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Daily DripSociety

Elon Musk’s Transgender Daughter’s Identity Confuses Chinese Netizens

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Potentially the biggest news of the week: Elon Musk’s 18-year-old transgender daughter has filed a request to change her name in hopes of reflecting her new gender identity and cutting ties with her biological father.

The former Xavier Alexander Musk has asked the Los Angeles County Superior Court to change her gender recognition from male to female and to document her new name, Vivian Jenna Wilson.

“I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form,” said Wilson in a Reuters report.

On June 21, the news quickly went viral on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo after it was revealed by Western media. The hashtag for Wilson’s name change has been viewed 140 million times, though it incorrectly referred to her as Elon Musk’s son.

Many netizens expressed confusion about the news, while some wished they were in a position to inherit the Tesla founder’s fortune.

“Is it a son or daughter?” reads the most upvoted comment under a news post.

Another opined (again, mislabeling Wilson as Musk’s son), “In reality, so many people have fought over inheritances. By severing the father-son relationship, Musk’s son is giving up his inheritance of the huge family fortune. How stupid.”

It’s worth mentioning that Chinese people often get confused about pronouns as the Chinese language is mainly genderless, and colloquially all pronouns sound exactly the same — ta.

However, with the increasing awareness of gender identity, Chinese queers and gender activists have also been advocating for more gender-neutral and gender-inclusive Chinese pronouns.

Cover image via Wikimedia

Lu Zhao
Lu Zhao is a bilingual and multimedia journalist with a focus on human interest and social issues. Her work has appeared in USA Today, UPI, SupChina, Pandaily, Chicago Reporter, and other publications.

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