Gandalf/Magneto Is Having a Fantastic Time in Beijing

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Jun 11, 2016 22:41
In China, the British celebrity Ian McKellen’s known as Gandalf/Magneto. Few people know his real name. So, after he tweeted about his great time in Beijing, China’s media carried headlines like “Magneto Travelling in Forbidden City!”

There was ongoing coverage of this famous old man’s short visit in Beijing. He took the subway to experience the mundane. He traveled to iconic places such as the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and Summer Palace. In pictures, wearing a rainbow colored hat, he posed mischievously and gracefully. I felt there must be something special about him, and it turned out that he was spotted in a gay bar.

I googled him and the results showed that he was gay. He came out to the public early in nineteen eighties and has been an active proponent of LGBT rights. In China, LGBT isn’t an intimidating thing to people, at least online. There is, however, a pile of media sensationalism. A gay couple sued the government for not acknowledging their marital status. Last year, the British consul general of Shanghai married his same-sex partner (a Chinese man, unsure about his nationality though), so did the US consul general of Shanghai this year….

The CCP doesn’t bother to suppress LGBT-related news, because it seems not to be a top priority on the list of civil right issues that the government's dealing with. In terms of people’s opinions towards it, some accept it, and others say it makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s roughly half and half.

Back to the topic, I respect Ian McKellen very much for his effort to make minorities’ voices heard and their proper rights guaranteed.

FYI: Why Chinese people only know the nicknames of celebrities from English-speaking countries and not their real names.


在中国,人们只知道“甘道夫/万磁王”,并不知道Ian McKellen的真名。他在推特上晒(晒 = post sth especially on social sites,slang)旅游照片的时候,中国媒体取的标题是《万磁王游览故宫》。




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