Leslie Cheung: Asia's gay symbol survives on 15 years after his fatality

Leslie Cheung, one of the first stars ahead out as gay in Asia, is still motivating people today.

  • Leslie Cheung: Asia's gay symbol survives on 15 years after his fatality
  • Leslie Cheung: Asia's gay symbol survives on 15 years after his fatality

    Leslie Cheung was just one of one of the most popular male singers and actors of the mid-1980s

    It's a touching sign of why the daring as well as troubled star is still crucial today.

    One of Hong Kong's most preferred male singers and stars of the mid-1980s, Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing was not terrified of provoking debate with his overt sexuality as well as provocative efficiencies during an extra socially conventional age.

    And 15 years after his fatality, Cheung is still drawing in brand-new followers, including teenagers and millennials.

    Lam, a 15-year-old who participated in 1 April's vigil, was just a couple of months old when Cheung died. She informed BBC Chinese she had actually \"discovered him on YouTube\".

    On The Other Hand, 25-year-old Wu took a trip from Hunan district on landmass China with his sweetheart to mourn the icon.

    Wu informed BBC Chinese he drew toughness from Cheung's \"spirit of being true to oneself\".

    \" He showed the [Chinese-speaking] world that gay individuals can be positive, bright and also worthwhile of respect.\"

    Cinematographer Christopher Doyle says Leslie was \"not just a terrific vocalist or actor, but a rarely-seen real star\"

    Birthed in 1956, Leslie Cheung was one of Hong Kong's most renowned stars during the golden era of Cantopop in the 1980s.

    He was dashing, elegant and fitted the public suggestion of an ideal heterosexual male lover. Yet in reality, he was in a long-lasting relationship with his childhood years close friend, Daffy Tong.

    It was not an easy time to be gay. At that time, homosexuality was still checked out by many as a disease as well as irregularity in Hong Kong, particularly after the appearance of the initial regional instance of Aids in 1984. It was not up until 1991 that adult gay sex was decriminalised in the area.

    \" The LGBT motion in Hong Kong took off in the 1990s, when the area finally came to be noticeable to the public,\" Travis Kong, an associate teacher of sociology looking into gay society at The College of Hong Kong, told BBC Chinese.

    He first concerned international attention with his representation of Cheng Dieyi, the androgynous Peking Opera star, for the film Goodbye My Concubine, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1993.

    He took place to star in Delighted With each other routed by Wong Kar Wai - a gay movie theater timeless concerning a couple that struggle to locate a calm co-existence.

    \" Pleased With each other is different. It is a stereotyped heterosexual romance, yet played by 2 men,\" said Package Hung, a Hong Kong director.

    At The Same Time, Christopher Doyle, the popular cinematographer who worked with Cheung on numerous Wong Kar Wai movies, informed BBC Chinese: \"He was so gorgeous. We both wanted to communicate through my lens one of the most lovely, sincerest side of him.

    \" He enters our imagination audaciously ... always showing us better possibilities.\"

    Leslie Cheung is kept in mind both for his films as well as songs performances - and also has his very own waxwork at Madame Tussauds

    On stage, Cheung released a sexually fluid appeal. His defining queer efficiency came in a 1997 performance where he danced intimately with a male dancer to his track Red. He put on a black match with a set of gleaming crimson high-heels.

    At that performance he committed a timeless love tune to the two \"loves of his life\", his mother as well as his partner Daffy Tong. This is viewed as the minute he came out of the wardrobe. Cheung did not declare his sexuality therefore, yet confessed his love for a male.

    \" In the 1990s, at times a gay guy was still called 'Aids man' and 'pervert',\" claims Mr Kong. \"In a society so overbearing to the LGBT area, the appearing of such a distinguished superstar had a big effect on the general public.\"

    Regardless of his success across Asia, there were many that did dislike this side of Cheung.

    At the 1998 Hong Kong Film Honors, Delighted With each other was buffooned by comedians, that explained it as a film that would certainly make the audience vomit. A music video he routed, including him partially nude with a male ballet dancer, was additionally censored by major neighborhood TV network TVB.

    In 2000 Leslie came to be the very first Asian celebrity to use a custom-made costume by French fashion master Jean-Paul Gaultier in a performance. With waist-length hair, plainly visible bristle and a muscle develop, Cheung additionally used tight clear pants and also a short skirt.

    He ended the show with his self-revealing ballad I. \"The theme of my performance is this: One of the most crucial thing in life, in addition to love, is to value your own self,\" he clarified.

    \" I won't hide, I will live my life the method I such as under the brilliant light\" he sang. \"I am what I am, firelight of a various colour.\"

    However he was dismissed as a \"drag queen\", \"perverted\" or \"haunted by a female ghost\" in neighborhood media. He would reject that criticism as superficial and short-sighted.

    He remains such an iconic number in Hong Kong's awakening to LGBT concerns that the Mandarin chinese Oriental Resort is even the first stop of a strolling tour on the city's LGBT background.

    It was from below that he leapt to his death on 1 April 2003 after a lengthy fight with depression. It was a stunning minute for the city, and also a terrible moment for followers.

    10s of thousands turned out to bid him farewell and also at the funeral service, his partner Daffy Tong presumed the duty generally protected for the making it through partner, a profound, public acknowledgment of their relationship.

    Never lawfully wed, Mr Tong's was the first name provided on the family members's news of Cheung's death, attributed \"Love of His Life\".

    Same-sex marriage or civil unions are still illegal in Hong Kong, yet in the city's collective memory, Cheung and also Tong are lovingly remembered as a famous, caring couple.

    Hong Kong still does not have anti-discrimination regulations safeguarding LGBT neighborhoods however queer identification as well as sexual fluidity are no longer so forbidden as well as belong to the social landscape.

    In 2014 a gallery in Hong Kong held an exhibition \"Ambiguously Yours: Sex in Hong Kong Popular Culture\". The initial display site visitors run into upon entering the location was a set of shimmering crimson high-heels - both Cheung wore carrying out Red in 1997.

    \" The highest possible achievement for an entertainer is to personify both genders at the very same time,\" Cheung when proclaimed: \"For art itself is genderless.\"

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