Essential labels? Gender identity politics on Hong Kong lesbian mobile phone application Butterfly

Authored by: Denise Tse-Shang Tang

Routledge Handbook of New Media in Asia

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138026001
eBook ISBN: 9781315774626
Adobe ISBN: 9781317684985


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In her mid-40s, Kar Yin logs on to the Hong Kong les application Butterfly every other day. She posts photos of her daily meals and everyday objects she finds fascinating on the mobile phone application. She checks the discussion boards and briefly browses through them so as to get a sense of what are the most popular topics and the most debated issues in Hong Kong les communities. Topic threads of ordinary objects and seemingly mundane everyday life are also intriguing to her. The app itself has also contributed to building novel excitement in Kar Yin’s relationship with her partner of 15 years. Her partner who works long hours also goes on the application whenever she can to check in on Kar Yin’s daily activities via the photos uploaded.

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