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http://julianacd.pixnet.net/blog/post/230203388-怎樣練出女性聲音

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http://julianacd.pixnet.net/blog/post/230203385-女性化嗓音技巧

偽娘 偽聲發音教學 - 男偽女(國語)
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TransStory (跨兒故事)

Introduction  
  Project Details
  The Story of Trans
  A Story about Them
Editor's Introduction  
  Joanne
  Day
  Eleanor
TranStory  
  A Mother’s Heartache - Angela
  Ben65 years and only 15 minutes of happiness - Ben
  Hong Kong is more than 10 years behind the UK in Gender Recognition - Eddie
  Please give me a new gender - Icarus
  Put on a shield of armor and escape an imprisoning body - Julian
  Bursting out as a rainbow - Yin
Bottom page  


 

Introduction

 

Project Details

TranStory is a project that presents a group of trans people who use storytelling to create their life narrative which spans the spectrum of gender. Each story is colorful and vivid, and shows their courage in facing gender struggles. The concept to completion stages of the entire project involved drafting the concept; positioning; planning; recruiting the advisors, interviewers, interviewees, editor, artwork designer and trainers; and applying for funding. So much around the project was happening at the same time. Many invaluable ideas were produced during the training sessions. All of the interviewees were involved in the final editing of their story to provide a true and honest self-reflection of their life circumstances. In doing so, the TranStory project provides a new perspective for transgender experiences. In the past, transgender stories in Hong Kong were usually based on the following sources: 1) Transgender community-initiated or special interest publications, which were very rare and mainly focused on transwomen; 2) Media interviews, which catered to the interest and needs of the reader audience. There were very few articles that reflected on real-life stories; and 3) Student interviews and academic research work. These are not intended for the general public and the scopes of discussion are very limited. They are usually somewhat difficult to understand nor accessible to the mass audience.

 

 

The Story of Trans

We are introducing the term「跨兒」for the first time in the Chinese version of this publication, which is pronounced kuà er (sounds a little bit like queer). 跨 or kua is the first character of the Chinese term for transgender and translated literally, means ‘to cross’, while 兒 or er means child or a person. Therefore, 「跨兒」is not a direct translation nor an abbreviated format of transgender. It is a newly created term that reflects the unique non-binary gender in traditional Chinese culture especially under the context of spoken Mandarin. The founder of the Transgender Resource Center in Hong Kong, Joanne Leung, first conceived this term in 2013 while she was doing advocacy work for transgenders for about a month in Mainland China. Her visit was hosted by a local LGBT+ organization called Common Language (Tongyu) to facilitate a series of sharing sessions on her life experience as a transgender. Joanne and a Chinese transman visited different cities and venues in line with the May 17th International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). It was then and there that she realized the term transgender and the whole concept had been translated and adapted from the Western context as there is no other reference. While the West has had a great impact on how gender is perceived in the Chinese culture, and also paved the way for Chinese transgender people to understand and accept their identity, there are nevertheless, many differences between the two cultures. The Western concepts around transgender do not always apply to the Chinese. In fact, the gender diversities found historically in China and in the Chinese culture have yet to be articulated and discussed, and more or less suppressed by the Western discourse. That is why the Chinese need their own discourse and language around gender. Joanne then proceeded to draft a framework that would properly organize the hundreds of terms that would contribute to a Chinese discourse on gender, but the work was put aside until 2018, when she was invited as one of the guest speakers for the first Trans Pride event in China. Joanne found out about an organization in Shanghai called TransTalks (跨兒說) that was established in 2015. Not long afterwards, the Trans Center (跨性別中心 or Kuà Xìngbié Zhōngxīn) in China consulted TransTalks to change their Chinese name. They removed 跨性別 (Kuà Xìngbié or translated literally, crossing genders) and replaced the term with kuà er (跨兒) instead in their center name, and became 跨兒中心 (Kuà er Zhōngxīn). The name change also served to promote the usage of kuà er in China. In her capacity as a board member of Trans Center, Joanne then proceeded to discuss the idea of kuà er with the Trans Center and TransTalks, and realized that it was a happy accident that they shared the same views around kuà er. That is, in contrast with the translation of transgender in Chinese, kuà er conveys a broader and more inclusive identity. Furthermore, the most important factor is that it is not a label that depicts a transition between the binary genders, but a unique non-binary gender. Today, kuà er is being increasingly used in China.

 

 

A Story about Them

In some of the contexts of this book, They is used as a singular form to minimize the problem of using the gender pronouns of he/his/she/her, and at the same time, serves as a reminder that gender is not binary. We can also show our respect to people by addressing them with their preferred pronoun. For more information on the usage of They as a singular form, readers may refer to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they



 

Editor’s Introduction

 

Joanne

Recently, some have voiced their opposition against gender recognition. There are commonly two arguments. The first argument is that “They (trans people) don’t even dare to face the truth (about who they are) and are forcing everyone else to lie with them” and “When there is a gender recognition law, people (men) will take advantage of it (and go into the women’s toilets to peep on women), so women will worry about going to the toilet”.

It goes without saying that these views are just pure nonsense. But since there are so many people who are worried about gender recognition, is there anything that we can do to rectify this situation? Did we forget something in our advocacy work? Did we neglect anyone or the rights of others and placed them in an unfair position while we are fighting for ours? I believe that an equality movement serves to advocate for the rights of everyone, but not prioritize someone’s rights over those of others. In reality, it is still very difficult to please everybody especially those with very conservative opinions. However, as humans, we should try our best to understand and improve the conditions of those who being oppressed in society.  

In 2017, the government launched a public consultation on gender recognition to collect opinions from the community for legislations around transsexual persons based on court orders after a post-operative transgender woman dubbed W won the right to a transsexual marriage. Unfortunately, the consultation became heated discussions rather than mutual exchange of dialogue. In fact, this response from the community is quite prevalent when there are fears around the introduction of any new legislative proposals especially on LGBT+ rights. I really look forward to the day when everyone can calmly and logically share stories and information so that more people would empathize with the plight of the LGBT+ community instead of feeling threatened.

Some people may feel that advocating for human rights is an aggressive act. Yet if we see others suffering, should we be only concerned about our own personal interests and look the other way? Or should we insist on understanding first why they are suffering before helping them? However, note that humanitarianism and human rights are two different concepts. The former  is the “…active belief in the value of human life, whereby humans practice benevolent treatment and provide assistance to other humans, in order to better humanity for moral, altruistic and logical reasons” (Wikipedia, available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Humanitarianism), whereas the latter are “…moral principles or norms (Wikipedia, available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights).

Those who accuse trans people of lying may never understand their hardships. We do not know yet why there are individuals who have tried their best but cannot accept their birth assigned gender. I often like to use the following analogy to explain the plight of trans people. Let’s say that one day, your doctor informs you that you are actually an intersex person. How would you accept and understand that you are not the gender that you have known for  your entire life? Some of the trans individuals have already tried their very best to cater to societal expectations. Why can’t we just ‘live and let live’? If someone is so worried about the safety of using the female toilets (in the event that a transwoman is also using the facilities), why not work together to provide facilities that meet everyone’s needs, and not just exclude trans people?

These misconceptions, misunderstandings and myths around trans people have led to this publication, where we would like to present some very real stories of trans people that show their hardships and triumphs. While transwomen have told their stories, the narratives of transmen and gender non-binary people have been less prevalent. We hope that giving them a voice in TranStory will inspire a more diverse world.

 

 

Day

Under the Protective Wing of the Community

In 2018, a survey conducted by the Transgender Resource Center in Hong Kong revealed that over 60% of the transgender respondents have contemplated suicide. The situation is even more dire among the younger respondents who are under 30 years old, with 70% having had suicidal thoughts and 40% reporting suicidal attempts. Engaging in a close reading of their life stories, I found myself asking: what are the forces that drive them into such a helpless dilemma, and overwhelm them with so much pain that they hardly wish to live? What are also the forces that enable them to find their way back and develop  resilience to societal pressure?

One of the informants of this book, Icarus, stated that he had considered suicide. He was bullied and humiliated at school. Yet he suffered the most from the rejection of his parents, who often berated him about his gender. They were worried about how they would explain his sex-change to their relatives. They often told him, “if you continue like this, we won’t care even if you jump off a building” which caused Icarus to suffer years of emotional agony. He felt that parents should love their child unconditionally. In his case, love and care were only available if he acted in accordance with conventional norms, which would give face to his family.  

Another survey carried out by the Transgender Resource Center in Hong Kong indicated that family abuse is among the most prevalent forms of interpersonal violence that is carried out against transgender people. Among the victims of family abuse, 60% have experienced physical violence.  Given this, what are the factors that motivate transpeople who have been ostracized by their family and society to overcome their adversities?  

First, social support is indispensable for cultivating resilience. The narratives of Yin and Julian in this book show that support and encouragement from their colleagues and supervisors gave them the courage to undergo their gender transition. Work not only offers the opportunity for economic independence, but also provides them with support networks. They felt empowered and protected against negativity.  Eddie, another informant in this book, and Icarus, both received emotional support from their girlfriend as their companion, which reinforced their determination to be themselves. The girlfriend of Icarus took on the role of a supportive family member, and said, “The best way to support him (Icarus) is for everyone around him to keep him company and show him that he is cherished.” It is equally important that the parents of transgender children receive social support. One of the parent informants of this book, Angela, was able to manage her emotional struggles with the support of a friend who is also her mentor.

This book presents the life stories of five transmen and a mother. Each informant is a brave warrior, who has embarked on a journey on which they can express their true self and live a free life. However, the conservative policies and legislation in Hong Kong have given them multiple obstacles in their life path. Eddie spent his childhood in the UK. He feels strongly that discrimination is ubiquitous in Hong Kong as the policies are over ten years behind those of the UK.  All six informants have expressed their concerns and opposition as a whole to the legal stipulation that requires full sex reassignment surgery for gender recognition. Aside from Eddie who opted to self declare his gender, the other five informants hold the view that transpeople should be allowed to legally change their gender on their identity documents based on substantial assessments of doctors and professionals. This sort of a policy would help to remove the obstacles that they face in employment situations and everyday life. For 65-year-old informant Ben, who is experiencing a deterioration in health, the withdrawal of the requirement for sex reassignment surgery is an important and reasonable move in consideration of his health concerns. The other informants are also concerned about the repercussions of surgery on their health, such as Yin, who does not want to see his body parts cut into small bits. Then there is Icarus, who would rather wait for further advancements in medical technology before considering surgery. To the worried mother Angela, removing this requirement would definitely be a relief to her. 

It is imperative to develop policies and laws from the perspectives of transpeople. Only by doing so can the needs of transpeople be addressed and resilience promoted at the community level. Perhaps we are not policy makers. Yet, we might be able to provide support as  a friend or a co-worker. Say “Hey man” when you greet Ben, or use the correct pronoun “he” when you address a transman. Treat transpeople with respect and give them the recognition that they deserve.

 

 

 

Eleanor

As a researcher, counsellor, and participant in the Hong Kong transgender community, I’ve witnessed the progress of the transgender movement in Hong Kong which is the result of the hard work and unconditional contributions of people in the community. We've come a long way from blatant discrimination (such as the common usage of " rényāo" (人妖) or literally a demon person or freak) to label transpeople in the media and everyday life, and the hostile treatment of transpeople on the streets) to more awareness and increasing respect for transgender people (for e.g., the Chinese term for "transgender" is being used in everyday lexicon, victory of the "W case", and the public discussion on the Gender Recognition Ordinance (GRO)).

However, the road to equal rights is still long, and misunderstandings or even phobic resistance are still common (as reflected during the public discussion on the GRO). Thus, the publication of this book will help readers enhance their understanding of transgender and deconstruct misunderstandings and misrepresentations around transgender. The publication of this book is also a breakthrough for Hong Kong as it is the first publication that focuses on transmen (in the past, most published works mainly focused on transwomen). This book allows us to hear the diverse voices in the transgender community, and also depicts the life stories of different transmen in Hong Kong. Unlike the many publications on lived experiences, the interviewees in this book were given the opportunity to read and modify the draft for an accurate portrayal of their feelings and experiences.

  

 

 

TranStory 

 

 

A Mother’s Heartache - Angela

by Eunice Chau

 

 

In February 2016, when Angela’s “youngest daughter” was 27 years old, he came out to his family about his transgender identification. At that moment, Angela took the news calmly. She did not reprimand her child, nor asked questions. On the contrary, she had utmost confidence in her child.  Her child came out by writing them a letter along with a booklet published by the Transgender Resources Center.Her ‘youngest daughter’ even told Angela that he had searched on the internet, read a large volume of related materials and completed the questionnaires, and was very sure of his transgender identity.

Angela understood that exploring one’s gender identity would not be an easy journey. She felt empathy for her child and her heart ached in anticipation of the hardships and challenges that he had to face all alone. Yet on the other hand, she also admired her child’s strength and resilience.

 “My two daughters’’ to “My daughter and son”

“After I found out about my child’s decision to transition, I was torn because I knew that the whole process would not be easy at all. Yet my child had courageously gone through the process all alone. At the same time, it also saved me from having to deal with the process because I wouldn’t have known what to do.”  Angela had previously worked in the business sector but retired early. For the past ten years, she has pursued the work in counselling. In her spare time, she would take part in workshops. She has always championed for breaking down societal gender stereotypes. She taught her children to be responsible for their own choices and decisions, and accept the consequences. Yet, even though she is a mother with an open mind, she still struggled with her child’s gender identity.

