Skip navigation and go to main content

The Queer Martial Artists of Color Hall of Fame

Apologies to those offended by the word "queer". It is not our intent to use the term in a derogatory manner. For the purposes of this article, it is shorthand for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and any combination of the above.

Martial ArtistStyle/Discipline
Parinya Kiatbusaba (external site), aka Nong Toom, made world famous by the hit Thai movie Beautiful Boxer. Muay Thai
Johnny WuKungfu
Madeline CoffinEscrima
Akko Nishimura (external site)Kali/Kungfu
Ryan L.Multi-discipline


Queer Characters in Martial Arts Film

Nong Toom in Beautiful Boxer (Thailand)

Based on a true story, Beautiful Boxer is the tale of a transgender youth who enters the macho arena of Thai boxing to earn enough money for gender reassignment surgery.


Dong Fong Pat Pai in Swordsman II (Hong Kong)

A swordsman (played by Jet Li) seeks to do battle with the elusive and powerful Dong Fong, a transgender cult leader whom he has never met. During his quest to find Dong Fong, the swordsman falls in love with a silent stranger whom he assumes to be a biological woman, not knowing his love is actually Dong Fong.


Kano Sozaburo in Gohatto (Japan)

In Gohatto (Taboo), Kano Sozaburo, a gay swordsman of excellent fighting ability, joins a militia. Immediately, the men of the militia are smitten with Kano's androgynous beauty. Their obsession with the mysterious Kano leads to a series of intrigues.


Bijoumaru in Azumi (Japan)

Azumi is a popular comic book series which has been made into a movie. Bijoumaru, a swordsman of androgynous appearance and effeminate mannerisms, is a villain who delights in killing. His name literally means "beautiful woman circle". ['circle' - maru is a common ending for medieval Japanese male names]


Yurimaru in Ninja Scroll (Japan)

Yurimaru is a villanous character in the anime Ninja Scroll. He is second-in-command and lover to the bisexual super-villain. The androgynously beautiful and elegant Yurimaru kills his female rival out of jealousy. He also spurns the advances of a woman, and later dies under circumstances created by the spurned woman.


Osei in Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi (Japan)

Osei is a MTF transgender killer who travels with his sister in search of their parents' murderers. He is portrayed as a sympathethic character who was molested as a child and eventually started prostituting himself in order to survive. The hero Zatoichi knows that Osei is a biological male early in the story, but treats him with the same respect and chivalry with which he treats other ladies. Osei's transgender status was never a cause of scorn for the other characters, who, if anything, admired his beauty.


Jakotsu in Inuyasha (Japan)

Jakotsu is one of the Band of Seven, a notorious gang of fighters who battles the hero Inuyasha and his friends. He wields a retractable snake-like blade. Jakotsu is an effeminate homosexual who develops a crush on Inuyasha and constantly seeks to duel him. He is voiced by a female voice actor.


Georgie in Enter the Phoenix (Hong Kong)

Georgie is the gay son of a Hong Kong triad boss. A skilled boxer, he left the triad life behind and is making a living in Thailand as a cook. When his father dies, the crime organization tries to bring Georgie home to be their new leader, but Georgie's best friend Sam assumes his identity and inherits the leadership of the gang. Georgie plays along as he had no wish to become a crime boss. They both go to Hong Kong, where Georgie has to bring out his kicks and chops to rescue Sam from a rival triad gang.


Seeking submissions about noteworthy queer martial artists of color

We are seeking to expand this bio page for queer martial artists of color who have been outstanding in the martial arts field. Not just anybody, or I'll just put my friends up here. We would like someone who is generally considered an expert in his/her field (e.g achieved the rank of Master, Grandmaster etc), or who has placed at the Gay Games, or who is/was a competitor ranked on the world/international circuit by a major body like NASKA, ABL etc. These are not necessarily the only criteria, just examples of what standards to go by.

We also ask that the person being nominated be responsible and of good character, in accordance to the traditional spirit of most martial arts. Our purpose is to present healthy role models to young queer martial artists and other interested young people. Martial artists of any style and nationality are welcome.

If you think someone should be featured here (could be yourself too), please contact us with the person's name, some background on this person, and his/her achievements. Please do not out anybody without their consent. We may ask you for some verification to confirm you do have the person's permission to reveal this information. To avoid 'outing' someone without permission, we will not accept submissions which we cannot verify.

If you wish to nominate yourself and you're not out, please understand that the web is a public medium and anybody out there can just surf in and read your bio. If you still wish to contribute without revealing your identity to the public, ColorQ can omit all references to your name in the web article.

Terms and Conditions:

It is up to you to decide how much personal information to include without making it possible for someone to guess who you are. At your request, ColorQ will withhold your name to protect privacy, but beyond that, ColorQ is not responsible for someone guessing your identity from information you provided to ColorQ for publication. We will not post your email address unless you ask us to.

By submitting an article to ColorQ for publication, you agree not to hold ColorQ responsible for any events that occur may as a result of having your article posted on www.colorq.org. ColorQ reserves the right to reject any submission and edit any submission accepted for publication.