China PK Queen
Every day at 3pm Jessica starts his make-up to be ready for his performance at 7:30. He does not perform in a bar or in a theater but at home facing his mobile phone. He is an online professional Drag Queen. Each day of the week he gets online to perform and to receive “gifts” from his fans. Although he enjoys being a Drag Queen, he not only has to prove his talents and skills but also to fight against prejudices and discrimination. Even if the space for drag shows in China is constrained, he is always looking for opportunities to perform in front of live audiences.
Xiaogang Wei was born and raised in Xinjiang, China. He was trained as an actor at the drama department of the Xinjiang Arts Institute in Urumqi and at the Shanghai Drama Academy. Having a passion for community work and a drive to contribute to social change, Xiaogang has continually searched for meaningful ways to share his drama skills with others and to use them in socially relevant ways.
In 2005 he started to engage himself on the production side of various films and other productions benefiting different social movements in China. In 2007, he founded the LGBT webcast “Queer Comrades”, for which he hosted and directed more than 400 videos and reached over 50 million viewers/times. Until 2019, he was the executive director of the NGO Beijing Gender. Founded in 2002, it was the first Chinese NGO to focus on issues of gender, sexuality and sexual health, thus fulfilling a pioneering role in Chinese society. Together with the Beijing Gender, he launched a series of groundbreaking events in China, including Queer University, the China AIDS Walk, the China Rainbow Awards, the China LGBTI Conference and All Gender Toilet Program.
Today, Xiaogang focuses on documentaries and film making. He is a member of the organizing committee of the Beijing Queer Film Festival. He was a member of the jury at the 2016 International Berlin Teddy Film Festival.
In 2013 he got the Vanguard Awards from LA LGBT Center for his contribution to the LGBTI movement in China.
So far, most of my work and life have been growing up with issues of sexuality and gender, civil society and human rights. Most of my films were about to raise the visibility of LGBTI people in China, to speak out, and asking for equal rights. Now I have left my full-time NGO job and become a freelancer, because I am not an film academic, and I cannot completely get rid of the way of thinking of a activist. So my film still like focus on people and stories that are rarely seen, those who have struggled, those who are brave to live for themselves, those who make me feel that my life is too monotonous.