Angela appeared calm but she was conflicted inside. After finding out about her child’s intention to transition, she felt confused and conflicted, and was unable to focus on meeting the deadline for her clinical supervision paper. Even worse, the turmoil translated into physical symptoms. Her left wrist was painful and felt stiff, like she was holding onto something tightly. The pain stayed with her for a long period of time. Angela said: ”At first I thought that showing acceptance was enough, but then I realized that while I was being rational, I was still emotionally troubled about the whole situation.  Everything was in a haze.”

Even though Angela appears to be very resilient, it was not easy for her to face the situation. At the time, she had a very good mentor who was willing to listen to her and give her support. “She knows me well, and helped me get in touch with my inner self. She let me talk and vent. We have a trusting relationship, and I was able to open up myself to her without any reservations.” The support from her mentor gave Angela the ability to quiet her thoughts and the pain from her left wrist along with the emotions gradually went away.

Angela said that actually, the changes to her child have not been very drastic. She saw her “younger daughter” physically transform through hormone use and weight-lifting into a man with a muscular body. Instead of saying  “my two daughters”, she now says “my daughter and son” when referring to her children, and calls her youngest child “Billy” (pseudonym).  Regardless, her child is still the same person whom she has loved for the past twenty odd years.

Let transgender people be seen in society, and allow them to be accepted

Angela not only has to face the struggles around the gender identity of her child, she was also determined to be honest with her relatives.  Fortunately, Angela did not have to carry out this task by herself. Her older daughter and husband were also very supportive. Thus, telling the relatives was a relatively peaceful event.  Prior to attending any family related events, they took into consideration which relatives would be the recipient of the information, and discussed how they would respond to the questions.  Interesting enough, even though they were thoroughly prepared, none of their relatives asked any questions. Angela recalled that during all of the previous family gatherings, Billy had always dressed in a gender-neutral style. He also loves sports, and has a strong and muscular body. Therefore, no one even noticed that he was undergoing hormone treatment to become a man.  On the other hand, sex and gender are still taboo subjects in Hong Kong, so no one took the initiative to ask questions.  Angela said: ”They didn’t attempt to ask, or maybe they didn’t know how to ask. Even if they asked, they wouldn’t even know how to continue the conversation. Hong Kong is still very conservative in this respect.”

Even though Hong Kong is conservative, Angela and her child are trying their best to bring about changes. When no one asked, Angela and Billy took the initiative to disclose to some of their relatives whom they felt would be more accepting. Also, Angela did not want to hide this change in her life from some of her closer friends.  However, Angela informed Billy about her intentions to disclose his gender identity, and asked for his consensus prior to doing so. The disclosure to her friends was not meant to ask for their acknowledgment and acceptance of Billy’s gender identity, but she wanted to be honest with them and hoped that transgender people could be more visible in society.  Her close friends have been very supportive. Therefore, coming out is no longer just an individual matter. The entire family would need to be mutually supportive and encouraging.

Hoping for the arrival of spring in the future

 

Unfortunately, there is still currently insufficient information, misconceptions, and misunderstandings about transgenders.  Even though Billy has changed his name on his HKID card to a masculine name, the gender remains female. Therefore, he does not feel comfortable coming out to his employer.  Since he is on hormone therapy, he is gradually becoming more masculine. He can pass as a male but this has caused many inconveniences in his daily life activities. For example, when he wanted to use the staff fitness room, the other staff members asked him many questions. In order to avoid further embarrassment, Billy would change into his sportswear beforehand to avoid using the male/female changing rooms. Even though this seems to be a rather small incident and inconvenience in daily life, Angela feels badly about the challenges that her child must endure on a daily basis.

 

For the past two years, Billy has been going to the Prince of Wales Hospital for his transition process which includes the diagnosis and hormone injections. He has also traveled to the US for surgery to remove his breasts. Different specialists have issued letters to support him on living as a man. Although he has already been transitioning for two years, he still cannot change the gender marker on his HKID card because he has not undergone the SRS in its entirety. Thus, he faced some awkward situations when going through immigration during his travels. So Billy had his mother and older sister accompany him when he went to the US for further examinations and surgery. Family members not only lend emotional support but when the immigration officers questioned him, they were able to further explain his situation to them. Angela said: “If the gender on his ID can be changed, then Billy can go through immigration smoothly, and there is no need to face all of these issues and problems.”  As a mother, she would like her child to live a happy life. Even though Billy intends to undergo the SRS in its entirety, changing the gender on identification documents based on psychiatric and psychological assessments would greatly reduce the difficulties and challenges in daily life of a transperson if the gender recognition legislation is passed in Hong Kong.

 

 

 

Angela stared at drawings that she and her children drew together in a drawing class.  In the drawings, the trees are all bare, just like the loneliness that Angela felt at the beginning. However, the branches are strong and upright in the drawings, which parallels the hope that she maintained despite the emotional challenges. The strong branches mean that flowers will bloom again when spring arrives. These epitomize the internal struggles around the gender exploration process of both Billy and his family during the past two years, and are analogous to Angela’s hopes for the future. Just like spring will come with rich and different colored flowers, Billy will live a similar extraordinary life.   

PS

“It feels very lonely right now with just a few people in my life.  Even though I see others from far away and it’s quite nice here, I still feel lonely.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

65 years and only 15 minutes of happiness - Ben

by Lanlan Yu

Ben said that for the entire 65 years of his life, he only had 15 minutes of happiness. Imagine the hardships that he has suffered. Ben was abandoned by his birth mother and if his adoptive mother did not take him in, he would have surely perished that spring day. He was born in spring — the start of life, yet he almost died. Nevertheless, he managed to survive. However, again and again he faced death, and it was like one trial after another.

He remembers all of the details of sad incidents that have come to pass, and speaks rapidly as he relives them again. He had suffered physical and mental health problems, hardships around romantic love, and misery over his gender. He feels that he was born with the wrong sex. The turmoil in his heart consumed him and trapped him in the physical shell of a woman for 65 dark years.

He felt joy very late in his life – a full 15 minutes of happiness. It was the time that he played the gongs and drums in a Cantonese opera performance at a community hall. The MC introduced Ben to the audience as the "Handsome Drummer" which made him so happy that he could not stop smiling until the end of the performance. "In my 65 years of life, there were only 15 minutes of happiness," said Ben. Nevertheless, those two words acknowledged and recognized Ben as his true self.

“My adoptive mother treated me liked a princess, but I wanted to be a prince”

Fortunately, his adoptive mother came into his life. He only weighed five pounds when his adoptive mother found him, so she did not know whether he would survive. She was a widow, whose husband was killed during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong. She raised Ben with love and care as they only had each other. "She doted on me and worked really hard to provide everything that I needed. There isn’t going to be anyone who will love me as much as she loved me." Ben was silent for a moment, and then said, "She treated me like a princess, but I wanted to be a prince. That’s why I wasn’t happy."

In elementary school, his adoptive mother took Ben for ballet lessons and dressed him in a pink lace dress like a little princess. "She loved me, but what she gave me and the lessons were totally unsuitable for me." Yet Ben could not bear to oppose her decisions, and just followed her will: "She was the head nurse and responsible for thoracic and respirology clinics with over 400 subordinates. Nobody dared to say no to her, and I was no exception."

In middle school, there were other tomboys (usually refer to lesbians with masculine appearance) who also had short hair but wore the school uniform with a skirt. To avoid wearing other skirts in his closet, he just wore his school uniform all day long.  He continued his role for his adoptive mother to hide his desire to become a prince.

Ben has been identifying himself as a man as far back as he can remember. He becomes very angry when people address him as a woman. Being called "Ma’am … Ma’am" is very painful and he has been struggling with being addressed as a woman all of his life. "The annoying security guard in my building keeps calling me Ma’am and Pretty Lady, which really pisses me off, but I don’t want to blow up at her. It makes my blood boil when everyone else keeps calling me Ma’am. So I tell myself that they are all crazy and ignorant to feel better, but of course, it still makes me very upset.”

His adoptive mother died of a second stroke when Ben was 25 years old. They had mutually cared and relied on each other for over two decades. The person who loved him the most was gone. Since then, Ben was alone. The anxiety, helplessness, and struggles around gender gradually consumed his body and soul. His health was poor  when he was only in his thirties, and often, he felt that he was dying.

"The situation at the time was worse than it is now. My hands could completely have no feeling and my body felt cold on one side and hot on the other side. It was so unbearable and I thought that I was dying." Life often gave him challenges but also guardian angels. He found a Chinese medicine practitioner who saved his life and his health gradually recovered after more than 30 years of treatment. After 25 years of Chinese medication to regulate his body, he will still get sick due to diet or stress. "The worst is feeling helpless and there is nobody there for you. You have to fend for yourself and you feel so hopeless." Ben said since he is older now, he feels even more lonely. He even feels insecure even walking on the streets. " I can’t walk for very long periods of time. I don’t have the energy. Without a companion, the farthest that I can go is San Po Kong. I won’t even go to Wong Tai Sin."

“Want to meet my Juliet”

Ben has always longed to meet his Juliet like Romeo but this never happened for him. He has been alone since 1983. In Grade 9, he decided for the first time to pursue a female classmate who was beautiful and seemed to like him too. He mentioned about his crush to his judo instructor, Eva, and she offered to help him. "I thought to myself, it’s my own business so why would I need your help to pursue this girl? Soon after that, I became involved with that girl and would often go to her place. Later, I found out that she was cheating on me with Eva.  It turned out Eva was secretly dating her behind my back”.

"It really hurts when you’re betrayed by someone you trust." At the time, Eva was a trusted friend and Ben considered Eva to be his brother.

His second relationship was another nightmare. Ben found a civil servant job in 1972 but was forced to wear a dress every day. At the time, he worked with a newly recruited staff member. "Although I wore a dress, she still thought that I was a man and wanted to be with me. I didn't like her very much, but still got involved with her. When we had sex, she found out that I was really not a man and dumped me. She became really cold to me.” They had an on-off relationship for 10 years which caused Ben to have mental health issues. "At the time, another girl in the office was interested in me and she (the on-off girlfriend) found out. That’s when all hell broke loose! At home, she pulled my hair and wouldn’t let me sleep. She went up to my office to look for me and even wrote a letter to the office director to report me for being a homosexual. I wasn’t able to sleep for a long time and had to put up with her harassment. I ended up being slightly schizophrenic."

These two relationships made him lose his faith in people. “I have no confidence in people anymore,” said Ben and then he said it again. “After 1983, I didn’t meet anyone who truly likes me. Am I a pushover so that people take advantage of me? The girl who was interested in me saw that I had mental health problems so she dumped me and dated other men. Women have been the source of my problems, so I’m done with them."

 

"I transformed from a clerk in a skirt to an auxiliary policeman, and then to a handsome drummer"

Ben served for the government from 1972 to 1993 and during that era, men were required to wear a suit and tie, while women wore dresses to work. "It was hard for me. I really want to quit after the first day of work. However, my adoptive mother told me not to quit and work until I retire as she knew that she would soon pass away. So I stayed with the government for 20 years.” Ben has short hair and crude mannerism, but still had to wear a skirt. He was the object of curiosity in the office and especially when he had to go to the female toilet. People thought he was a crossdresser. Homophobia and transphobia were always prevalent. At that time, he did not know that he is actually a transgender person and just thought that he was a tomboy.

"I thought transgender people are those who have completed surgery, but I hadn’t gone through surgery yet. Then 6 years ago, I met Joanne, the chairperson of the Transgender Resource Center who, aside from my adoptive mother, cared about me. Later, I came to realize that I am a transman." Being identified as a "transman" has been very important for Ben. He finally understands why he hates to wear dresses and frustrated by those who call him "Ma’am". Now everything makes sense. "I was very happy during my part-time auxiliary police work. My boss treated me like a man and so did the other policemen. They called me Brother Ben. I dressed in casual wear like shirts and jeans when I went patrolling. Those were good times. "

Ben joined the Blessed Minority Christian Fellowship in 2011 and found a community that accepts his identity. However, as the transgender community was quite small at the time, he did not feel that many understood him or cared about him. Later on, he took part in gatherings with other transgender people but they were much younger, and conversation mostly revolved around SRS. "You know how hard it is to go through surgery at my age? We had nothing in common to talk about." However, Ben does not want to be alone. So he wants to meet more people so that they can give each other support. He also wants other people to care about him.

“Have you ever thought about surgery?”

"My health was deteriorating when I was only in my thirties and I was suffering from schizophrenia. There were too many things to worry about. Twice, I felt that I wouldn’t make it, that I would die. I didn’t have the money to do the surgery because I had to make a living and support myself. So that’s why I didn’t even think about it."

Ben is 65 years old now and would not risk the complications of surgery. He will be forced to continue to tolerate the “F” marker as his identity on his HKID card as he goes into his senior years.   

In discussions around the gender recognition legislation, mainstream society in Hong Kong generally believes that full SRS is mandatory for claiming gender. Would this not deprive the rights of elderly transgender people?

"For 65 years of my life, there were only 15 minutes of happiness."  ‘Handsome Drummer’ was just a simple salutation, but affirmed and recognized his gender. If you feel saddened for Ben’s 15 minutes of happiness, then let us wish many more happy moments for him.

