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Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
Transgender Dancer Becomes Chinese Cultural Icon
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 04/03/12
Last updated on: 04/03/12
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Jin Xing.

Jin Xing, one of the first people to have sex-change surgery in China, has become a Chinese cultural icon. A film star, talk show host, and celebrated dancer, she also serves the Chinese government as an unofficial ambassador of the arts. Her remarkable story will be featured on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams on April 4, 2012.

As Jessica Hopper and Meghan Frank explain on the Rock Center website, Jin, now 44, danced in New York 20 years ago and has now returned with her company, Jin Xing Dance Theatre. The difference is that now she is a woman.

"When I left New York, I said, 'I only come back [to] New York with my own dance company. I don't even come back [to] visit," Jin told Rock Center's Kate Snow in an interview airing Wednesday, April 4 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time.

By the age of 18, Jin had won acclaim as the best male dancer in the People's Liberation Army. He was selected to come to America to study modern dance in New York City, where he trained with leading dance companies and emerging choreographers.

Jin found his time in New York liberating but confusing. He began to date men but continued to question his sexuality and his identity as male. He ultimately came to the conclusion that he was transgender and decided to pursue sex-change surgery.

Seventeen years after her transition, Jin Xing is an established film and television star in China. She is also a wife and mother.

While the Chinese government was initially leery of her transition from a leading male dancer to a leading female dancer, they have become more comfortable with her.

"They give me the space to become who I am in China as an independent artist and [at the] same time, I'm getting a lot of positive image [for China] as an artist, as a cultural ambassador for China," Jin said.

She acknowledges that some people come to see her perform because of her personal transformation, but that does not bother her.

"If my personal story can bring [the] public into the theater, I'm already successful," she told Snow. "Because after one and a half hour, they're talking about my dancing, they're not talking about my sex change."

Below is the trailer for the Rock Center episode.

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