Sasha Draggeim

Sasha Draggeim is a PhD student in Chinese pedagogy at The Ohio State University

Posts by Sasha Draggeim

Life After Dark

Exploits at a Guiyang gay bar – by Sasha Draggeim


“If I were a boy …”

I strained to hear the echo of my voice in the dark, shoebox-shaped bar, as crowds of young men swayed to and fro in the audience.

“Even just for a day …”

I was singing “If I Were a Boy” by Beyoncé Knowles in DD, or Daily Dish, one of the two gay bars in Guiyang, Guizhou province – a city generally described by non-Guiyang Chinese people as luohou, “backwards.” I had chanced upon this bar a few months earlier with a friend, and before long it became my main source of social interaction.


The Miao and the moviestar

Hanging with the minorities – by Sasha Draggeim


After my performance on the glittery and crowded stage of Hunan TV, I decided to go to an area untouched by maddening economic growth, heavy pollution and large-scale performances (or so I thought). Guizhou province in China’s relatively undeveloped southwest seemed perfect, and the work was meaningful – visiting the countryside to help set up programs to improve living conditions for villagers, many of whom belong to ethnic minority groups.


“I Want to Marry a Chinese Man”

The battle diary of a foreigner on Chinese TV – by Sasha Draggeim


“More emotion! Make it natural! Relax!!” the director shouted into his microphone as I awkwardly pranced around the stage, background dancers scurrying to and fro. The advice wasn’t helping: the more I tried to act natural, the more nervous I was at the prospect of appearing on television in China to millions of viewers in a tiny strapless dress, singing “I Want to Marry a Chinese Man” in Mandarin.