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong is more than 10 years behind the UK in Gender Recognition - Eddie

by Lanlan Yu

 

Eddie gave himself a new name last year. He now calls himself Yat Tung (Cantonese). The Chinese character of yat includes the character for rabbit and tung is the East, both of which he likes very much. He smiled and said: "It also sounds nice!” The sun rises in the east and creatures awake to the beauty of the sunlight. Eddie is calm and often has a gentle smile on his face, so Yat Tung is a very fitting name for him because there is nothing dark about him; he is like sunshine.

Eddie said: “My Chinese is not that great and I never thought that I would be able to give myself a Chinese name. I’ve experienced many changes in the last 2 years including giving myself a new name which shows that I want to take charge of my life.” Although his parents at times still cannot adjust to his new identity, and forget whether he is their daughter or son, or forget to call him by his new name, it does not matter to him very much.

In March 2018, Eddie made the most important decision in his life. He changed his name on his Hong Kong identity card and start to undergo hormone therapy to become a male. He also made preparations for top surgery (mastectomy) in Taiwan in December 2019. He is looking forward to swimming and tanning on the beach in the summertime after he has his breasts removed.

Laughing in excitement, he said: "Undergoing surgery safely is important, but it’s also important to look good because it’s how people see you."

This major life decision was delayed for 20 years until he met his girlfriend two years ago. The transition is a gift for himself in his thirties and a priority for him and his current girlfriend as they support each other on this journey.

“Prayed before sleeping at night to wake up in a body that belongs to him”

As is the case with many transpeople, the story begins with Eddie’s earliest memories of gender: "My sister reminded me of an incidenthappened long time ago recently. We took a very funny photo together when I was five. In the picture, I wore my father's pajamas while she put on our mother's stilettos". The photo might be early evidence of Eddie’s desire to be a man, but he remembered yearning to be one much earlier than that. At the age of three, he could already differentiate between male and female. When asked whether he is a boy or girl, as it is customary for most adults to ask young children,  he would only answer: “I am a boy”. Yet physically he was undeniably female. So before he went to bed each night, he always silently prayed that this was just a dream and he would wake up the next day in a body that belongs to him. 

Eddie began his life in the UK when he was just a few years old until he returned to Hong Kong in 2009 for work purposes. He had a very good childhood in the UK without any bad experiences or issues. Nor did he encounter any discrimination or judgment from others in response to his desire to live life as a male.

"I’ve always lived life as a male. No one has ever reminded me that I’m female. Everyone liked me the way that I was and was good to me." Eddie’s parents have always been taken a neutral stance towards his gender preference.  While Eddie walks like a male and likes male dominated sports such as shooting and football, his parents never deterred or condemned him for doing so. Eddie first really came to terms with all the doubts around his gender when he returned to the UK and went for two clinical psychologist sessions. He then made the decision to take the first step and undergo hormone therapy.

 

"I studied at an all-girls school and hated wearing a skirt (part of the school uniform). So I took part in almost all of the school sports and practiced for five days a week so that I can wear sportswear and sports pants every day. My classmates called me "Mr. Yu". My roommates who were local UK girls said that they were surprised that I not only look like a boy, but my voice also sounds like one. I majored in electronic engineering at university and I felt very much at ease with almost all of the guys in my class. I felt that I belonged. I didn’t have to worry about what I said or did. It was so liberating... It’s like going to the men's toilet. I’d feel really strange and awkward if I had to go to the women's toilet."

“My problem became her problem”

Why did it take Eddie 20 years to undergo his TRANSition?

Eddie does not like blood and pain, and therefore never considered SRS. "When I was in college, I met a transman on the Internet. He had a full SRS and told me about the process. He said that he has to have hormone injections for the rest of his life. I already feel that injections are horrible but then he sent me photos of the surgery to the genitals. That terrified me even more. I stopped thinking about it after that. At the time, I finally realized exactly what I was... I realized that I’m a transperson. The UK did not legislate its gender recognition law until 2004, and that’s why I didn't think too much about it at the time." Eddie was also not motivated to transition since no one really objected to his choice to live as a male or felt that it was a problem.

The moment of real self-awareness and turning point for change took place two years ago when Eddie came out as a transperson to his girlfriend. His girlfriend had suspicions about Eddie, which made him really reconsider and come face to face with his true gender identity.

"She didn't know what transgender was in the beginning. She thought that I was a lesbian and treated me like her girlfriend, and kept referring to me as her ‘girlfriend’. She always used ‘her’ to refer to me and it felt very weird. A week after we met, we went together to Bali and when the time felt right, I told her that I would prefer if she referred to me as her ‘boyfriend’ and I didn’t like it when she called me her ‘girlfriend’. Later I found out that she was doing research about this, and discussing it with friends.”

Eddie later watched an interview with Dr. Angela Ng Wing Ying on ViuTV who talked about transgender. He immediately called his girlfriend and told her to watch the program, and said, “Look, that is who I am.” And that was how they began to come to terms with his gender identity. With the support of his girlfriend, he thought about his situation and came to terms that he needed to make changes.  His girlfriend made an appointment for him with Dr. Ng to talk about his situation and start his transition.  

Eddie joined the Transgender Resource Center last year as a volunteer. His girlfriend also gave him many suggestions and took part in discussions at the center. She had little knowledge about transgender before, and had done quite a bit of research on her own. So Eddie’s issue also became that of his girlfriend: "My girlfriend had mistaken me for a lesbian, but actually, I’m a transperson. She told me to just be myself. She’s really spiritual so I know that she understands me".

"Hong Kong is more than 10 years behind the UK”

Eddie indicated that he is indeed fortunate that he grew up in the UK where no one has ever discriminated him and he did not have any bad memories. When he returned to Hong Kong to work, he found that it was the opposite situation. While Eddie works at a more liberal minded UK company in Hong Kong, he has to face discrimination and ignorance everywhere else after work . "I can't even use the telephone banking service or cancel my bank card because of my voice. I have to show up in person at the branch to do my banking. Their record shows that I am Miss Yu. When they hear my voice on the phone, they immediately ask me, ‘Who are you?’ When I respond that I am ‘Miss Yu’, they proceed to tell me to visit one of their branches instead. It was never a problem in the UK if a woman has a male sounding voice."

His transgender friends who grew up in Hong Kong also shared some dark and depressing stories with him.

"Some people don't want to be identified as a transgender person. There is a transman who just finished his SRS including surgery on his genitals at Prince Wales Hospital in August which is quite rare. I wanted him to share his experience with me. He told me that he didn't want to be identified as a transgender person and stressed that he is a man. I was being a wise guy and told him that even if he had the surgery, he still wasn’t a real cis male (cisgender/cis man/cis woman are people whose gender identity match their birth assigned sex). He’s a transgender. He told me to mind my own business and that he would rather be a fake man. He’s always unhappy, depressed, and he doesn’t have a girlfriend. He doesn’t tell others that he’s transgender because Hong Kong people are so discriminating."

"The gender recognition law is very important. Right now, there’s no such law in Hong Kong which means that I won’t be legally recognized as a male even if I do the surgery and change the gender marker on my ID card. But this is so important. Without legal protection, I won’t have any privacy. I cannot hide the fact that I was a woman. For example, the mobile phone and internet companies can still look up my previous information and call me ‘Miss’.  Changing the gender marker on the ID card is only an administrative procedure and there’s nothing to it at all."

In the UK, the self-declaration gender recognition law has already been tabled for discussion. However, Eddie stated that "Hong Kong is more than 10 years behind the UK". Hong Kong has just placed on its agenda in 2018 whether they would follow the 2004 model on gender recognition in the UK. Eddie is adamant about the lack of progress in Hong Kong and his views are more liberal as he grew up in the UK. Ideally, he would like to see people decide themselves whether they want to change their gender marker on their ID card and this has been the case in many Western countries which has no negative impact on others in a practical sense.

The usually gentle Eddie became hardened as he said, "Some people said that there should be a panel of professionals like doctors who would make the recommendation (to change the gender on the ID card). But I don't agree that a doctor should have such power to determine the life decision of someone else because a doctor is only a human being and might be wrong. They might make mistakes. We’re all human beings with different needs. We need the gender recognition law to live a better life. There are trans people who also study and work hard. We have abilities so we’re not using up societal resources. We also contribute to society and give back.”  

 

 

Please give me a new gender - Icarus

by Natalie Yim 

 

 

While most other children were saving money for toys, Icarus was hoping to save enough money for sex reassignment surgery (SRS). Ever since he heard the term ‘transsexual’ in Grade 5, his greatest desire was to transform “back into a boy again”. Icarus gave himself the best present for his 18th birthday - he decided to live as his preferred gender. Icarus said: “When I grew up and understood what transsexuality really meant, I made the decision to visit the gender clinic after I turned 18”. He admitted that he really hates his breasts, girlish voice and all of his other female characteristics. As long as he can become a man, he does not mind the surgery and its many potential side effects. Indeed, he is making a very courageous life decision. 

 

"I thought about committing suicide after working for a few years." 

 

Icarus is someone who is full of energy with a great sense of humor and loves to make jokes. His eyes would brighten up each time that he talked about his desire to become a man. Yet as a youth, he had contemplated about ending his life. "I suffered a great deal of discrimination and disgrace when I was growing up just because I behaved like a boy. I suffered from psychological stress and low self esteem, so I made plans to kill myself after I graduated, worked for a few years and enjoyed life.” He was bullied in primary and secondary school because he was masculine in appearance. Why? His head teacher gave him an explanation for the abuse: "You should know why. None of your classmates want to be in the same group as you. They just hate you". And so it was that an innocent secondary student was rejected by the entire class as well as his teacher. Later, he came to understand that his masculinity was the reason that he was boycotted. The teacher never tried to understand his gender identity nor examined the situation at large, but instead, promptly decided that his personality was the problem.

 

Apart from school, his family did not understand him either. They were opposed to his decision to use hormones as well as undergo SRS and used all means to prevent him from acting on both. Icarus mentioned that his family gives him the most stress. This is also the case with many trans people as family can be very problematic. 

 

"I am very afraid of my mother. When I was young, I had to completely obey her. When  I acted more and more like a boy, my mother would buy more girl clothing for me to wear. After my mother found out that I was starting to undergo hormone therapy, she just cried and said something that was very painful to hear: “How can I explain this to the other people! If you continue on like this, you can jump off a building and I won’t feel sorry for you!” Icarus was overwhelmed with the discrimination that he had experienced in primary and secondary school and then the stress from his family. He had suicidal thoughts and could not find any meaning in life. Fortunately, when God closes one door, He opens another, and Icarus saw that more beautiful experiences were waiting for him. While he was working towards his associate degree, Icarus made friends who accepted him and also found an understanding girlfriend. Surrounded by those who accepted and loved him, Icarus finally realized that the world is not a dark place.  

 

"When I had no self-esteem left, she helped build my confidence."

 

Amidst feelings of fear and vulnerability, taking the first step towards making a life change is often the most difficult. Icarus was only able to take this step with the support and companionship of his girlfriend. During the interview, his love for his girlfriend, Samantha, was obvious as he looked at her with love and happiness in his eyes, and said: "When I had reservations about making life changes, my girlfriend would encourage me to believe in myself, that I am mature enough to make adult decisions. That I shouldn’t follow others all the time. When I had no self-esteem left, she helped build my confidence."  

 

Icarus recalled his doubts as he stood at the entrance of the hospital for an appointment of SRS consultation. Should he go in or not? What should he say? Even though he had practiced the words a thousand times, he was still unsure of himself. Fortunately, Samantha was there to support him. They are often on the same wavelength. Samantha discovered his desire to become a man soon after they met. She was even more convinced than Icarus and adamant that he should live his own identity as soon as possible. Icarus excitedly said that Samantha was the one who urged him to visit the gender clinic and undergo hormone therapy. “She really wanted me to be a man as soon as possible. Now everyone treats me like a man. I’m a lot happier now! She knew how much I wanted to be my true self. She’s actually more excited than me that I have become more confident and more accepting of myself."

 

Support is not only spoken but also reflected through action. From doing the preliminary research work to accompanying Icarus to the consultation at the clinic, Samantha was entirely supportive and patient, especially when Icarus was under a great deal of pressure and feeling anxious. Perhaps not even a family member could be so understanding. 

 

Samantha is not only a companion but also the life partner of Icarus. The support is very important because as Samantha said: "I think that taking the first step (to making changes in identity) is often the most difficult because you need a lot of courage. I went with him (to the gender clinic) because I suggested that he should go. Actually, if there is someone who goes with you to see the doctor and shows that they care, this is the best kind of support for all transgender people.” Samantha admitted that Icarus has been quick to anger after he started hormone therapy. Even something very minor would result in a quarrel. Yet she does not think that this is an issue. It is important that Icarus is happier, more confident and courageous enough to be himself. Samantha feels that being understanding and giving companionship are the true forms of support and said, “Put yourself in someone else's shoes, and if you do so, the other person will feel that someone understands them, and won’t feel so lonely.”

 

“We are determined to be ourselves, and hope the society can support us.”

 

In the eyes of many people, making the choice to be a transgender person is the wrong decision. They may rationalize the decision to rashness, that perhaps the individual is too young and ignorant, or impulsive. The decision to be a transgender person therefore worries the friends and saddens the family of the concerned individual. It may seem to be an irresponsible act. However, only the person who is suffering can feel the magnitude of their pain. Being yourself is already not easy for ‘normal people’, let alone gender minorities. But Icarus is one of the more fortunate. He has met someone who is willing to support him unconditionally so that he can eventually realize his identity. And so he embarks on a new life journey armed with a masculine appearance.

