemusume" and refers to comely boys with a female appearance after they dress up. The Japanese word is popularly used in comics and dramas.

But the boys are not necessarily homosexuals.

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