Question about genre and love in c-dramas

Hi all! I’m new to the c-drama world and I’ve noticed that it is usual that the main female lead disguises herself as a man and no one seems to notice. Even so a male character, usually the main male lead actor, falls for the female protagonist without knowing she is actually a woman, but thinking she is a man. So my question is, is homosexuality accepted in the ‘immortal’ world? Support characters who also think the female protagonist is a man and notice the male actor is in love with him (her) seem not to make a big deal out of it. Or maybe it is not about the immortal world but the setting in which this kind of stories happen (ancient times) and then it was acceptable?

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welcome to the VIKI community :slight_smile:

Chinese dramas do not have gays or females who pretend to be male so it appears as if it is gay ‘all the time’.

If you watched a C drama that is based on a boys love novel you may find light aspects of that in a TV drama but usual never in a explicit way because of Chinese censorship that usually makes all boys love stories into bro/friendship stories. When the female lead pretends to be male the male lead usually knows she’s female but plays that game as if he doesn’t notice (up to a certain point). I recently watched a new fantasy C drama in which a female side character grow up ‘like a boy’ in the way she’s able to fight too and not wearing girl’s clothing and doing nothing but chatting but veryone around her knows she is a girl who can fight and also a general of another country immediately notices that she’s a girl…

I don’t know how many C dramas you’ve watched in total but all those I’ve watched so far don’t follow the pattern you described.


Asian countries didn’t have the same moral aspects as Western countries because of different religions. For Christs and Moslems homosexuality is a sin but for Buddhists it’s not and for nature religions/beliefs it’s also not a sin. As long as they had kids they (the emperors) could also have male lovers.


In ancientt European eras it was even the ideal… look at ancient Greece but in Greece they had more rules, usually one couldn’t f** everyone, having a wife and a lover, the guy had to decide if he wants a girl and kids or a guy.

So before the Christian religion dominated Europe it was also different here.

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Hi sonmachinima, certainly that is the case! But my point is that the rest of the characters do not she’s a female and they don’t seem to care the male lead is in love with someone they think it is also a man. For example, in Eternal Love (I haven’t finished watching it so please please no spoilers :pray:in case you’ve already watched it) one of the support characters, Li Jing, falls in love with the female lead, Ah Yin. At the start he doesn’t know she’s a female but quickly finds out. However, there’s this other girl who is in love with Li Jing who ends up marrying him and she is always jealous of Ah Yin even though she thinks is a man. Given what you mention about Chinese censorship it surprises me that they get away with this kind of plot.

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I think your Eternal Love is not the Eternal Love that is sometimes also called Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms?

I think this drama is a bit older before the new rules and more censorship was implemented and since she only pretends to be male it’s probably okay.

Chinese law does not forbid homosexuality. Also modern C dramas that play in our era have kind of gay characters (e.g. in one drama the gay side character who was a reporter of yellow press and always annoyed the female lead had pink lipstick so everyone could see ‘that guy is gay’).

They just don’t have the typical gay side/main lead figure some Western TV shows have.

(Because of one child policy China has more males than females. It is a huge problem. They’ll have gays like every country has so I assume they ‘hide’ it a bit compared to Western TV shows but they’re not removing it completely as if they were a very strict religious country; plus they play with stuff that is popular to get money; because unisex gender bands/singers are popular they started to have their own too. They have a ‘all girls’ boyband, that means, the band are 4-5 girls but they are dressed like boys and dance like boys and get fanpost from other girls but in a ‘heterosexual’ way so I think China uses certain aspects that are good for money making without the moral discussion we’d have in the West since in China that all girls boyband is not for a statement of anything it’s focused on a recent popular taste. They also have a solo female singer who’s been kinda androgyn to boy-ish without being casted, it was just her style and since she got so many fans they did that all girls boyband).

For the ‘personal’ life the traditions still want that people marry and get kids and many Chinese parents try to get their kid into a marriage/relationship. Some Chinese say it’s like a parents’ hobby to invite other parent’s kids so the adult kids could know each other too and start dating, but some kids don’t want their parents to do that but it is difficult for them bc the traditions say that they should marry and get kids as well so their parents have grandchildren and if they don’t marry early enough or are divorced it could happen that it puts the parents in a bad light (depending where they live).

Interesting to learn about this. I didn’t know there were girl/boy bands with such aesthetics. I wonder if this is actually helping the LGTB community or hurting them. Anyway, thank you for sharing this.

Taiwan and Japan have some more explicit homosexuality in some of their dramas. In real life Taiwan has also same sex marriage.