 

As society is becoming more aware of the transgender community, the legalities around gender have also evolved. In Hong Kong, the gender recognition legislation has been placed on the agenda of the government. But the reality is that there is a lack of public education around gender diversity which means that there is consistently a great deal of misunderstanding among the Hong Kong population around transgender people. Nevertheless, Icarus is still grateful that there is a gender identity clinic in Hong Kong which gives him hope. The whole process up to the completion of SRS is not easy in Hong Kong. The risks are relatively high as the experience and skills of surgeons are still immature. Moreover, the recipient has no say in deciding on the scheduling of the surgery; otherwise Icarus would have certainly wanted the surgery sooner rather than later. There is a procedure that Icarus needs to follow in order to undergo SRS including an assessment, the different phases of the SRS, examinations, etc. The scheduling itself may take years.

 

 

One of the current recommendations from the public consultation is to make SRS and hormone therapy optional in changing the gender marker on legal identification documents, and instead, two years of psychiatric and psychological assessments would suffice. Icarus and Samantha both feel that this is most ideal because as Icarus said: "if there is a comprehensive Gender Recognition Ordinance (in which psychiatric and psychological assessments are adequate), I can delay the surgery until the doctors are more mature in skill, or at least wait until the hospital facilities are more advanced." SRS still has its risks and it does not make sense to undergo the risk of surgery and remove healthy body parts in order to change the gender marker on one’s identification documents. The side effects of hormone therapy can also be detrimental for some people. It is already so hard for transgender people to accept themselves. If the legal requirements are more lenient for transgender people during their transition, perhaps they would feel more supported in the process.

 

 

 

 

Put on a shield of armor and escape an imprisoning body - Julian
by Carmen Wong

 

Julian is a biracial Hongkonger who was born in Singapore. He grew up in a very traditional Chinese family. His family often moved from one place to another when he was young because of his father's work. Since his father often traveled for work, Julian is not very close to him. However, he understands that this was part of his father’s job and beyond his control.  

Julian’s father is a very dominant man, so Julian had never gone against his wishes. He hid his emotions and thoughts, and was overall a good child in the eyes of his parents. Also, Julian accepted all the dresses that his mother wanted him to wear as he did not want to be punished. He was afraid to tell his parents about his true needs and wants. Therefore, he did not complain or object; he just complied and all was well.

“Everyone has the right to choose how they want to live”

When he was a child, Julian once took bath with his younger brother. And after that he drew a picture of his brother’s genitals and showed it to his father in the hopes that his father would understand that he too desired to be like his brother. Instead, his father became very angry and they never talked about gender related issues ever again.

At about 13 to 14 years old, Julian impulsively cut his hair short but at the same time, was afraid that his parents would punish him. Each time he changed anything on his own wish, his relationship with his parents deteriorated. He found out that anything that he did that was not feminine would anger his parents. He felt that they never cared about his feelings and situation, only his appearance and attire. So in his decision to transition, Julian decided to just go ahead. After nearly two months of hormone therapy, his father heard the distinct change in Julian’s voice. Over a long distance call, he bawled at Julian and said: "I gave you life, how dare you change your body and disrespect what I gave you." 

Julian did not feel the same way, and feels that everyone has the right to choose how they want to live and that he does not owe his parents anything. Nevertheless, he emphasized that he is grateful to his parents for raising him, and will care for them in their old age. However, he should have the right to make decisions about his own body.

The resistance of his parents made it difficult for Julian to be honest with them. Also, their attitude indirectly caused him to be in denial of his own gender identity. Julian often found excuses for himself to avoid the transition process and talk himself out of transitioning, such as telling himself that being a trans person would be troublesome, and that there is discrimination, and surgery might be necessary. Yet regardless of the excuses that he gave himself, he could not hide the desire deep in his heart to do so. Although he was uncertain, he knew that he did not want to be female anymore. When he was younger, he had to suppress his desire to be his real self. Now that he is working at a job that makes good use of his talents, Julian can finally decide on the next steps of his life.

"Maybe because I am working in the creative field, my colleagues are really easy-going. My supervisor even shows support for gender change. That’s why I really like the work atmosphere and company culture. I treasure that everyone is so open minded and won’t take it for granted." The support of his supervisor has empowered Julian and given him a shield of armor that protects him against the calamities of discrimination so that he can gradually change the body that has long imprisoned him.

" ‘He’ is the correct pronoun"

Although Julian has become more positive in outlook, transitioning is still a long and difficult process which requires support from his peers. Julian connected with the Transgender Resource Center after found it on the Internet. He also joined the TGR FTM WhatsApp group and received different information such as starting hormone therapy and seeking counselling services. After suppressing his feelings for so many years, he decided to seek psychological help, and obtained the contact information of Dr. Mak, a psychiatrist whose expertise is on gender assessment.

The first time that he spoke to Dr. Mak, Julian expressed without any doubts that he was experiencing a gender identity crisis. Dr. Mak then proceeded to ask him several routine questions such as those about family, work and interpersonal relationships. After he answered the questions, Julian restated his gender identity crisis. When Dr. Mak asked him: "Do you want to take hormones?", he immediately answered: "Of course!" while imagining at the same time about having a deeper voice and masculine facial features. After he shared his story with Dr. Mak, the psychiatrist informed him that he does indeed have a gender identity disorder and felt that it was the right time to start hormone therapy. Julian was surprised and at the same time could not hide his happiness because he never thought that someone would agree with him, and encourage and support him.

After undergoing hormone therapy, some of his friends began to use the pronoun "he" to address Julian. Julian also feels that this is "the correct pronoun" for him. Everything now feels right to him. 

“We will be here when you need us”

Julian is now often concerned about other people and matters rather than his own. For example, he will give up the opportunity for a part-time job, and spend more time helping other transgender people to find themselves, gain more self-determination and become independent. He really believes that feeling lost on gender identity brings everyone together. When people are brought together, there is more strength in unity, which will make transitioning a much easier process.

Since there is a need for a network that can specifically provide support for transgender people when they are feeling lost, Julian spent a very long period of time to establish a transgender support network on a platform called “DISCORD”, with the aim to help transgender people especially those who do not speak Chinese, to exchange information online.

Julian excitedly shared that in just a few weeks after the launch of the network on DISCORD, 20 individuals had started to actively participate on the platform: “I hope that this project can continue to grow, and anyone else in Hong Kong is also welcome to take part. It’s good to have a cultural blend and help more people in need".

“The need for diverse sex education is urgent”

Julian feels that sex education in Hong Kong has its shortcomings. In addition to the more conservative attitude of Hong Kong people, it is generally taboo to discuss sex-related topics. In the absence of such discussions, most people would not have the opportunity to learn and understand gender identity issues. "When people encounter something that they don't know about or understand, they become ignorant. Ignorance often leads to fear, and fear will eventually result in discrimination. To stop discrimination, we need to start with education."

In addition, Julian does not agree on the mandated SRS to change the gender marker on the HKID card. He hopes that the general public can understand that there are people who have health issues and some do not want to mutilate their body and remove healthy body parts. We should not insist on transgender people undergoing a series of surgeries and causing unnecessary harm to their body. He also hopes to promote sex education which should not be taboo. Instead, sex should be openly discussed so that more people, especially children, would have a better understanding of gender diversity in society at an early age, which would facilitate an open attitude in discussing sexuality and gender.

He also hopes that parents would understand that gender recognition is not a choice, and that their understanding and support are the greatest motivation for trans people to bravely acknowledge their true identity.

 

 

 

 

Bursting out as a rainbow - Yin

by Minnie Chiu

 

 

To make the decision to be yourself is always a difficult task. It is even more difficult to be yourself as a transgender person. "It’s not that I am sacrificing a lot to transition. The process has actually allowed me to be reborn. It’s like bursting out as a rainbow from my old body and life. I used to see things as only grey and black. Now I’m more positive. Life is so much more colorful. I hope that one day, I will finally see my rainbow." There is hope in Yin's shiny eyes, and he is indeed a warrior.

 

"I can look at myself in the mirror and live life as it should be."

 

Although Yin’s identification documents indicate that he is ‘female’, he has never thought of himself as a woman. As a child when he was still ignorant about gender, he felt that he was no different from the other boys and often spent time with them. Then he reached puberty and his breasts began to develop, and he realized that he is physically different from the other boys. The physical changes were so traumatic that he refused to look into the mirror and hated the sound of his own voice. He wore a girdle every day to bind his breasts and downplayed any feminine features so that he looked as male as he felt inside. His strategy worked; nobody thought of him as female. 

 

It was not until he was 34 years old that Yin found out that the public hospitals in Hong Kong offer SRS. He began his search for information on transitioning and soon after, decided to see a psychiatrist for a gender identity assessment and assistance in transitioning. In the first year of his transgender journey, he spent an average of HK$2,500 a month to use the services of a private psychiatrist and undergo hormone therapy. He also had to do blood tests every three months to see if the hormone therapy had any side effects and whether his body was rejecting the hormones. After a series of psychiatric assessments, he received a referral letter from his psychiatrist for surgery, and made arrangements with the hospital for the top surgery (mastectomy) to remove his breasts. The hormone therapy deepened his voice, and the top surgery gave him a more masculine physical form. He was finally able to look at himself in the mirror and live life as it should be. He continues to be in awe of the subtle changes in his body every day, and takes good care of his new hard-earned body.

 

“My head chef said that I am a man with a female body”

 

Yin is a chef, whose workplace environment is male dominated, but no one has ever treated him like a woman. His head chef even told him that he is a man with a female body. Other than his physical body, he is a man who lives and works like any other man. While he was still binding his breasts for work, his female supervisor who is a foreigner often urged him to surgically remove his breasts: "You don't like your breasts anyway. Why do you bind them up? Just go get the surgery!"

 

Although Yin felt encouraged by his colleagues, he was still embarrassed when the time came to undergo the surgery, and he did not know how to tell his friends. After much thought, he decided to tell his friends who are not Chinese as they had always encouraged him to undergo SRS.  He also felt that non-Chinese people are more open and would be more receptive to his decision to undergo SRS. So he invited his Nepalese friends to a meal at a Chinese restaurant and told them this important news. They were not very surprised and asked "Why so late? And why were you afraid to tell us?" While Yin believed that no response is the best response, it turned out that his close friends had always accepted him and were happy that he could be himself. Now, they frequent go to the gym together and show him how to build his muscles. Although changing his gender is a long process, he is fortunate to have some good friends and colleagues who will accompany him along the way.

 

“I am strongly against the government forcing us to undergo SRS”

 

While Yin is looking forward to removing his breasts, he does not think that it is necessary to undergo male genital reconstruction because constructing a penis requires the extension of the urethra in order to stand while urinating. There are often failures, and the risk of urinary tract infections is high as such surgical procedures are still in their infancy in Hong Kong. Constructing a penis (phalloplasty) requires the use the forearm or lower leg as a donor site and the flap of skin which is 1.5 cm in diameter along with the tissues and blood supply are completely removed from the arm or leg and then anastomosed and grafted to the site of transfer. Yet the reconstructed penis is not very functional.  It cannot provide a natural erection, and there is the possibility that urine will leak. Moreover, phalloplasty is not a one-time procedure. There could be the possibility of hospitalization for half a year. Yin has heard about a case in which the individual has been in and out the hospital twelve times for surgery and still unable to urinate well. He does not understand why a healthy and not visible part of the body has to undergo unnecessary surgery which would cause so many health problems. 

 

Yin feels that the requirements for changing the gender marker on the HKID card should really be two years of assessment by a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist, along with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and a two years of real life experience (RLE) as that gender. Removing, reconstructing or constructing the genitals should be a personal choice. As a  female-to-male transgender person himself, he already passes as a man (passing is the ability to be perceived as the gender identified and not as a transgender), with a greater social acceptance. However, the social acceptance of male-to-female transgender persons is still very low, even if they have a very feminine appearance or even undergone SRS. If their gender cannot be changed on their ID card, they would still be labeled as predators when they attempt to use women’s toilets. 

 

 

Therefore, the gender marker on the HKID card is important for safety and self-preservation especially for transwomen. "It is already difficult for transgender people to be themselves, why should they be forced to undergo unnecessary reconstruction surgery?"

 

 

 

 

 

Produced by:Transgender Resource Center Chief
Editors:Joanne Leung / Day Wong
Advisor:Eleanor Cheung
Text Editor:Lanlan Yu
Author:Lanlan Yu、Natalie Yim、Minnie Chiu、Carmen Wong、Eunice Chau
  

 

 

 

 

The websites provided below are for reference only do not represent the position and opinion of the organization, nor are they recommended.

Local (Hong Kong) related links
Forums and Blogs

 

TransNation
The only dating platform for trans in Asia
Website:https://transnation.asia
#CD #Crossdresser #trans #transgender #transsexual #non-binary

 

HKCDFamily
The oldest crossdresser forum in Hong Kong (not so active in recent years)
Website:http://www.hkcdfamily.net

 

hkcd.tv
cross-dressing/ fetishism forum
Website: http://www.hkcdtv.com

 

[email protected]
A blog for FTMs  
Website: http://translifehk.wordpress.com

 

Newvisionfoto(We do not comment on the service and performance of this photo company )
Provide CD photography/ makeup or Kinbaku (Japanese Bondage) photography service (can choose Female photographer)
Website: http://newvisionfoto.com/

  


Support groups:

CEASE Crisis Centre 24-hour hotline (Transgender people and other sexual minorities are welcomed!) 

