A female soul resides in a male shell. Encouraging the LGBTQ+ community to bravely face life.


He is absolutely no chameleon, but he is in some way very like Boy George. Nonetheless, he is in no way to become a professional performer, but rather aspire to be a human rights lawyer.

Born to a Christian family, Evan regards himself as a homosexual. He enjoys cross-dressing, showcasing himself onstage through dancing. Despite facing criticisms, he maintains a positive attitude toward life. He aspires to become a lawyer in the future, aiming to assist all individuals within the LGBTQ+ community like himself to “bravely face their life.”

Evan, a junior law student at National Cheng Kung University, in southern Taiwan, has been fond of onstage acting and dancing since he was a little kid. That is in part because he loves and cherishes the beautiful dresses he donned for performances.

“Deep down inside of me, I think I am a girl, ” he said, unveiling that he usually hanged around with a close boyfriend in the third grade. But after seeing his playmate dating a girl and himself trying to follow suit, Evan was struck by an unimaginable and even terrifying idea: He actually likes boys much more than girls.

That realization horrified him-back then still a little boy-more because he was raised in a traditional, conservative family than because Taiwan’s society remained hostile to homosexuality. Evan said, early on, this anti-gay atmosphere forced him to stay mum about his sexual orientation and vehemently denied it when alluded being homosexual. He even forced himself to play with and date girls while in elementary school. But he gradually and calmly accepted who he really is. “I was a little resistant to knowing that I was gay at first, but about two weeks later, I learned that I could not change this reality, so why not just accept the fact that I like boys. ”

Evan embraces his homosexual identity and finds profound joy in his life. Photo / Evan

Enter into the un-man world

His passions for dancing and performing and the adorable artistic outfit allure him to engage in school activities with a cross-dressing appearance. He began to dress like a woman, noticeably with high-heeled shoes and wigs at 13, frequently annoying some of the schoolteachers. One teacher threatened to disclose his sexual identity to his parents if he failed to quit wearing feministic clothing.

Evan also actively participated in school affairs in senior high school. Not only was he elected as president of its student union that reached out to nearly all communities, but he also became a reliable helper for teachers with miscellaneous in-class work, such as collecting homework. As the student union president, his was mainly responsible for coordinating schools club funds allocation.

Evan had voluntarily cleaned the classroom for two years without anyone’s instructions. That volunteer effort turned the seemingly trivial matter into immense enjoyment and encouragement to Evan. “It injected me with some very positive forces,” he said.

His immediate class mentor, Niu Pei-an, was pleased with him earning kudos from other teachers.   ” He is a highly recognizable and very special student in our school. His academic performance is excellent. He is not only rich in independent thinking but also knows how to trace the source and reflect on himself, ” said Niu, adding that rebellious adolescents are generally inclined to act diametrically against what they are told as proper or improper manners during this life stage. 

His parents consider homosexuality unethical and afoul of human nature. That compels Evan to hide his sexual penchant to avoid enraging or saddening them. A devout Christian, his mother has been suffering from illnesses and cannot bear the fact that his oldest son is gay, if revealed, said Evan. Hong Xinyong, a close female friend of Evan, recalled an occasion on which she was abruptly asked by Evan to cut off their conservations on the same-sex topics over the speakerphone, afraid that his parents accidently found out what was going on with him.

Regardless, Evan said his father seemed to have sensed something wrong about his behavior when Evan returned home from school breaks when he was 16, still in senior high school, but did not bother to inquire further.  The eldest son of the family, Evan is shouldered with the responsibility of making his family better off. Feeling this strong pressure, he said, he is not ready to come out of the closet, with no intention to confess to his family, and so far only his older sister knew who he was.

Grown up in a family devoted to religious causes and beliefs against which homosexuality is sinful and despicable, Evan turned to his sister for that little hidden secret while he was in the third grade of elementary school, seeking her comfort and support. That wished-for empathy was discounted back then given the still more hostile setting against homosexuals and related issues. “I hoped my younger brother was straight,” she said, recalling from the moment she was told of the fact.

Evan said his sister’s previous reaction was outright understandable as homosexuality had not been so acceptable or society not so open as today. But right now, his sister has become very supportive, showing much caring about his gay circle and overall life while they live apart from each other.

Evan has participated for his first Taiwan LGBT Psride Parade this year. Photo / YONGCHING HSU

Dare show self in the newfoundland

As society and people have become increasingly friendly to homosexuals, Evan has also been greeted with greater respect and open arms from peers on most occasions, said Hong, adding that Evan’s agreeable, moderate personality was welcomed by his classmates at the university. While the formerly more vicious attitudes toward gays and lesbians have not yet been long gone, Evan lamented that sometimes those ridicules remained hurtful.

According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, 35.6 percent of the LGBTQ+ students there felt insecure on campus due to their sexual orientation. Additionally, nearly one in four, or 24.4 percent, encountered hostility because of their gender expression, while about the same proportion, 24 percent, of the LGBTQ+ students felt threatened attributable to their physical appearance or body size. Moreover, the survey findings indicated that more than one-third of the LGBTQ+ students reported facing regular negative reactions or comments from their school peers.

For that sake, Evan decided to study law in college, aspiring to become a lawyer, one who dedicates to civil right, particularly of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. He wishes not only to assist individuals within the LGBTQ+ community like himself, but also to seek and promote social justice through legal means, aiding the disadvantaged. For now, he recently participated in Taiwan’s annual LGBT Pride Parade this year for the first time, aiming to increasingly foster better understanding of the community through this event and other conduits.

Sharing his experiences with others within this community, he encourages them to retain their unique personalities and traits, not to worry about any adversary remarks on their sexual orientation.

“I hope everyone can bravely face their own life,” he said.

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