Cross-dresser triggers major controversy after TV appearance

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New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): A cross-dressing competitor has triggered a major controversy after participating in Hunan TV's 2010 Happy Boys, the male equivalent of the channel's popular female talent show Super Girls.

Liu Zhu, 19, from Sichuan province, who has been nicknamed "pseudo-girl" by his fans, has risen to stardom overnight with his cross-dressing performance in the competition, reports the China Daily.

Though Liu's appearance has boosted the program's ratings and popularity, it has been reported that the program might have to vote him out during the show on May 15.

According to Chinese media reports, an anonymous source claiming to be associated with the program sent messages to the country's entertainment reporters earlier this week, saying Liu's vote-out would be arranged, as requested by the country's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

The Beijing Youth Daily report said SARFT demands the country's TV programs to promote positive and mainstream cultures, while the "pseudo-girl" and cross-dressing phenomenon, as part of a marginal culture, should be checked.

SARFT staffers could not be reached for comments on May 21, but Hunan TV dismissed the news as a rumour.

"SARFT has not given any opinion on Liu Zhu," the channel said in a statement issued on May 21.

"There is still one competition on the weekend. Whether he can make it to the top 300 depends on his musical talent," it stated.

Hunan TV's spokesman Li Hao confirmed SARFT has not asked for Liu to be voted off the show.

Meanwhile, Liu has said he is busy preparing for May 22 competition and, as usual, he will sing self-written and self-composed songs.

"I don't know whether news of the ban is true or not. The only thing I can do now is show my best to the audience," Liu said.

"I have faced a lot of criticism about the way I look, but all I can do is speak less and do more," he revealed.

Liu said he would quit the reality show if he was asked to dress up like a man for the camera.

He said he had been dressing up in women's clothing since high school, adding that it was his "true identity".

"I used to be very confused with my identity, but now all the problems have been solved," he stated.

Happy Boys' Chengdu division spokesman Zhao Zhe said: "Liu does not have any psychological burden about his identity, but like every other competitor, he too is under great pressure to perform." (ANI)

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