Phone: 18281 CEASE Crisis Centre provides crisis intervention and support service which aim to serve victims of sexual violence and individuals/families encountering domestic violence or other family crises, including  24-hour hotline services, outreaching service and short-term accommodation service
Website: http://ceasecrisis.tungwahcsd.org
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Hong Kong Blessed Minority Christian Fellowship

To bear witness of Jesus Christ's grace upon people of different sexual orientations and reconcile their faith with their sexual identity and orientation as well as to facilitate greater self-acceptance.

Website: http://www.hkbmcc.org
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 2834-6601
counseling hotline:8136-3680 Every Friday 7:30-10:00 PM(Except public holiday)

  

Nutong Xueshe (NTXS)

Encourage the sexual minorities to explore and express themselves and experience empowerment. Through cultural promotion, policy initiative, education, and publications etc.,  deepen people understanding of sexual issues, create a platform for discussion and communication, thereby eliminating sexual discrimination and seeking equal rights.

Website: http://www.leslovestudy.com
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Queer Sisters Peer Counselling Hotline

Established in 1996, aimed to serve sexual minorities (such as LGBTQI, Tongzhi, homosexual, bisexual, transgender etc) and their families and friends. The hotline is answered by professionally trained counselors, and clients can be assured of confidentiality.

Website: http://www.qs.org.hk
Qs hotline: Whatsapp ‭(852) 9260 8191‬  please message to make an appointment for the counseling hotline

 

Parents Support Service, Project Touch, BGCA

Target: Parent who want to learn more about sexual orientation and gender identity 
Content: phone inquiry, counseling, parent support group 
Phone: 2321 1103
Parent support website︰http://www.newtouch.net

 

CMAB Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Unit

If you are being discriminated because of your sexual orientation and gender identity in Hong Kong, or you want to search for relating material, you can call the inquiry/complaint hotline.

Website: http://www.cmab.gov.hk/tc/issues/equal_hotline.htm
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Inquiry or complaint: 2810-3205
Monday to Friday :8:45 am to 6:00 pm 
Saturday、Sundayand public holiday: Close

 

Advisory Group on Eliminating Discrimination against Sexual Minorities

To advise the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs on matters relating to concerns about discrimination faced by sexual minorities in Hong Kong
Website: http://www.cmab.gov.hk/tc/issues/equal_advisory_group.htm

 

Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment on the Ground of Sexual Orientation

Provide the list of organizations that have pledged to adopt the Code 
Website: http://www.cmab.gov.hk/tc/issues/code_of_practice.htm

 


Medical information:

HospitalAdvisor

An independent online platform for patients. Its aim is to give patients information about the quality of care in Hong Kong’s hospitals so that patients can make informed decisions about their hospital choice. HospitalAdvisor covers all hospitals in Hong Kong, both public and private.

Website: https://hospitaladvisor.org.hk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HospitalAdvisorHK

 

See Doctor Website

A Website that aims to serve as the bridge between the patient and the doctor. Provide information of psychiatrist who offers gender assessment in Hong Kong

Website: http://www.seedoctor.com.hk

 


Taiwan-related website 

 

Taiwan TG Butterfly Garden

The first public transgender group in Taiwan, it offers hotline and gathering service for transgender people and their family. It also concerns the human right and gender issue in Taiwan.

Website:http://transgender-taiwan.org

 

Intersex, transgender and transsexual people care association

The first group that care both transgender people, intersex and transsexual people in Taiwan

Website: http://www.istscare.org

 

Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association

The largest advocacy group and LGBT service group in Taiwan 

Website: http://hotline.org.tw

 

(Transgender Punk Activist, Taiwan)

An advocacy group for transgender issue in Taipei 

Website: http://transgenderpunk.wordpress.com

  


Mainland China-related links

Beijing LGBT mental health center 

Offer professional counseling to sexual minority such as homosexual people 

Website: http://www.johnnycenter.com/

 

xiasl.net

The earliest transgender website in China  

Website: http://www.xiasl.net

 

Baidu Tieba- Transgender Tieba

The largest Chinese transgender online communication platform provided by the Chinese search engine company, Baidu. 

Website: http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kw=跨性別


International

Age of Queer 

http://ageofqueer.com/category/news/transgender_news

 

Transgender Teen Survival Guide  

https://transgenderteensurvivalguide.tumblr.com/post/165876006995/lee-says-heres-a-transitioning-starter-pack-for

 

What Intersex People Wished Everyone Knew About Them

http://agentsofishq.com/intersex/

 

Best Practices for Serving Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students in Schools

https://www.masstpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/MTPC-2013-K-12-Best-Practices.pdf

(For reference only)

 

[Real Life Experience Letter Sample 1]

To: Whom it may concern

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: [Name of the patient in English and Chinese, HKID#]

This is to certify that the above named suffered from [Female-to-Male/Male-to-Female] transsexualism and gender dysphoria. [She/He] is now undergoing preoperative assessment including real-life experience. Please kindly facilitate [her/his] use of [male/female] toilet.

Thank you!

 


[Real Life Experience Letter Sample 2]

To: Whom it may concern

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: [Name of the patient in English and Chinese, HKID#]

Previously known as: [previous name on HKID]

This person is under my care for Gender Identity Disorder [Male to Female/Female to Male] Transsexualism. [She/He] is now living exclusively in [female/male] role.

 


[Change of name and gender Letter Sample (not currently available HK)]

To: Whom it may concern

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: [Name of the patient in English and Chinese, HKID#]

[Name of the patient] is suspected having gender dysphoria, undergoing assessment in [name of the clinic]. [Name of the patient] is on real life experience as a [female/male] role and intends to continue doing this permanently. [She/He] has changed her name legally.

I would support her application for a new driver’s licence in her female name, with her gender code changed to female.

Thank you!

 


[SRS Referral Letter Sample]

To: Dr. xxx, Dept of Surgery, Routonjee Hospital/Prince of Wales Hospital

Dear Dr. xxx,

Re: [Name of the patient in English and Chinese, HKID#]

I am writing to refer the above named for sexual reassignment surgery.

The above named started receiving psychiatric assessment in the psychiatric clinic of [name of hospital] since [year]. [He/She] diagnosed to have gender identity disorder and he is now undergoing real life experience for [number of years] years. [He/She] coped well in both social and work aspect and he/she has no other psychiatric co-morbiditiy. [He/She] was also assessed by clinical psychologist on [date] and commented to have adequate coping and psychological preparation for the coming procedures. He/She is now on own source of hormonal treatment for more than [number of years] years also.

Please kindly offer an appointment for assessment of sexual reassignment surgery.

 


[Hormonal Therapy Referral Letter (FtM) Sample]

To: Department of Medicine (Endocrine)

Dear Consultant in-charge,

Re: [Name of the patient in English and Chinese, HKID#] Reason for referral: Hormonal therapy

Thank you for seeing the above-named patient.

She has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder and does not suffer from any mood disorder, psychosis or there psychiatric illness.

She requests to receive testosterone injections in order to have a more male appearance. She would also like to receive injections to stop her menstruation (pending assessment by O&G for hysterectomy / sapling-oophorectomy).

She is fit for consent.

Please see her and offer her your expert assessment.

 


[SRS/Hormonal Therapy Referral Letter (FtM) Sample]

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: [Name of the patient in English and Chinese, HKID#]

I assessed the above-named patient on [date].

She has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder.

She does not suffer from any mood disorder, psychosis or other psychiatric illness.

She has been referred to the falling clinics at [hospital]:

- Endocrine (for consideration of testosterone injections)

- Gynaecology (for consideration of hysterectomy/salpingo-oophorectomy)

- Surgery (breast clinic) (for consideration of breast reduction)

 

 

跨性別家長手冊

A Handbook for Parents of Trans People

 

自序

距今剛剛三個年頭的2011年,跨性別資源中心剛開始做社群內的服務工作不久,組織經驗少,群體需求大,在沒資源沒經費的情況下,卻做出了不少成果。在那些年裡,大部分組織經費都是自己掏出來,反正錢不是很多,但精神心血及時間卻付出巨大,根本沒時間照顧自己的生活及收入來源。到最後發現銀行戶口裡沒錢,要把所持的股票賣掉時,才知道已經撐不下去了!

那時候的茫然與無助,到現在仍然歷歷在目。後經友人的指導,及借鑒其他組織的管理經驗,我們開始向相關的基金會尋求支持的可能性。香港政制及內地事務局轄下的「平等機會(性傾向)資助計劃」,是我們申請到的首個獲資助項目,只是計劃的限制大,錢少工作多,又不可以申報工資的支出,連稿酬也沒有,基本上比白做更慘!不過完成計劃後所吸收到的經驗卻是寶貴的。雖然承受著很大的壓力,但我們卻完成了一本在跨性別社群裡難得一見的,寫給普羅大眾閱讀的中文小冊子,也為大中華地區提供了一個有寶貴參考價值的文獻。

這一年,我又帶著天真爛漫的任性,為跨性別孩子的家長們寫下了這二萬字!字裡行間,我看見了不少自己以前經歷過的身影,曾踏遍的野地深谷,燈火欄柵處的孤寂,又再驀然刺痛了塵封的印象。走上這條路真的不易,或許……如果可以選擇的話,又會有多少人甘願赴難呢?感恩的是,靠著上帝我走到了今天,越過了重重難關,克服了種種困境,明白只要有盼望,憑著信念總能夠看見明天!

2014年的最後一日,新聞上發報了一名在美國俄亥俄州的17歲跨性別孩子,於12月28日清晨被一輛貨櫃車在公路上撞倒身亡,而她預設在網絡上發報的遺書中,道出了她在基督教家庭的壓力下,承受不了而選擇輕生,她希望自己的離去能夠喚醒社會對跨性別的關注,讓其他跨性別人士免受這樣的痛苦……

我流著淚看完了整篇報道,帶著沉重的心情寫完了這本小冊子,願上帝的愛與恩寵,臨到這些已經離開了我們的跨性別朋友,願 [1] TA 們在天上的靈,仍然能夠看見TA們的心願有天能夠達成,祝福我們那些可愛孩子所心愛的父母!誠心所願!

梁詠恩 Joanne Leung

跨性別資源中心創辦人兼主席

 

最近有學生問我,身邊有同志朋友,但不知道應該怎樣和TA相處,怕說錯了甚麼會讓TA不開心。我也曾經有過同樣的問題。

Joanne是我第一個認識的跨性別朋友。在認識她之前,因為興趣和工作,我讀了不少有關跨性別的書。但不管讀了多少書,遇到真正的跨性別朋友的時候,我和我的學生一樣的無措。在最初認識Joanne的時候,我和她相處都會特別「小心」,會擔心自己的無心之失會讓她感到不受尊重。除了一般朋友相處需要的禮貌,我會特別留心自己的用詞和舉動。 對自己最起碼的要求,是性別代名詞不要搞錯,必須尊重跨性別朋友選擇的性別稱呼(其實對每一個人,我們都應該養成這種尊重個人性別認同或不認同的基本禮貌,以對方的選擇為依歸)。其他的日常相處,作為朋友比較簡單,就是最基本的尊重和理解。十年相處下來,我和Joanne已經變成好朋友,也是性/別運動的好戰友。 將心比心,如果我是跨性別,我會希望別人怎樣對待我。我是本著這種原則,慢慢學習和跨性別朋友相處。

和我們每個人一樣,儘管是自己的孩子,父母也會不知道應該怎樣和跨性別子女相處。其實事情並不複雜,跨性別的朋友只是想做一個誠實的人。如果父母能夠理解TA們,相信雙方都能夠獲得更大的力量來面對世界。

金曄路 (Lucetta Kam)

性別研究學者

 

目錄

  • 引言
  • 導讀
  • 跨性別資源中心簡介
  • 性別的基本概念
  • 性別是什麼?
  • 跨性別是什麼?
  • 性別認同又是什麼?
  • 性傾向的概念
  • 間性人(Intersex)
  • 變性手術
  • 家長關心的問題 (Q&A)
    1. 如果懷疑子女是跨性別或同性戀,該怎樣做?
    2. 如果子女跟我說TA是跨性別或同性戀,該怎樣做?
    3. 如何分辨TA到底是跨性別還是同性戀?
    4. 這和我的教養或遺傳有關嗎?
    5. TA是被別人教壞的嗎?是因為受過傷害或童年陰影所至嗎?
    6. 為何TA對很多事情都過份敏感?很容易發脾氣?
    7. 跨性別是精神病嗎?
    8. 該怎樣與跨性別孩子溝通?
    9. 應該要TA找學校社工,或其他社工幫忙嗎?
    10. 以後該怎樣稱呼TA?
    11. 在親戚朋友面前怎樣面對TA的轉變?
    12. 該怎樣向親友中的小朋友解說?
    13. TA好像沒有考慮我們的感受及難處
    14. 溝通過之後關係變了,怎麼辦?
    15. TA什麼意見都不願意聽
    16. TA好像經常在變,是說謊嗎?
    17. 不能接受自己的性別,就必需要做變性手術嗎?
    18. 男孩子喜歡女裝打扮,女孩子男仔頭,都是同性戀嗎?
    19. 變性手術危險嗎?
    20. 變性手術會帶來身體的傷害嗎?
    21. 香港在那裡有變性手術做?要花很多錢嗎?
    22. 如需接受變性手術,應從何開始?
    23. 如果TA已結婚,甚至有小朋友,怎麼辦?
    24. 可以跟TA斷絕子女關係嗎?
    25. 我想TA暫時離開不和我們同住可以嗎?
    26. TA將來的人生會怎樣?
    27. TA會不會找不到工作?
    28. 跨別人士會不會很短命?
    29. 如果TA本來是男生,穿女裝出外會有問題嗎?
    30. TA應該去那一個洗手間?
    31. 如果TA要去與原生性別相反的洗手間會犯法嗎?
    32. 手術前出入境會有問題嗎?
  • 聽聽孩子們的心聲
  • 結語
  • 作者簡介

