Founder of Chinese-version of Golden Raspberry Awards goes viral with post about same-sex partner on social media; netizens show support
Published: Jan 27, 2021 10:04 PM


 Well-known Chinese film critic Cheng Qingsong went viral on Tuesday after he announced his new relationship by posting a song written by his boyfriend on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, and the post attracted many well-wishers.  

Cheng shared his boyfriend's song "Twenty Years," a romantic tune with lyrics such as "I've nothing to long for; wishing you'd be my centerfold." He also emphasized that the song was particularly created for him. 

Chinese film critic Cheng Qingsong Photo: Courtesy of Cheng Qingsong

 His relationship became a hot topic on Sina Weibo, earning more than 800 million views as of Tuesday, with a lot of voices supporting him - "Congrats, nothing to hide, love is love." 

"Admirable. Better than those who marry a woman to pretend they are straight," said another. 

Though Cheng mentioned he was happy for the support, he noted that he felt confused as to why the announcement of his new relationship began trending online.

"I just shared a song. It couldn't have been anymore simple," Cheng told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"It is just the same as if someone shares the news that he fell in love with a person of the opposite sex." 

Cheng noted that this was not the first such post he had made. 

"Seven years ago, I posted photos with Mr Huang [Cheng's ex-boyfriend], but none of them made such a big splash," Cheng explained. 

What may have caught netizens' attention about the relationship was the negative reaction from some people who speculated that the song's lyrics "When I was 15, I had crush on a boy" meant that the two began dating while the young university student was underage. 

"He was 15 and he had a crush on you? He was underage you freak," posted one netizen on Sina Weibo. 

"[The song] conveys his mental journey. He was 15 years old when he had a crush on his high school classmate, but did not dare to speak about it. The spark died and then he was alone in a somewhat dark place until he met me," Cheng told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

While clarifying they started to date a month before his boyfriend's 18th birthday, Cheng noted that he and his partner never cared about their age gap. He added that he would stop posting information that could expose his partner's identity on social media. 

"He has not yet come out of the closet and is looking for an opportunity to be frank with his family. I'll protect my lover, but [opening up to his family], that's his homework," said Cheng. 

First coming out of the closet in 2005, Cheng said he considers himself fortunate that as a well-known celebrity he received more support than hate from the public as well as his friends and family. 

His mom stood by his side whenever he posted about his partner, and his niece would ask him whether or not he would bring his boyfriend home during the winter holidays. 

"I don't even need to reply to those haters myself, because many unknown strangers will reply to those haters to defend and protect me," said Cheng. 

Cheng's announcement has received support from Peng Yanzi, founder of LGBT Rights Advocacy of China. Peng told the Global Times on Wednesday that young people in China are increasingly tolerant and are more willing to respect celebrities' sexual preferences.

"I think it is very important for celebrities to come out of the closet, so that more people have the opportunity to learn about the LGBT community, which is very conducive to the public's understanding and acceptance of this group," he said.

Peng said he has seen more efforts and progress made by the Chinese entertainment industry to help the public better understand the LGBT community. A Little Red Flower, the New Year box-office champion in the Chinese mainland, featured a same-sex relationship.

Cheng has been very active in the Chinese film industry as a screenwriter, film critic and director. He founded the Chinese version of the Golden Raspberry Awards, the Golden Broom Awards, which nominate the worst in Chinese film every year.