Meet Jin Xing.
By: Emily J
Since November is Transgender Awareness Month, it is important that we talk about one of the most inspiring voices of our generation: Jin Xing.
Jin Xing has been a lot of things over her life. At nine years old, she joined the People’s Liberation Army and received dance and military training. As a member of the military’s dance troupe, she studied Russian ballet, Chinese opera, dancing, and acrobatics. As a soldier, she studied the complexities of machine guns and how to place a grenade under bridges. Over the next 10 years, she eventually worked her way up to colonel.
After she left the military, she became an acclaimed dancer and went to dance in New York and Rome. Despite a successful career and many opportunities that lay in front of her, something was missing. “I was 19 years old, outside of China, [and] I thought, ‘Now I can think about it: Who am I?’ ” Jin told The Hollywood Reporter. She then added that she had known from age 6 that she should be a girl but was born a boy. “Now I was free to discover myself. Maybe I’m gay? But I didn’t think so. Then I went to the gay bars, met a gay friend, but I said, ‘No, no, I’m not gay.’ My sexuality is still like a female’s. That’s when I discovered words — transsexual, transgender. I said, ‘OK, I belong to that small island.’ Then I started researching.”
Jin was one of the first ever people in China to undergo gender reassignment surgery. She will not talk about the circumstances surrounding the decision but, at that time, being transgender was a highly taboo topic. Jin wasn’t the first person to have the surgery but, since she was so well known, it became public. She was officially one of the few people to be recognized as a woman by the Chinese government.
Now, Jin has a very successful talk show (with an estimated 100 million viewers per week), three adopted children, and a loving marriage. She is content with her status as a Chinese icon. However, she doesn’t want to been seen as a trailblazer or inspiration for other people. “I’m too individualistic,” she says. “Young people look at me and call me the Statue of Liberty of China. I’m maybe the person that’s pushed the boundary, but don’t block my road! That’s it.”
To learn more about Jin Xing watch the short documentary below!