 

引言

跨性別及同性戀,在華人社會裡好一段時間都是禁忌。社會教導我們這些事連提都不應該提,甚至在很多人的心目中,會認為TA們根本不應該存在世上……TA們或許根本沒有真的存在過……

在現今的社會中,我們沒有去認知、理解、看見這一群人,但卻活生生地將TA們的人性和生命埋葬在所謂的大社會道德底下。恐懼,令我們把TA們深深地埋藏在黑暗之中,使TA們遊走在墳塋死地,不能活見天日。

我們相信中國人的傳統,但可笑的是,這些傳統很多時並不真正是我們中國的古聖先賢所遺留下來的文化瑰寶,而是在革命洗禮下、權力鬥爭與排斥中,被利用為排除異己的手段。我們需知道,傳統之所以成為傳統,必須經歷過革新與洗練,才成為今天的模樣,在這個革新與洗練的過程中,必然也經歷過無數的爭議與發展。傳統之價值在於承襲先賢之智慧及追思前人為我們所作的耕耘,以讓我們能夠效法其德行,給後人裨益,而並不是叫我們故守自封,更否定別人之改革。時移世易,我們若只懂守著傳統,不思更新變化,人類必然淪落,更枉了前人之心血。

記錄的科技與操控權,也掌控了我們閱讀及明白歷史的藍本框架。古代世界的歷史,沒有整全地被人類記錄下來,但遺留下的蛛絲馬跡,卻可讓我們重塑窺視歷史裡的時空。我們在閱讀古詩與文獻時,不難發現跨性別與同性戀並不是什麼新事物,也並不是什麼可恥之事。在世界各地裡帶給很多人生存盼望的聖經,被公認為教導愛與恕、接納與包容的基石,記載了多樣性的人倫關係,有大衛與約拿單的 摯愛戀慕,堪比中國的梁祝之戀,也有耶穌的家庭論,但卻被那些解釋聖經的權威篡改,被利用成為攻擊跨性別與同性戀者的武器。歷史遺留下來的紀錄,只是事實的片段及表像,我們並不能單看表面的文字,而忘卻了聖經的教導本意和精粹。

人類的智慧,在於愛、關係、溝通、傳遞、思考、論辯等。邏輯與哲學思維,幫助我們彰顯及承傳人類的文明,此為道德倫理的基奠,植根於我們的良心之上。願家長父母,與其跨性別/同性戀的孩子,能在愛的關係中,以智慧幫助孩子從困惑中找到出路!

 

導讀

作為父母家長,知道自己的孩子有別於人,且是性別上的疑問,心裡的感受的確難以言喻,既著急且痛心,百般滋味在心頭是自然而然的事。父母既疼愛子女,生怕TA會誤入歧途,害了一生,又可能會怪責自己教導無方,犯了什麼錯事。但很多時候,子女卻好像完全不能理解父母的心情,還會怪責父母不能理解及不接納,甚至可能反目成仇,以怨相對。當然,我們希望以上的情況,都不會發生在你的家人關係之中。

但父母與子女身處於不同的關注點上,面對著不盡相同的問題,有著不一樣的理解,期待著不一樣的結局,能夠互相體諒是蠻不容易的事。父母可能會以為這是子女自己的問題,TA應該弄清楚了解後才告訴家人。誰知TA可能費盡心思,還是一知半解,摸不著頭腦,但又壓抑不住,嘗盡了苦頭,也找不到出路,才會戰戰兢兢地告知TA最信任的父母,希望得到諒解與協助,並與TA一路同行。

子女所關心的,是TA自己的出路,怎樣獲得資源和途徑去實踐自己的願望,讓自己脫離所有人都不能理解,但卻苦不堪言的處境,有時候甚至想過了結自己的生命,卻害怕令父母痛心。而父母所關心的,是子女的將來,TA的下一代,TA的健康狀況,TA會否被歧視等等……還有自己作為父母,怎樣去跟其他家人、親戚朋友交代,如何面對指責與尷尬的場面等等。

這本手冊希望從父母的角度,去探討及解答一般作為跨性別家長通常會遇到的疑問,讓父母與子女重新建立互信的關係,從而一起走過難關,向著新的生命與挑戰進發。期望父母持開放客觀的態度,耐心看完這本手冊,及本系列的 [2] 第一冊《是非男女:本土跨性別閱讀手冊》。如需進一步協助,可於網站上查閱其他服務及資料,或聯絡本機構性別諮詢熱線查詢。

 

跨性別資源中心簡介

跨性別資源中心(Transgender Resource Center)簡稱TGR,成立於2008年7月1日,致力於推動香港及中國內地的跨性別運動,以教育為基礎出發,為社會人士及跨性別社群提供資訊及資源,幫助社會了解及加深認識跨性別議題,及讓跨性別人士得到應有之協助及權益。

TGR一直積極參與香港及內地各大專院校之教學分享,至今已舉辦及參與過二百多場的講座及工作坊。又於電台、電視台、雜誌、報紙等媒體接受訪問,將積極正面之跨性別身份呈現於公眾面前。組織亦一直與行政機關、醫療部門、法律機構、輔導團隊、基督教組織及其他服務機構等保持密切聯繫及合作。

組織主要工作分為社群服務、公眾教育及倡導工作三部份。社群服務包括舉辦每月聚會、朋輩支援小組、家長小組、輔導服務、熱線諮詢、網上外展、法律項目及愛滋病預防及教育項目。公眾教育包括有傳媒訪問、院校及機構分享、相關議題之研討會、出版工作、工作間平等機會項目、跨性別圖書館及跨性別電台節目。倡導工作主要涉及健康與醫療服務、政策及法律、社會接納與反歧視等等。

本會每月舉辦之聚會,讓跨性別人士有適當空間,發揮關顧互助之精神,又讓社會上對跨性別友善的人士,能夠有接觸及支援群體的渠道。

其他詳細資料請參閱組織網站 www.tgr.org.hk

 

性別的基本概念[3]

性別是什麼?

一般人會理所當然地認為性別只有男和女兩種,這個想法原則上似乎沒有問題,但我們可有想過在這個理所當然的背後,隱含著什麼問題?而我們日常的生活,又與性别有多少關連?到底性別是一種好處,還是麻煩?

「性別」這個名詞其實代表了不同層面的意義,這個名詞在英語,最基本可以翻譯成Sex和Gender。Sex即生理性別,而Gender是指除生理層面外,一個人於社會、生活和人際關係中,於性別區分的種種不同表達、呈現及感受等。而這些的區分很大程度上是經文化和傳統等演化及建構出來的,而非與生俱來的性别特質。我們日常生活中看見的性別,諸如外觀或衣著等,都不是生理性別。所以有學者認為性別是一種[4] 表演/操演,大部份都是從模仿中學習而成。

Gender亦可大致分為心理性別、社會性別及性別表達等。社會性別和心理性別,並不能單以男、女去釐定,大部份情況下,是以其功能性及特性去界定屬於男或者女,但卻存在著比比皆是的例外情況,若是以中國傳統「陰陽」的概念去理解其關係,可能更會易於讓人明白。

事實上生理性別(Sex)亦不能夠絕對地二分,在生物學裡,既存在著雄性和雌性,也有無性與雌雄同體的種類,主要看其繁殖所需要的因素及環境而決定。當然繁殖是物種得以保存的一個重大條件,但我們要明白世界上的物種都是多樣性的,繁衍只是該物種的其中一個功能而已,並非每個生命個體都必須經歷其繁衍過程。

 

跨性別是什麼?

跨性別(Transgender)英文簡寫為TG。最基本的定義,是任何人不接納或不認同自己的原生性別(出生時的性別),或社會賦予TA的性別規範,就可以算是跨性別者。其狀況可以呈現或表達於其對自身性別的心理認同、對身體的期望、社會性別身份、家庭角色、性行為模式、性別氣質表達、衣著等等……但並不是每一個符合以上定義的人,都會認同自己是跨性別者,我們需尊重個人對自己的身份認同,不可隨意將標籤貼在別人身上。一般估計人口中每300-500人就有一個是跨性別人士。

 

性別認同又是什麼?

性別認同(Gender Identity)指一個人心理上覺得或認同自己是什麼性別,一般人的性別認同跟其原生性別吻合,但跨性別人士卻出現不協調或沖突的情況。性別認同可以是「男」或者「女」,但也有不能認同這種二元分割的概念,形成一種性別模糊或[5] 流動的狀態。事實上,一般人或多或少都可能會在某些特質上,不能完全符合社會或是傳統賦予的[6] 性別規範,只是我們從小就被教導或被禁止逾越這些界線,而將這些特性全都隱藏起來。

 

性傾向的概念

性傾向指一個人會被什麼性別的人所吸引,一般人會在戀愛或性行為上,被異性所吸引,對於同性之間的關係,都只限於友誼。性傾向比較多人認識的是「異性戀」、「同性戀」及「雙性戀」。雙性戀是指某些人既會愛上異性,也可以愛上同性。但較前進的講法是其吸引對像中沒有性別的限制,所以理論上能夠吸引TA的條件,就是一個人這樣簡單,而這一類的性傾向稱為「泛性戀」。除了會被任何人吸引的泛性戀,當然也會有不被任何性別的人所吸引的「無性戀」。

一般粗略估計,人口中有10%是同性戀,但我們從來沒有辦法證實這個數字,除非社會包容到一個地步,能夠令大部份的非異性戀人士都願意表白自己的身份,我們才會知道社會上到底有多少不一樣的人群。

 

間性人(Intersex)

除了性別認同及性傾向外,世界上有一些人於出生的時候,身體就處於一個性別模糊的狀態。醫學上生理性別之區分,是基於第一性徵去判別,包括外生殖器、內生殖器及染色體。正常男性應擁有陰莖、龜頭、前列腺、陰囊、睾丸及染色體為XY。而女性則要有陰道、陰蒂、陰唇、輸卵管、卵巢、子宮及染色體為XX。如果一個人出生時並非單單是其中的一種完整狀況,或同時擁有部分男性及女性的性器官,TA就是一位間性人,或稱為雙性人、中性人、雌雄同體等等,間性人的英文簡寫為IS。但到底怎樣才算是完整的生殖器官?例如多長的陰莖才算是正常,醫學上還未有一個定論。

一般估計在500-5000人當中便有一個是間性人,平均約2000位出生嬰孩便可能有一位。以往有很多新生的間性嬰兒,在父母的同意下被醫生施行了矯正手術,令他們在童年便承受了不少身心傷害,部份長大後更可能因無法適應或認同自己被賦予的性別而出現性別焦慮,在父母坦言後,或在詳細檢查下才被發現。

近代在間性人權益組織的推動下,有部份國家已容許父母讓嬰兒保留不明確的性別,到長大後才讓TA自己決定怎樣處理,而有部份間性人會選擇保留模糊的性別繼續生活下去,有部份則會選擇以外科手術矯正,以重新決定自己的性別。

間性人與跨性別者之間,有很多很類似的處境和困難,雙方也同樣是在性別上處於模糊的狀態,而產生許多困惑與焦慮。但其原發性卻是基於兩個完全不一樣的概念,間性人在於身體結構與染色體上的模糊不一致狀態,而跨性別卻是身體結構及染色體完整,但與大腦接受性別的認同,呈現了模糊或不協調狀態。事實上有部份認同為跨性別的人士,經檢驗後被發現本身為間性人。而有部份的間性人,亦需要面對其性別的認同問題,甚至需要以手術重置或逆轉性別。

 

變性手術

比較正式的寫法是[7] 「性別重置手術」或「性別重建手術」,英文為 Sex (Gender) Reassignment Surgery,一般簡寫為SRS。指的是一項以外科手術將性器官重建為另一個性別,使當事人在外觀及功能上盡量接近其期望(相反)的性別。在本港暫時只有公立醫院施行該項手術,進行手術前需獲得精神科醫生及心理科專家的評估報告確定適合接受手術,評估過程一般需要歷時最少2至4年,經由多個不同專科的醫生進行診斷及治療,以確保其心理、生理狀況均適宜及有必要進行變性手術。關於約見評估程序的詳細資料,請參閱本機構網站。

 

家長關心的問題 (Q&A)

1) 如果懷疑子女是跨性別或同性戀,該怎樣做?

其實跨性別或是同性戀,很多時候也沒法從外表或行為辨認出來,男孩子比較女性化或女孩子比較男性化,也不一定是跨性別或是同性戀,亦不一定會在性別認同或性傾向出現與一般人不一樣的狀況。

建議以較開放的態度,多跟子女談論性與性別的議題,很多時候學校的教導並不足夠,也讓TA難於啟齒發問。孩子們內心對很多性方面的議題都可能存有疑問,希望得到解答及嘗試探索。正確及正面的討論會幫忙TA發展出合適的性別取態,儘量避免將社會刻板的性別意識硬套於子女身上,這樣更會容易令TA承受不必要的壓迫以至身心受創。

一般孩童於成長期,都會經歷不同階段的性別認知及探索歷程,陪伴TA以開放的態度安全地探索,總比禁止TA去做某些事更為有效,很多時越被禁止就會越挑起TA去嘗試的心態。如果真的確定TA是跨性別或同性戀,在現今的社會裏也並非沒有出路,事實上有很多成功人士也是同志,問題在於能否正面去對待TA的性別認同或性傾向,讓TA健康成長,獲得最快樂的人生。(請繼續耐心閱讀其餘的解答)

 

2) 如果子女跟我說TA是跨性別或同性戀,該怎樣做?

