Why Edison Fan – Chinese influencer, gay model and LGBT advocate – is so much more than just a pretty face?
Edison Fan, who established OMG Sportswear and U-Touch Underwear. Living as an openly gay model and influencer in China. How does the single father, best known for his sexy underwear shots, do it?
Social media superstar, gay model, entrepreneur and a single father. 34 year old Edison Fan has built a strong following and a career, and is an influential voice for the LGBTQ+ community in China
Scrolling through Edison Fan’s Instagram feed. At first glance, he looks like a typical fashion model. But beyond the nearly naked selfies, casual underwear shots and creative fashion editorials, he is one of China’s biggest openly gay influencers. He is boasting 536,000 followers on Instagram and 1 million followers on Weibo. Despite being out in a country where rampant discrimination still exists, he has managed to carve a flourishing and successful career.
Let’s find out more about Edison and how his life as a gay model resonates with the LGBTQ+ community.
His son Frederic was born via surrogacy
On his Instagram Q&A stories, Edison wrote having Frederic was the happiest moment of his life. However, he acknowledged parenting should not be taken lightly. “You will be responsible for a long time; bringing life into this world is a huge responsibility,” he says.
He didn’t come out until he was 22
In the same story, he explained how he planned to come out after finishing his studies so that he would be financially independent. It took years for his parents to embrace his sexuality. “I had to tell them because they decided to have a child, and my orientation comes in a package with that decision.”
Surprisingly, he doesn’t live in the gym
Edison shocked his followers when he revealed he only works out 2-3 times a week. But when he is preparing for a shoot, he’ll go to the gym 5-6 times a week. He adds diet is important to maintain his body. “You need to eat enough, so you don’t lose muscle, but not too much or else you’ll gain fat.”
He was warned against posting sexy photos
In an interview with Paper, Edison Fan was warned by his agent to stop posting sexy pictures as luxury brands will not sponsor him and he’ll end up selling sportswear and underwear. But he realised that he could excel in selling those items and became the best in the field.
Edison then established fashion brands OMG (On My Game) Sportswear and U-Touch Underwear. Both have featured Asian models in their campaigns and have championed Asian men and made them more visible in social media
He supports the LGBTQ+ community by being open and honest
As an LGBTQ+ advocate and an ally, Edison prefers to showcase his support through his actions. “I don’t have to write consistently ‘It gets better’ or ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight’ – it’s not my method. We all have our ways of supporting the community. I do it through showcasing my life candidly,” he told Paper.