Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny
2018 Documentary

Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny

A creative exploration of the nuances that make up Queer, Chinese, Canadian Identity in Vancouver



Pitch video


“Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny” is a short documentary that explores the nuances of Queer Chinese Canadian identity, and the geo-political, historical, sexuality, and cultural context that these intersections emerge from. How does not being “from” China, yet also being “Othered” as an “Outsider” in Canada, inform our racial and queer identities? How does this get expressed in our day to day gendered performances? The intersection of queer identity also brings forward a layer of tension that this project will also explore. The marginalization that Chinese queers face in the queer community, ranging from being “marked” as the embodiment of femininity, to the lack of representation, to sexual racism, also informs the forging of identities by queer Chinese Canadians.

The team

Here's our faaaaaabulous Love Intersections creative fam!


Interview Roster

Jen Sungshine
Jen Sungshine

Jen Sungshine is a queer, Taiwanese artist-activist based in Vancouver, BC. Jen describes herself as a "Bad Asian" who transgresses stereotypes of Asian women alongside her queer identity. Her journey as a Taiwanese person offers a political nuance to the generalization of "Chinese people" here in Vancouver, as Taiwan continues to fight for autonomy and recognition.

Cantonese Rebel Girl/Kimberley Wong
Cantonese Rebel Girl/Kimberley Wong

Kimberley Wong is a fifth generation queer Chinese Canadian femme identified woman, whose family originally came here to build the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Her grandfathers also had to pay the deeply racist Head Tax to immigrate to Canada. Kimberley's story offers a historical context to the experiences of Chinese people here in Canada, and she talks about how that history is deeply linked to her queer identity. She also calls herself "Cantonese Rebel Girl", which brings forward more layers of cultural identity, particularly around language (and the erasure of Cantonese).

Maiden China
Maiden China

Maiden China/Kendall Yan, is a mixed race, queer, Chinese Canadian drag performer who employs Chinese theatrical costuming into her drag performances. Her striking appearance and usage of Chinese culture in her practice will bring rich imagery to the film. Kendell's experience as as mixed race person also adds a cultural nuance to the film apart from the other subjects. Part of the film will explore this experience of being "mixed", and how Kendell navigates her cultural identity, and how it impacts her artistic practice as a queer drag performer

Production Design

The Sun Yat Sen Gardens is a perfect location for us to shoot in because it offers a juxtaposition that is uniquely Vancouver, and unique to Chinese culture in Vancouver.  It is deeply historical (and particularly connected to Jen's story as a Taiwanese person), linked deeply to the geography, yet it his in the middle of an urban metropolis.  We also have a relationship with the Sun Yat Sen Gardens and we plan on doing some shooting there for this documentary.
This is a sample of some of the costuming that Maiden China utilizes in her performances, that we will include in the B-roll of the documentary.  The use of shadows, lighting, and smoke is something we also want to continue to experiment with.
This is another sample of the make up, costuming, that we want to further use in the documentary.  Maiden China has a variety of different looks, which will bring a richness to this exploration of queer, Chinese, Canadian Identity.
Another aspect of imagery we want to explore in order to illustrate "queer Chinese Canadian identity", is mixing together historical cultural aspects, and making them contemporary.  The ways that we, as Chinese Canadian queers are forging our own identities here in Vancouver is done through modern tools, that reference our historical roots.  We can also shoot imagery to define this!  This shot is an experimental project that we did with Maiden China earlier this year
Like many Chinese people in Vancouver, most of us have roots in Chinatown.  Part of the interviews and b-roll will include referencing our family histories in this historical area in Vancouver, while also contending with some of the changes in the neighbourhood, and how it affects our lives today.
*photo from Tourism Vancouver*