責罵並不是解決的方法,但也不需要勉強自己立刻接納,正確的做法是嘗試耐心引導TA說出更多的心底話,以了解其處境及狀況,再陪伴TA尋求合適的協助及出路。這段時間是建立互信最重要過程,有了互信,才能夠有良好的溝通;有了溝通,才能夠陪伴及幫助TA處理背後TA可能正在承受的更多問題。要明白TA因著對你的關懷及信任,才願意向你分享TA隱藏已久的秘密,而絕對不是因為任性與無知。如果TA真的是任性無知,就更不可能會向父母坦白了。

在初步溝通過後,可以嘗試跟TA一起搜尋及了解這方面的資訊,但不要太過主動提出意見或強迫TA盡快改變,免得TA承受不了壓力而放棄跟你的溝通。近代不同的研究也發現,性別認同與及性傾向基本上是很難,甚至沒有辦法改變。不少一直反對跨性別及同性戀的團體,近數年也不再聲稱可以改變這方面的傾向,轉移要TA們禁止這方面的慾望,但卻帶來種種負面的影響,小則令TA們活得不快樂,有些會選擇離開家庭,部份嚴重者更會出現精神壓力問題,甚或了結了自己的生命。

我們對父母的忠告是:「你寧願失去一位心愛的孩子,要TA一生也活在不快樂中,還是接納TA,陪伴TA去尋找自己的快樂?」

 

3) 如何分辨TA到底是跨性別還是同性戀?

跨性別是關乎TA自己的性別認同,TA自己是什麼性別。同性戀指的是TA傾慕的對象為同性,是性傾向的問題。這兩個基本上是不同的概念,沒有必然的關係。跨性別可以是同性戀也可以是異性戀,同性戀一般不會想改變性別。當然兩者所面對的處境與問題會有所不同,處理的方法也有所差異,我們應尊重TA對自己身份的理解,不應以第三者的角度去企圖辨別。

 

4) 這和我的教養或遺傳有關嗎?

沒證據顯示性別認同及性傾向與環境因素或遺傳有關,當然我們並不能完全排除有這方面的可能性,但眾多研究報告指出,這樣的傾向是難以改變的。我們不想糾纏於是否天生這個問題上,因為天生與否,也要正面地去面對這個問題,重點是為TA找尋出路,讓TA活得更好,免受社會不必要的歧視。

當中也有極少部份有性別焦慮的孩子,其實是間性人(Intersex),也稱為雙性人,即天生的生理性別上不完全是男或女。但由於出生時性別的錯亂並不明顯,以致未被發現。這些孩子在長大後,有可能會出現性別的不協調,於性別焦慮上的狀況與跨性別者有相類似的地方。如身體上並沒有出現嚴重不正常情況,並不需要過份擔心,因為此種狀況,大約在500-5000人口當中,才會出現一個。如有疑問,可自行安排到醫院作詳盡身體檢查。

 

5) TA是被別人教壞的嗎?是因為受過傷害或童年陰影所至嗎?

世界各地近幾十年的研究與試圖改變,都似乎證實性別認同及性傾向是難以扭轉的,所以基本上是有沒辦法去教導成為一個跨性別或同性戀。雖然有部份比較保守的心理學家,會認為性別的差異,很多都是由童年傷害所造成,而有部份同志的確曾在童年遇上過一些負面的遭遇。但有理由相信,這些遭遇,極其量只會引發起當事人去發現,或提早發現自己的認同與性向,而並不會因此而將其改變。

 

6) 為何TA對很多事情都過份敏感?很容易發脾氣?

我們需要明白TA過往可能承受過很大的壓力,從小成長面對過無數的性別掙扎,只是父母沒有察覺而已,而TA自己也害怕及不懂得表達。漸漸地,TA會為自己建立了一個防禦機制,為了保護自己,TA會將自己隱藏起來,開始不相信身邊的任何人,覺得沒有人能夠明白及理解TA,很容易會被別人傷害。

所以有部份跨性別或同性戀的孩子,會比較孤僻、不愛說話、不愛與人溝通。有部份則會像過度活躍般不停說話,意圖掩飾自己的性別傾向。TA很容易會對某些詞語或評論有過度反應,例如「女人型」、「同性戀」、「搞基」、「男人婆」等等……

 

7) 跨性別是精神病嗎?

自1966年起首個對變性欲者進行有系統研究及定義的醫生[8] Harry Benjamin,發表了名為“The Transsexual Phenomenon”(變性欲現像)一書,所有渴望改變性別,或欲通過外科手術改變性別的人士都被歸類為「性別認同障礙」的精神疾病。但事實上,接近半個世紀的研究與臨床診治,都沒辦法以任何精神或心理疾病的醫治方法,去改善TA們的痛苦狀況。只有以整形外科手術,矯正其身體結構,達至為當事人期望得到之狀況及更改性別,其焦慮及可能有的其他症狀便得以大幅度甚至完全改善。

這一群人長久以來被精神科醫生主宰著TA們的身份認同過程,與更改性別的權利。直到近代,跨性別社群內越來越多人站出來為自己發聲,試圖要奪回為自己決定命運及定義的權利,這個社群的狀況及需要,才真正被較多人看見及了解。自此,世界各地的醫學權威,紛紛對「性別不協調」的狀況作出重新定義,企圖將「性別認同障礙」從精神病學中剔除,而將所有因為社會的不接納而導至的精神焦慮狀況定義為「性別焦慮」,並將其納入在心理及精神病學裡面。由於部份跨性別及渴望進行變性手術的人士,需要不同程度的醫療介入或服務,所以國際上仍較偏向將「性別不協調」保留在病理學名冊當中,但至於屬於那一類病學仍有待專家仔細討論。

 

8) 該怎樣與跨性別孩子溝通?

要幫助跨性別孩子,先要獲得TA的信任,可能要暫時容忍一些可能出現的過度反應、突然而來的情緒或性格上的轉變。如需尋求合適的協助,可聯絡本會,我們會提供相關資料、輔導、支援及轉介。切忌隨便聽別人意見尋找或諮詢不適合的精神或心理科專家,強迫TA去接受診斷及改變。暫時不能夠接受不等於要責罵,耐心聆聽也不等於你會助長了TA的行為。溝通是需要耐性及愛心的,TA自己可能仍未完全弄清楚自己的狀況,也可能會擔心父母不能接受而感到難以啟齒。鼓勵TA表達內心的感受,勇於接納自己的狀況,積極尋找出路是最有效的溝通途徑。

 

9) 應該要TA找學校社工,或其他社工幫忙嗎?

如果有合適的社工跟進,當然會較容易幫助TA,及改善與你的關係。但首要條件,是那位社工能否以沒有歧視的眼光對待TA的特殊狀況,及以專業的態度進行整個輔導過程。學校社工由於與學生保持一個密切的關係,好的方面就是能夠更了解及切合TA的需要。但危險的地方,是一旦該社工在輔導過程中表現出不專業的操守或歧視行為,甚至將TA的身份洩露了給學校裡的其他人或同學知道,那將會是一個很嚴重的災難。所以在嘗試求助於學校社工前,請先與子女商量,得到TA的同意,並了解該社工的可信程度才作決定。不然,可以找外間一些跨性別及同志友善的社工或輔導員尋求協助,本手冊內提供了一些可靠的機構及聯絡資料,也可直接選用本組織的輔導服務。

但若然TA對社工的協助有所保留,就不要太過勉強,可鼓勵TA參與一些跨性別及同志友善機構或青年服務中心的活動,這些機構一般也有專業的社工能夠協助TA建立自信,從而了解及面對自己的前路。我們也建議父母參與本組織或其他中心的家長小組,與其他有相同情況的家長多作交流,及認識其他跨性別朋友,從TA們的口中,了解更多自己孩子不敢向你訴說的秘密。

 

10) 以後該怎樣稱呼TA?

TA可能會表達希望得到一個新的稱呼,但父母有TA們的考慮和難處,不會很容易就能夠接受TA的新性別。我們建議可與孩子商討這方面的問題,希望TA能夠明白大家都需要時間去適應,尋找一個雙方都覺得合適的辦法,例如以一個比較中性的中文或英文名字稱呼TA,減少以「阿女」、「大佬」等帶有強烈性別色彩的字眼,以避免大家都覺得尷尬的情況發生。

 

11) 在親戚朋友面前怎樣面對TA的轉變?

若你未能完全理解或接納TA的轉變而覺得尷尬,這是完全沒有問題的。當親戚朋友問及TA的性別或感情狀況時,你大可回答正在與TA一同面對及處理性別上的疑惑。如大家繼續追問,你可表達你們都在承受一定的壓力,禮貌地邀請大家不需過分擔心,如有合適的資訊亦歡迎提供給你。

若果你能欣然地接受TA的改變,及準備與TA同行,你可簡單正面地回答親戚朋友的查詢,說TA正考慮作出人生重大改變,然後簡單地略述TA的現時的情況,相信親戚朋友不會太難接受。若有難堪的情況出現,就禮貌地請TA們尊重所作的決定,讓你們有多一點的空間及時間去處理及尋找出路,有機會的話,可提供一些相關的資料給TA們閱讀,以明白你們的處境。

 

12) 該怎樣向親友中的小朋友解說?

其實很多時候小朋友的接受及適應能力遠比成年人還高,只是成年人覺得尷尬,難以啟齒,而小朋友反而沒有太多這方面的包袱。在大多數的情況下,只要簡單地說明TA的改變,例如:「從現在開始不要叫表哥,要叫表姐了」、「表姐遲下見醫生,將來要變為你表哥了」,如果小朋友再繼續追問,也可直接說明TA將會做變性手術。

 

13) TA好像沒有考慮我們的感受及難處

TA在面對自己的性別疑惑過程中,掙扎了好一段時間,已經筋疲力竭。再要想怎樣面對父母這個難關,可能一下子沒法周詳地考慮到父母的感受及需要。只要你先聆聽了解TA的完整故事,讓TA放下心頭大石,然後再說出作為父母的擔憂及顧慮,相信在互相諒解的溝通中,一定能夠找到出路。無論如何TA也是你們的孩子,你們也是TA的父母,多一點的耐心是必需的。

 

14) 溝通過之後關係變了,怎麼辦?

那可能因為TA覺得你未能夠完全了解TA的情況,或是你的反應讓TA覺得擔心,以至未能夠完全信任你,或擔心傷害了你,所以寧願暫時停止或減少溝通。建議你不妨向TA解釋,縱然你未能夠完全理解和接受,但仍然願意與TA同行,陪伴TA去找尋出路,希望TA給你多一點的時間與耐性。

 

15) TA什麼意見都不願意聽

有時候並不是TA什麼意見也不願意聽,而是TA的防衛機制還未解除,某一類的意見會令TA顯得非常焦慮,背後可能存在著一些TA以前的經歷或一些假設,這種情況在第三者看來是難以理解的,但對TA來說可能是很冒險的方法。我們需要有意識地去讓TA安心,在選擇任何幫助途徑時,也應特別照顧TA的需要。

建議要循序漸進,先從知識層面着手,最好不要一開始就強迫TA去看醫生或吃藥。雖然合適的信仰啟導,有機會會幫助TA更正面去面對困難,但也不要強迫,一旦處理不當,情況就會不堪設想。加強父母自己在這方面的知識是非常重要的,最初是很難分別什麼是好與不好的資訊,所以不妨多看一點不同渠道而來的資料,然後再與TA一同討論尋求合適的幫助,也不要以為TA不會懂事,而不去細心聆聽TA想表達的意見。

 

16) TA好像經常在變,是說謊嗎?

在性別與性向的探索過程中,免不了會有新發現和轉變。TA可能從未想像過能夠有機會決定自己的性別,在這個過程中,TA會不斷發現自己的不同取向與可能性,有時候會為發現到一種與TA很相似的狀況而興奮不已,但及後,又可能會看見很多不吻合的地方而會感到十分沮喪。TA在發現自己及告訴別人的過程中,會大起大落。會因為一個人的接納,覺得人生充滿意義,也可能會因為一個人的誤解或歧視,覺得沒有人會接納TA。我們應體諒TA的反覆與轉變,鼓勵TA繼續勇敢去發現自己更多的需要。

 

17) 不能接受自己的性別,就必需要做變性手術嗎?

跨性別者並不一定不接納自己的性別,TA可能會對所有,或者部份性別二分的規範,有不同程度的反感、焦慮、衝突或拒絕。這些矛盾可能來自不同的社會性別區分,例如氣質、表達、穿著、身份、稱謂、工作等等,又或者來自TA本身的生理反應及身體狀況,如青春期、經期、性反應、身高、體毛等等。TA有可能對其中一項或多項出現不同程度的反應,輕則會偶爾不安,嚴重者可以導至極度焦躁或有輕生念頭。對於身體構造出現極度不安的跨性別者,變性手術很可能是TA們的其中一個出路,而對於其他不同狀況的跨性別孩子,則需從不同的途徑去幫助TA面對性別上的矛盾。

事實上,有不少的跨性別者並不一定或並不需要以手術去改變身體的狀況。每個人的需要也不一樣,有些人不能接受自己的身體性徵,有些人[9] 只希望以另一個性別去生活,而有些人可能只是不希望在男女二分的性別定型下過活。

 

18) 男孩子喜歡女裝打扮,女孩子男仔頭,都是同性戀嗎?

