(She once told the Huffington Post: “My words aren’t like massage oil — they’re like acupuncture needles, they go right to the nerve and twist it.”) What has happened to Jin Xing, once an icon of progressive attitudes around gender and sexuality?
Jin Xing was born in 1967 in Shenyang in northern China.
With her dancing talents, Jin quickly rose to the high ranks in the military.
However, her ambitions and visions for life were beyond the confines of the army.
So far, it might seem that she had chosen a life of mainstream success in the People’s Republic.
However, Jin then felt increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin, and eventually made a decision: to have gender confirmation surgery and become a woman. “In a Western environment maybe the technology is there, but my soul is too lonely.” The news that Jin was to be the first person to openly undergo gender reassignment surgery became a national sensation in China.
In 1994, Chinese doctors had almost no experience with such operations, but she still she felt a pull to make the change at home. This is no easy task in any country, in particular Chinese society where one’s marital status is a dinner table topic and family is at the core of social values.
Now, she is once again under the spotlight for hosting a new dating show: one that features parents choosing potential daughters-in-law for their sons.The show culminated when a contestant, Lin Jiali, stepped onto the stage with her homemade soup, seemingly winning the hearts of all the family members and the bachelors.However their attitude changed dramatically when Lin revealed that she is, 40 years old, divorced and has a son.Only Zhao Haoran expressed interest in Lin but the two failed to "hold hands", under the strong objection of Zhao's parents, who said that they would like two to three grandchildren, implying Lin is too old for that.The show immediately provoked hot debate among viewers.In 1988, she received a scholarship from the Asia Society and left for New York to study modern dance and improve her English.In 1994, after returning to China at the age of 26, Jin once again joined the establishment: she was hired by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.By age nine, she was admitted to a prestigious troupe and trained in traditional dance and acrobatics.Both are considered strong propaganda tools in China.It involves five single men, who are required to stay in a separated room offstage while watching a monitor as their parents interact with the single women.During the process, family members can press the light in front of them if they are satisfied with the candidates.