МОЛОКО’s Gay Chinese Characters

Recently I was browsing Flickr photos and came across one that looked familiar:

New Chinese Character - Brokeback Mountain

To my surprise, I was given credit for the original idea in the photo caption.

I looked at some of МОЛОКО’s other photos and discovered some “gay character creations”:

由МОЛОКО(Zing Wong)發明的疊字(Gay's Chinese character,一種同志用字)

由МОЛОКО(Zing Wong)發明的疊字(Gay's Chinese character,一種同志用字)

Some of these innocent-looking characters are pretty explicit if you go to the photos’ Flickr pages (click on the images) and mouse over the characters.

In case you’re not familiar, the “funny-looking symbols” next to the Chinese characters are zhuyin (注音).


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. I can’t make any sense out of this post at all.

    Am I expected to look at the characters and automatically spout out the first thing that the character evokes in my sub-concious ? (a chinese roar-shark test ?)

    For example, the mountain character, has an extended center “stroke”. Is this meant to represent a typical male member ?

    And some characters have the “3 points of water” radicals. Does this represent orgasmic release ?

    Some radical components are inserted into the orifices of the main character. This must mean something ?

    Then again, sometimes a radical is just a radical.

  2. Hi, I am Chinese but no linguist, just a native speaker. This is pretty amusing and I don’t see why Paul has problem understanding.

    Brokeback Mountain’s movie title in Chinese is 断背山. The artist has broken the “spine” of the “mountain” to represent the broken back.

    As for the other characters, he is just mixing radicals to create new compound meanings e.g. “three 男(men)”= homosexual gangbang.

    Now I feel inspired to make up my own new (non-sexual)characters!

  3. Weird, interesting, and seems to me kind of wrong. I wish I knew more to appreciate the joke. I also wonder how he ascribes pronunciation to the words he created??

  4. Wow, a queer (artist?) with a Chinese theme. If he was from the mainland I’d be shocked.

  5. 首先,很榮幸被www.sinosplice.com轉載這些「創意同志漢字」。我很喜歡你的網站。
    這些漢字是基於正體漢字(Traditional Chinese Character)製作的,not Simplified Chinese Characters.
    I’m Taiwanese.

  6. […] Some have alleged sexism in Chinese characters, but can they be gay? Sinosplice has graphic details. […]

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