Queer Cultures in Digital Asia| Tracing Dystopian Insta-Emotions Among Hong Kong Trans Men

Denise Tse-Shang Tang


Digital media is often understood as the primary platform to open up new social worlds for transgender men. The plethora of information from DIY videos on testosterone injections to daily transition vlogs has seen transgender men creating, developing, and curating themselves on digital platforms. This study focuses on the representation of Hong Kong trans men on digital media. The ongoing COVID pandemic has conjured up a wide array of cultural imaginations on the end of the world. Hong Kong has also long collected global imaginations of dystopia, cyberpunk, and science fiction. Under this larger context, I draw upon McKenzie and Patulny’s (2021) notion of dystopia as “a process, a practice, a method of understanding and critiquing” to examine dystopian emotions among Hong Kong trans men through digital ethnographic fieldwork on Instagram and face-to-face in-depth interviews in 2020–2021. I argue that dystopia beliefs lay the groundwork for Insta-emotions to emerge, in overt and subversive ways, that speak to the resilience of transgender men.


transmen, Instagram, Chinese transgender men, dystopian emotions, shame, feelings, social media

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