Publication – Creative Misreadings of “Thai BL” by a Filipino Fan Community

A fan meeting event for the stars of SOTUS: The Series (2016), one of the Thai BL series discussed by the fans I researched for this article

Forming part of a special issue of the Asian popular culture focussed journal Mechademia on “Queer(ing)” edited by James Welker, my article on Filipino fans of Thai BL has just been published!

Entitled Creative Misreadings of “Thai BL” by a Filipino Fan Community: Dislocating Knowledge Production in Transnational Queer Fandoms through Aspirational Consumption, the article represents the first reception study of Thai BL among Filipino consumers (possibly one of the most important fan groups of this new popular culture form).

The research is based on observation of a Facebook fan group between 2015 and 2017 as well as interviews with fans in Manila in 2019. Importantly, the article gives a snapshot of the fandom in its early stages, before the phenomenal and transformative success of 2gether The Series radically increased awareness of BL among consumers in the Philippines.

The article has three chief aims:

-To understand how Thai BL provides same-sex desiring Filipinos (particularly men) with emancipatory knowledge which intervenes in societal heteronormativity.

-To develop an understanding of the tensions between “Thai BL” and “Japanese yaoi” among early consumers and how these “creative misreadings” shaped knowledge about BL in the Philippines.

-To further our critical understanding of the globalisation of Boys Love and to reveal how moving beyond “Japan-centric” frames of analysis will provide new theoretical opportunities in Asian queer studies.

You can download a PDF of the article here.

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