Carman Fung (she/her, they/them)

AQ 5092

Born and raised in Hong Kong during the digital age, I became interested in the ways in which online communities and transnational circulations of queer media shape our understandings of queerness and sexuality. Both my teaching and research focus on the border-crossing media representations, ideas, and sexual terminologies that continue to inform our personal gender and sexual identities today. My doctoral research focuses on the transnational aspects of Sinophone lesbian lives and appears on the International Journal of Communication, Journal of Lesbian Studies and in edited books published by Routledge and HKU Press. My first monograph Leaving the Tomboy Behind: Contemporary Lesbian Subjectivities and Transnational Media Consumption in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan is under contract with the University of Michigan Press. Currently, I am researching on Hong Kong queer women’s migration decisions in the post-2019 Protests era. The pilot project is funded by SFU FASS Kickstarter Seed Grant and the SFU David Lam Centre.

Prior to joining SFU, I taught at the University of Melbourne and the Education University of Hong Kong. I’ve worked on multiple teaching development grants that sought to advance inclusiveness through digital pedagogy and to facilitate student-led engagement, and I am now working on Canvas and ChatGPT pedagogical innovations at GSWS.

I currently live on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples and I was previously working in Naarm, the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. In my spare time, I enjoy making music on synthesizers and cooking for my partner and friends.


  • Ph.D. Cultural Studies, University of Melbourne, 2021
  • M.Phil. Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies, University of Cambridge, 2014
  • B.A. (First Hons) Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong, 2013


My research is situated in queer Asian studies, cultural studies, media studies, audience studies, and transnational/globalisation studies.

I study the lesbian secondary gender “tomboy” across the transnational Sinophone world encompassing contemporary China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. In these contexts, “tomboy” refers to a set of lesbian masculine fashion, gender role, and self-identity. My research follows the young women who decided to abandon their tomboy identity to pursue a more feminine (and what they believe to be a more feminist) version of lesbianism. I examine the manners in which they draw on transnational LGBTQ+ politics and media in this pursuit, and I also discuss how this intersects with new technologies such as lesbian dating apps. My thesis was highly commended for the AWGSA PhD Award by the Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association, shortlisted for the IACS Dissertation Prize at the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society, and nominated for the Chancellor’s Prize at the University of Melbourne. A short video about my thesis can be found here, and I also spoke about my research on the Peak (link) and on CJSF Radio's IntraVenus (link).

Community Engagement

I had the pleasure of working with the grassroot lesbian organisation FingerOut to release a WeChat report in Simplified Chinese on my research on ex-tomboy queer women in the Sinophone world. The report is accessible here.

Previously, I’ve collaborated with cartoonist/cultural worker Kaitlin Chan on a special issue on queer and Asian identities for Chinese Storytellers (@CNStorytellers). The entry is available here.


Accepted by editors. “From Tomboy Gender Role to 'Western' Feminine Lesbianism: Sinophone Queer Women's Transnational Misreadings of The L Word,” in Translating Sexuality: Queer Popular Culture and Cinema in China, J. Evans and T. Guo (ed.), HKU Press.

2023. “Strategic, Conflicted, and Interpellated: Hong Kong and Chinese Queer Women’s Use of Identity Labels on Lesbian Dating Apps,” International Journal of Communication, 17 (Special Section on Queer Cultures in Digital Asia), 2455-2462. 

2022. “TBG and Po: Discourses on Authentic Desire in 2010s Lesbian Subcultures in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan,” Feminizing Theory Making Space for Femme Theory, R. A. Hoskin (ed.), Routledge. (Reprinted)

2021. “TBG and Po: Discourses on Authentic Desire in 2010s Lesbian Subcultures in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan,” Journal of Lesbian Studies, 25(2): 141-58.

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