The Hollywood Reporter has a fascinating profile of Jin Xing, who’s considered the Oprah of China. The TV host—who draws some 100 million viewers a week but is little known outside her home country—has past experience as a dance prodigy, a prima ballerina, and a decorated colonel in the People’s Liberation Army. And she was also born a man.

Since LGBT issues are still taboo in China and the government’s stance toward them is opaque, Jin’s popularity as a TV host, which she’s gained since transitioning, is remarkable—so much so that it’s prompted speculation that Beijing somehow “allowed” it all to happen.

Nevertheless, Jin has been deemed a trailblazer and an inspiration, but she demurs at those characterizations, stating, “I’m too individualistic.”

clairezillman