You mean these bands? I think it could give some more variations to one’s appearance but since the bands just have this style without saying they are lesbians I think it doesn’t change much. In one interview the girls boyband was asked about their thoughts when they get love letters from other girls and they replied that since they are a boyband it is not strange to them and that doesn’t mean it’s lesbian since they get the fan letters as a boyband and not as the real female person.

Japanese visual kei bands play with visuals too and also often do some fan service on the stage like kissing each other but that doesn’t mean they’re all gay in real life.

I think in Europe it’s different. I can’t remember any bands behaving like that and I remember mainly stage kisses between females like Madonna, Britney Spears but not between males. The only male band with kissing on stage was a band with gay members who copied Japanese visual kei style. (The later said in an interview they are gay bc a reporter asked them if they just did it for the show to imitate Japanese bands and they said no, was not purely fan service).

podejrzewam że oglądałeś/aś dramat gwiaździste niebo gwiaździste morze no to tak ona się przebrała za mężczyznę bo chwiała uciec od tyranicznego brata jeśli chodzi o tą drame :slight_smile:

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As someone who specifically looks for BL dramas etc, there is an increase of LGB content hitting the mainstream, but it appears differently out of different Asian countries.

China has censorship issues especially after the drama Addicted, which was cut short and banned and the actors were banned from appearing together (all episodes up till the ban were recently released on Viki this year). After that point, like what another poster said, it is all very "bro"mance etc, like The Untamed (based on a BL novel, but produced as “best friends” who happen to be very intense together). Independently, there are smaller productions which post seem to be too small-fry to end up on Viki for now. However one BL has emerged out of China but is exclusive to Viki and outside-China due to the censorship (Capture Lover). In a way these “girls presenting as male” may be trying to target what would be the BL audience, if only in a round about way.

Thailand has quite a bit of BL, mostly on Netflix. They have long seasons, and Netflix only seems to have S1, and then you have to look elsewhere for any further seasons. They DRAG IT OUT. Takes an entire season (20+ episodes) of tension, flirting etc before they are “together” and you’re lucky if you see them kiss. Viki did recently just post Love By Chance out of Thailand, but is missing some other ones like Love Sick and SOTUS.

Taiwan is like the rebel against China. They are producing a lot of BL content as it becomes more popular as that stuff is more acceptable there. Rumor has it the writer for Addicted is going to produce something in Taiwan to avoid censorship (pre-covid though).

Korea is… getting there? Obviously most stuff is straight. I’ve seen some gay side characters in straight stuff (like Reply 1997) but still very limited. Viki has released some new gay content out of Korea, but I think it is produced by Viki, most likely seeing that BL is popular and trying to get in on the Korean drama bit of it. However what has come of that has been short/limited so far. There are some movies out of Korea, but they follow the kind of “tragic” trope of gay movies trying to be artistic, rather than a cute fluffy story that we can all enjoy.

There are also some similar movies out of Japan, but I admit I don’t want much J-drama and I don’t think there’s much gay content coming out of it.

A lot more LGB content appears on places like youtube or second-hand drama sites that aren’t official like Viki.

I like Asian LGB dramas etc cause its nice to have a cute romantic plot that appeals to me. Even in America shows that focus on an LGB couple seem lacking, though things like Love Victor are coming more to the forefront now. Otherwise, things tend to be tragic, which isn’t always a good impression as then to be gay = tragic/bittersweet ending.

Sorry if you got more of an LGB drama break down than you were looking for, ha. But even then I don’t see a lot of it coming up on the forums looking for it just now, honestly.

**I am leaving the T off of LGBT cause I haven’t found any dramas that include it. Surprise? Nah. Not there yet I guess.

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maiden holmes is one, and I really think its funny, I am one that really doesn’t like genders playing other genders, no they aren’t gay, hey the women had to do something to get noticed, I think I said that right,

imperial doctress is also one, she wants to be a doctor and no one will let her cause shes a woman so she pretends to be a man. wow aren’t we glad us women don’t have to do that today!!!

question here, I will never let you go, was that another drama like this or am I wrong,

Considering human rights violations in China, and aggression against India and off the east coast of China. I plan to stop watching C dramas from the mainland…this goes for Disney too for kow towing to China. I watched Go Go Squid…it was good but you could clearly see CCP propaganda… and the hero…nice looking but a liar and a computer hacker…I will be happy to watch them when China’s actions are not so…Sanctions helped change apartheid…What China is doing is unacceptable.