Gay Chinese movie confronts stereotypes

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A film director is hoping a movie about two gay Chinese men will confront British media stereotypes.

Ray Yeung Yaw-kae’s Cut Sleeve Boys, tells the tale of two openly gay Chinese-British men, looking for meaning in life and relationships.

Mr Yeung, whose film is promoted as the first Chinese British gay production, said: “No British films talk about British Chinese.

“In the UK, there’s a lack of representation of Chinese on TV or movies. The only Chinese you can see on TV or movies are illegal immigrants, gangsters or prostitutes who can barely speak English.

“It’s very frustrating. Chinese people don’t just run restaurants. Lots of them do great jobs like lawyers. It’s scarily backward in the UK. In the US, Lucy Liu was in Charlie’s Angels not

because of her ‘Chinese-ness’ but because she was right for the role.”

The film features Mel and Ash, two gay friends, “I want to show people that they have bargaining power,” Mr Yeung says.

“For example, Mel takes a younger lover from the country and turns him into a cosmopolitan man.”

Cut Sleeve Boys, is a nominee in the Hong Kong International Film Festival’s Asian Digital Competition.

Mr Yeung says that compared with the rest of Asia, Hong Kong is the most

open towards the gay community.

The filmmaker said Hong Kong is the most liberated Asian country, “Racism exists on the international gay scene. Chinese gay men have a low ranking in the gay hierarchy because they don’t fulfil the classical male beauty.”

“I know some Asians who have switched to dating Asians.”

“It is not the next Brokeback Mountain, but at least it deals with the issue of our times.”