To critically explore different ways of reforming legal gender status, focusing on England and Wales, while drawing on experiences in other countries, the different legal approaches taken towards other social characteristics, such as religion, disability, ethnicity and sexuality, and the views of activists, policy-makers, NGOs, lawyers and the wider public.
To contribute to ongoing policy and political discussions relating to current legal reform proposals, while taking a longer-term approach.
To understand different people’s hopes and worries in relation to both the current legal framework and different approaches to legal reform.
To contribute to broader discussions about the changing character of gender and the contribution law can make to how it is changing.
In the lead-up to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (upcoming on 17th May 2021), the latest survey of 234 transgender people in Hong Kong between 2019 and 2020, the largest survey on the population in Hong Kong so far, has been released on 12th May 2021.
The survey conducted by the Sexualities Research Programme of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with the Transgender Resource Center, found that:
Rejection, victimisation and discrimination were the rule rather than the exception in many transgender people’s lives in Hong Kong. 76% of the respondents reported facing rejection in different dimensions of social life in their lifetime. 62% of the respondents reported having experienced different forms of victimisation in their lifetime. 51.1% of the respondents reported facing discrimination in at least one of the following four domains in the previous year: Employment (34.8%), education (34.8%), provision of goods and services (36.9%) and disposal and management of premises (26.2%).
Transgender people in Hong Kong reported great difficulties in using a toilet which matches their self-identified gender, or even simply accessing toilets in public spaces. Worse still, when using the toilet, transgender people in Hong Kong were subjected to verbal assault, physical violence, or even sexual contact against their wishes.
A substantial proportion of the respondents had not undergone, were not sure or did not want to undergo gender-affirming medical interventions because of a variety of reasons, which means they were excluded from being eligible for a change of the sex entry on the identity card sex entry based on the current regulations set out by the Hong Kong government. Only 5.6% of the respondents had changed the on their identity card, and another 6% said they were in the process of doing so. 75% agreed that the government should recognise non-binary gender options.
All of such social and legal marginalisation took a toll on the transgender people’s mental health in Hong Kong. 42.8% of the respondents showed moderate-to-severe levels of depressive symptoms, and 34.7% showed moderate-to-severe levels of anxiety symptoms. Besides, 31.2% of the respondents reported non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour in the past 12 months. There were 76.9% of them contemplated suicide, 25.6% made a suicide plan, and 12.8% attempted suicide in their lifetime. However, transgender people displayed agency and one-third of them took action to resist when facing transgender-related discrimination/cisgenderism.
Earlier studies have consistently documented sexual orientation disparities in mental health, with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals being at greater risk of poor mental health than cisgender heterosexual individuals. The Chinese University of Hong Kong The Chinese University of Hong Kong conducted research that studies the disparities in mental health of LGBT individuals (incl. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals) and cisgender heterosexual individuals in 2017 with an aim to examine mental health of LGBT individuals in Hong Kong and identify protective and risk factors that contribute to their mental health outcomes.
A new report issued by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law shows that Hong Kong public opinion on same-sex couples’ rights has changed significantly in recent years. In 2013, only a minority of Hong Kong people said that same-sex couples should be permitted to marry (38%). By 2017, however, over half of people expressed agreement with same-sex marriage (50.4%). In 2017, 78% of Hong Kong people said that same-sex couples should have at least some of the rights enjoyed by different-sex couples, compared with 73% in 2013. In addition, 69% of people in 2017 said that Hong Kong should have a law to protect against sexual orientation discrimination, compared with 58% in 2013.
We need donations and support from enthusiastic people to keep our work going. If you share our vision, please consider making a donation to us. After your contribution, please kindly email the date of deposit, the amount, and reference to us for our records. Thank you!
Pay by Credit card/Apple Pay/Google Pay/WeChat Pay:
If you would like to pay by Apply Pay, please open this page with Safari. For Google Pay use Chrome to open. And then click the Amount button below, the donate button or scan the QR Code and select the number of that amount. To change the quantity, look for the "Detail" button which is located on the top of mobile and left hand size of computer.