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September 22, 2011

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Outrage as transsexual dancer barred from role as TV judge

JIN Xing, a celebrated Chinese dancer, has been banned from continuing her role as a judge on a TV talent show because she is a transsexual.

The outraged performer revealed the ban by the Zhejiang Province Radio, Film and Television Bureau on her microblog yesterday.

The news drew thousands of comments from fans and showbiz celebrities.

Media critic Tan Fei called the decision "insane." TV and film actress Song Dandan wrote "We are with you." And Jia Zhangke, director of Venice Film Festival winner "Still Life," called her to offer his support.

Jin said she had also received calls from many friends from abroad who said they were shocked at the decision.

"It doesn't matter to me whether I continue to be a judge or not. But as a Chinese citizen, I refuse to accept such sheer gender discrimination reflected by the decision," Jin wrote.

The 44-year-old artist was one of the first Chinese people to undergo sex-change surgery in the early 1990s and has lived her life as a woman ever since.

She has made a number of appearances on TV in recent years and was one of the three judges for the "We Are The Music" shown on Zhejiang Satellite TV, a popular live singing contest, before the ban.

The Zhejiang TV bureau could not be reached for comment by Shanghai Daily yesterday.

No longer needed

But the show's producer confirmed to Jin that the ban on her appearing on the show had been ordered by the TV bureau, a government watchdog which supervises TV stations.

In an interview with Shanghai Daily yesterday, Jin said she received a call from the program producers on Tuesday evening, telling her she was no longer needed for the Saturday live show.

"The TV bureau told the show producer that I should leave because my sex-change experience caused bad social influences," Jin said. "The reason is shocking and absurd."

Jin said she would rather understand it as a decision by some narrow-minded bureau officials who failed to see that the public in China was increasingly understanding of the transsexual community.

"I wonder what kind of bad influences I could possibly cause to the audience by appearing on TV as a decent and honest artist," she said.

Jin said she had asked Chao Chi-Tai, the program's director, for the exact reason for the ban.

The "transsexual experience" was stated as the reason on the notice from the bureau, Chao told her.

Jin, who has a German husband and three adopted children, said: "The groundless ban will not affect me and I will continue to live with a shiny attitude."

Media critic Zhe Bie said: "Compared to many foreign countries, it's much easier here in China for transsexuals to get legal acknowledgement for their new gender." He added: "The bureau's decision seems beyond understanding."


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