ARTS / CULTURE & LEISURE
Popular young Chinese internet celebrity announces she is transgender, winning netizens’ support
Published: Mar 29, 2021 06:25 PM
A photo of Abbily. Photo: Sina Weibo

A photo of Abbily. Photo: Sina Weibo

Abbily, a popular 19-year-old internet celebrity has attracted attention and support - by announcing that she is transgender. "Now, I'm officially a girl…" the star wrote on Sina Weibo on Sunday in a post that has received support from Chinese netizens and people of her fan community. 

In the Sunday post she revealed some details concerning the decision. "I have enjoyed wearing my mom's heels ever since I was little," she wrote, noting that gender dysphoria has long been part of her life. 

Her announcement has become a trending topic on Sina Weibo, earning nearly 6 million views as of Monday afternoon. "All choices need to be respected," one netizen commented in support of the internet star. 

"People on the internet nowadays are more understanding compared to a few years ago, when the public had very little knowledge about the LGBT community. I think the momentum behind this is the exposure of LGBT themes in popular culture, like BL novels. This has made people think more about them and develop a liking toward them," a journalist in Beijing who reports on LGBTQ issues in China told the Global Times on Monday.

Along with her frank discussion of her gender identity, Abbily also mentioned she had been bullied by classmates who did not allow her - still identified as male at the time - not to use the boys' bathroom at school. And since she has begun to expose herself on the internet since 2016, she has been suffering internet violence as people call her "a twist" and "pervert".   

"If a kid is different, then it is very likely that she or he will be encountering some predicaments in public places. We should not emphasize the issue that "you are different" to the kid, and definitely should not treating him differently," an expert in Beijing who specializes in young people's mental health development told the Global Times on Monday.  

Other netizens sympathized with Abbily's struggle with gender dysphoria and called on people to pay more attention to the mental health development of young people, especially when it comes to helping them understand their individual gender identities. 

"The gender concept can be formed even when a child is around 3 years old. There are some rather clear signs that can indicate a boy may have some doubts about his gender, such as liking girly names and imagining being a character of opposite gender in films… As parents we should make them feel comfortable about their gender preference and then talk to them about it. We should never ask questions like "what did I do wrong to make you like this," as that can make them feel even more guilty and cause them to belittle themselves," a mental health expert who helps families with transgender children told the Global Times on Monday. 

With a fair complexion, long hair framing a cute doll-like face and a pair of Bambi eyes, the lovely internet celebrity has won more than 2 million fans by mainly sharing dancing videos inspired by female idols on social media platforms such as Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, and China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.


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