Jin Xing

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Jin Xing
Chinese name
Korean name

Jin Xing (Chinese: 金星; born August 13, 1967 in Shenyang, Liaoning) is a Chinese ballerina, modern dancer, choreographer, actress, and owner of the contemporary dance company Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theatre. She is the only openly transgender mainstream celebrity in Mainland China.


Born to ethnic Korean parents, Jin studied in a local Korean elementary school. Her father worked in the police department. She was praised as highly intelligent, and had won abacus contests many times.[1] She expressed high enthusiasm in dance performance. At the age of 9, she joined the People's Liberation Army to receive dance and military training;[2] she became a member of the military's dance troupe, and eventually attained the rank of colonel. Later she won the national dance contest with a Central Asian ethnic dance piece.

In 1987, Jin went to New York to study modern dance for four years,[3] studying under modern dance pioneers such as Limon, Cunningham, and Graham.[4] She then traveled and performed in Europe, and taught dance in Rome from 1991 to 1993, followed by a world tour, and returned to China at the age of 26.[5][page needed] She underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1995.[6] Her left leg was paralyzed for a while after the surgery.[7] In 2000, she moved from Beijing to Shanghai and opened her dance troupe.[8] At the age of 33, Jin adopted a son and then two other children she raised by herself until her marriage in 2005.[9] She currently lives with her three adopted children and German husband in Shanghai.

In 2013, she began her ascent to national fame while serving as a judge on China's first season of So You Think You Can Dance. Jin went viral when she scathingly commented on the show's host's attempt to turn a contestant's injury into a sob story. She commented, "Chinese TV always digs at people's scars, consumes their pain. This is the biggest weakness of Chinese TV and I hate it! I hope that on 'So You Think You Can Dance' we won't use people's pain, we won't use people's sympathy, we won't use people's suffering." Audiences ate up her raw honesty and nine months later she had her own nationally broadcast show.[10]

Jin hosted her own television chat show The Jin Xing Show on Dragon TV between 2015 and 2017. In 2016, her began hosting the dating show Chinese Dating, where the parents decide on a propective wife for their sons. The show has come under criticism for portraying a conservative view on marriage and the role of women in the family.[11] She can speak Chinese, English, Korean, Italian and French.


Jin's dancing works are "startlingly original and provocative."[12] These include The Imperial Concubine Has Been Drunk for Ages (Guifei zui jiu, an adaptation of the famous Peking opera title) and Cross Border–Crossing the Line (Cong dong dao xi, a collaboration with British pianist Joanna MacGregor).[12]

Her film debut was in the Korean movie Resurrection of the Little Match Girl in 2002. In 2005, she appeared in the Thai movie Tom-Yum-Goong as the villain Madam Rose. She later participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2007.

Jin and her husband Heinz were contestants on The Amazing Race China 3 in 2016, where they finished 6th.

Personal life[edit]

She was assigned male at birth. She said she would stay outside during rain, and wish that a lightning strike would turn her body female.[1] She underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1995.

During her time in America, she, then legally male, married an American woman in 1990 in a bid to obtain a Green Card. They divorced in 2000. She married her German husband Heinz Gerd Oidtmann in 2005. Since 2000, she has adopted 3 children from orphanages in China. As of 2016, Xing and Oidtmann has been legally divorced, allegedly because as a legal couple, their children cannot obtain Hukou due to the One-child policy; they still live together and remain intimate. [13]



  1. ^ a b Sylvie Levey et al. (2002). Colonel Jin Xing: A Unique Destiny. [Documentary film]. New York, NY: Filmakers Library.
  2. ^ Fontdeglòria, Xavier (24 April 2017). "La bailarina que antes fue bailarín". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  3. ^ Faison, Seth (14 September 1999). "Beijing Journal; As China Changes, a Sex Change Can Bring Fame". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  4. ^ Francis, Rain (April 1, 2010). "Jin Xing's Story". Dance Informa. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  5. ^ Jin, Xing (2004). Even God's Mistake Could Not Block My Dream. Li Ming (trans.). 晶冠出版社. ISBN 957-28409-7-5.
  6. ^ Rodda, Curtis (25 January 2018). "Jin Xing: China's transgender TV star". BBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  7. ^ Branigan, Tania (10 September 2012). "Jin Xing: from Chinese army officer to dancing TV stardom". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  8. ^ Follath, Erich (20 March 2006). "Ballet, a Sex Change and a Small Revolution: The Odyssey of Jin Xing". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  9. ^ Rahman, Abid (1 November 2016). "Meet the Oprah of China, Who Happens to Be Transgender". The Hollywood Reporter.
  10. ^ Sheehan, Matt (April 16, 2015). "Meet The Badass Transgender Talk Show Host Who Wants To Be China's Most Influential Woman". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  11. ^ Yan, Alice (15 April 2017). "How transgender dancer Jin Xing conquered Chinese TV". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b Davis, Edward L. (2003). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese culture. London: Routledge. p. 421. ISBN 0-415-24129-4.
  13. ^ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/interface/toutiaonew/53002523/2016-07-08/cd_26019206.html

External links[edit]