不同的性別表達,與TA會愛上什麼性別的人,是沒有直接關係的。跨性別者當中有異性戀、同性戀,也有雙性戀,而單純的同性戀者一般不會討厭及想改變自己的性別。在性別表達上比較女性化或男性化,也不一定是跨性別或同性戀,事實上,有很多的所謂「正常人」,也不一定很Man或者溫柔嫻淑。人們經常講的所謂正常,其實是大家約定俗成地認為應該是這樣吧了。

 

19) 變性手術危險嗎?

變性手術是一項複雜的大型外科手術,需要進行一次至數次全身或局部麻醉,但一般而言危險性不高。在香港要進行變性手術,必須要通過一個嚴謹的評估過程,需時最少2至4年。醫生在評估過程中,會衡量當事人是否有必要及合適進行變性手術,也會衡量風險問題,暫時在香港及其他地區未有聽聞過因接受變性手術而死亡的個案,部份人士於手術後會出現輕微的後遺症狀需要再入院跟進,嚴重的情況並不多見。

 

20) 變性手術會帶來身體的傷害嗎?

每一項外科手術,也會存在一定風險及對身體的侵入性。考慮進行任何手術的原則是,該手術是否能夠令當事人獲得更優質的生活,以及TA所承受的風險程度。若手術前的評估過程做得妥當,一般變性手術都會為當事人帶來非常正面的效果。當然除了手術外,也必需配合手術前後的其他情緒、心理及新生活適應等方面的輔導,讓其盡快融入及面對因新身份而出現的挑戰。

 

21) 香港在那裡有變性手術做?要花很多錢嗎?

在香港有部份公立分區醫院設有手術前的評估,之後會安排到外科手術部門進行變性手術,詳情請向本會查詢。一般香港永久性居民,於完成整個評估並獲得精神科及心理科的證明信件後,於香港公立醫院進行變性手術,只需付住院費、雜費、及其他額外費用,手術費用會由政府補貼,總金額大概是千多至數千元港幣。

有部份人會選擇到其他國家進行手術,主要原因是信心或期望得到的效果之考慮。香港在變性手術上相對於東南亞國家並非先進,但尚算完善。國外進行手術的費用大概由港幣8萬至30萬不等,視乎不同的醫院及項目而定。香港醫院一般只會為變性者進行有限度的輪廓及喉結改善手術,以讓TA能夠易於融入新的生活,但若對樣貌外觀有特別要求的,會選擇到國外接受手術。但國外醫院一般不會有詳盡的評估過程,建議應在香港先完成評估及賀爾蒙治療,再選擇往其他國家施行手術。

 

22) 如需接受變性手術,應從何開始?

變性手術之心理評估,本地暫時仍由精神科負責,當事人需要先取得普通科醫生的轉介信,再交該區轄下醫院精神科排期,一般需時約半年至一年或以上時間。由於程序經常有變,請參閱本會網站,如需協助可直接聯絡本會或其他相關機構。在決定約見醫生之前,我們亦建議當事人及其家人,先與本會或相關機構聯絡,以便了解更多,也可於過程中有同路人及其他專業人員的協助。

 

23) 如果TA已結婚,甚至有小朋友,怎麼辦?

相信TA選擇這個時候去面對,一定有TA的難處。這並不代表TA不愛TA的伴侶及孩子,只是TA承受的壓力,可能已經到達了一個臨界點,自己一個人已沒法去面對及找尋出路。若是能夠讓TA與其家人一起去面對這個問題,TA會更容易及有信心度過這個難關。

若然TA只希望間中穿著異性服裝,及表達自己期望的性別認同,只要家人願意接納,基本上不會影響整個家庭的日常生活狀況,更可能因中間的溝通與接納,而令大家的關係因此而變得更加密切及關愛。若是TA期望改變自己的性別,而TA的伴侶及子女也願意接納,跟據香港現行法律,TA可選擇保持夫妻的關係,而TA自己的性別也可以更改,子女的關係亦沒有改變。一家人只要互相支持,去面對將來生活帶來的改變,結果並不一定會是負面!群體中事實上有不少很正面的類似情況,家人關係於其中一位成員改變性別之後反而變得更加融洽。

 

24) 可以跟TA斷絕子女關係嗎?

如果這是你的意願,當然沒有人能夠阻止。但關係可以斷絕,血緣及親情卻不會因此而改變。我們期望能夠幫助父母與子女建立良好溝通,互相體諒及理解,從而找到出路。我們相信,因著愛,總會有明天!

 

25) 我想TA暫時離開不和我們同住可以嗎?

如果父母暫時未能夠接受孩子的狀況,感到難受與沮喪,這也是其中一個能夠讓大家各自冷靜,有空間重新思考及處理面前問題的一個處理方案。最重要的是在大家都冷靜的情況下,說清楚大家的意願,從而商討怎樣去作出安排。分開生活以後,應由其中部份家庭成員作為溝通的橋樑,或邀請TA間中回家吃飯,讓雙方在安全的範圍下,仍然能夠保持關係,再等待機會克服困難。

 

26) TA將來的人生會怎樣?

若是TA不需要改變性別,或變性後選擇公開自己的變性身份,TA所需要面對的問題相對會較一般人為多。但隨着社會的進步及改變,跨性別及同性戀者所需要面對的困難已比從前為小,甚至會獲得更多的支持與幫助,朋友數目亦不會因此而相對地減少。只要TA有正面的思想及積極的人生,活得快樂,健康成長,將來的成就可以比一般人更大。而因着TA所面對自己的性別疑惑,獲得的接納與包容,TA可能更會容易與人相處,更有愛心,從而更有利於將來人生的發展。朋輩的支持也是非常重要,有同路人在身邊,能夠讓TA感到被認同及有傾訴的途徑。(如需認識其他跨性別朋友,可聯絡本會或其他相關機構)

對變性人來說,若通過適當的評估程序,與及組織的協助,有足夠的心理素質與預備,應付性別轉變的過程應該沒有太大的問題。而在評估過程中的賀爾蒙治療及真實生活體驗,會讓TA較易融入至另一個性別。女跨男的變性人在使用賀爾蒙一段時間之後,聲線及外觀都會變得非常男性化,一般融入是沒有問題的。而男跨女則需在適當指導下鍛煉儀態與聲線,基本上也足夠應付日常的生活,亦有部份人士會選擇進行面部輪廓整型與聲帶手術,讓自己有足夠信心投入新的環境。性別轉換後在工作及生活上,大致上與一般人無異。

成年人於青春期過後骨架身高與聲線都已經發展成熟,有部份人可能會因外觀比較高大或矮細而於性別轉變時遇到困難,所以理論上是越年青開始進行轉換效果越好。但未成年的跨性別孩子能否有自決權及成熟程度去改變性別,是很難有一致的定論。歐美國家對這方面的討論及經驗比香港先進,已有案例嘗試延緩跨性別孩子的青春期發展,以讓TA成年後有更優越的生理條件進行性別轉換。也有父母與專家及孩子一同進行深度的追蹤與探索,去肯定TA能夠適應將來的轉變。

 

27) TA會不會找不到工作?

在香港有很多國際企業、大型機構、以及政府部門,均有同志及跨性別友善的員工政策,更有鼓勵員工表達這方面的性向,以增強TA們的投入感與工作表現。所以積極向上、有能力的人,是不愁找不到工作及晉升機會的,前途亦無可限量。現在越來越多大企業的高層,也紛紛公開自己作為同志的身份,並得到公司與同事的支持。

而學校、個別僱主、公共服務,以至社會大眾的接納事實上更為重要,香港廿多年來有不同的人士及團體,以及平等機會委員會一直致力推動將性傾向及性別認同([10] SOGI)納入現行的「反歧視法」中,可惜社會上有部份極為保守的人士,一直以各種手段反對。要推動一個公平接納、沒有歧視的社會,家人的支持是極其重要的。

 

28) 跨別人士會不會很短命?

沒有證據顯示跨性別人士的壽命會比一般人短,這些傳聞指的應該是泰國俗稱「人妖」的跨性別或變性人。據說TA們因表演或特殊工作需要,長期服用大劑量荷爾蒙,以保持女性化的體態及美貌,卻又使用其它藥物,令TA們的男性性器官保持功能正常,以至TA們的身體狀況出現沖突及超出負荷,而引致壽命比較短的說法。一般跨性別使用賀爾蒙的劑量並不高,如在醫生指引下服用,及定期檢查身體,並不容易引發嚴重的健康問題。值得注意的是「人妖」這個名詞帶有貶義,應避免引用在跨性別或變性人身上。

 

29) 如果TA本來是男生,穿女裝出外會有問題嗎?

香港並沒有法例禁止穿着異性服裝,女生穿着男裝當然沒有問題,男生穿着女裝亦沒有違法,就算遇上警察查身份證,只要說明自己的跨性別狀況,一般也不會遇上太大問題。

最麻煩的問題,可能是要選擇去那一個洗手間及更衣室,或途人的異樣目光。近年香港市民對於性別意識比較開放,遇上穿着異性服裝的人士,一般只會多看一兩眼就繼續過路,若不是有特別的古怪行徑、奇裝異服、影響或騷擾他人的行為,遇上麻煩的機會應該不大。當然,TA自己也要提高警覺,懂得保護,不應單獨前往幽靜或危險的地方,又或者參與一些不安全的活動。

 

30) TA應該去那一個洗手間?

正式來說,TA應該根據自己身份證上的性別,去合適的洗手間。若是已經進入評估過程,得到醫生的允許進行「真實生活體驗」,即當事人需要全天候二十四小時以另一性別生活,以讓TA能夠容易適應將來的生活。在此期間,醫生會發給TA一封證明書,讓TA按照期望的性別,進入合適的洗手間及更衣室。但證明書並沒有實質法律作用,只是當有問題出現時,可以比較容易解釋,以免麻煩,所以TA本身仍須小心自己的行為有沒有影響別人。

如果還未得到醫生證明的人士,要TA根據原生性別進入洗手間,問題可能更加嚴重,其中一個比較折衷的方法,就是選擇使用「殘疾人士專用洗手間」,或無分性別的設施。

 

31) 如果TA要去與原生性別相反的洗手間會犯法嗎?

進入異性洗手間被警方檢控的情況,一般會引用刑事罪行條例200章160條的遊蕩罪控告當事人。其重點為在公眾地方出現,而導致其他人合理地擔心本身的安全或利益,即屬犯罪,一經定罪,可被判處監禁2年。所以,基本上如果沒有令其他人感到擔心,或影響別人的情況下,應不屬違法。

關於進入更衣室的情況,香港法律之《公眾衞生及市政條例》(第132章)第7條標題 「成年人不得進入分配給異性使用的更衣室」,注明:超過8歲或身高超過1.35米的人不得進入保留給異性使用的更衣室或其他隔室內。所以無論意圖是怎樣,也屬違法。

以上的情況若被發現,又在沒有醫生或其他充份證明下,就算本身沒有意圖犯法,也會遇上不必要的麻煩,小則需要到警局落案,大則會被檢控,甚或留有案底。跨性別者如真的有需要使用相反性別之洗手間,又沒有醫生證明,應要有其他性別與欲使用之洗手間相符的朋友陪伴下使用,會較為安全。

 

32) 手術前出入境會有問題嗎?

根據現時的香港法例,變性人需要完成政府訂定的完整變性手術後,才可以更改身份證上之性別,而所有由香港入境處及中旅社簽發的旅遊證件,均需以香港身份證上之性別作依據。所以於手術前出入境,旅遊證件上顯示之性別,可能會與TA表達的性別不一致,或許會因過關檢查時,官員在確認證件持有人為同一人時出現問題或尷尬情況。若香港居民持智能身份證過電子通道,則可避免問題發生,往中國內地部份口岸也可以相同方法處理。

如在香港或一般歐美國家出入境,只要稍花時間解釋清楚,證明旅遊證件的持有人是自己,因未進行變性手術以至性別一欄未能夠更改,一般也不會出現太大問題。有部份跨性別人士為了免卻麻煩,會於出入境時作特別打扮,以符合證件上顯示之性別而避免尷尬情況出現。

另一個辦法是更換新的旅遊證件,並提供一張較接近現時性別的照片,但避免過份濃妝豔抹或做作,以免申請時被拒。

如有其他國家[11] 護照,而該國家法例容許未進行變性手術人士更換證件上之性別,也可考慮先行申請更改,以方便出外旅遊或公幹。

 

聽聽孩子們的心聲

孩子永遠是父母的寵兒……母親懷胎十月,父親看著寶寶呱呱落地,子女一步一步成長,父母所有的心血都送給了TA們的小王子小公主了!看著寶寶長大的那些片段,是永遠沒法磨滅的,孩子在父母的腦海裡就好像長不大一樣,永遠都是TA們的心肝寶貝要受呵護。

相反地,孩子對童年的記憶只是依稀隱約,在TA印象中,可能根本沒有與父母一同經歷那段奇妙旅程的痕跡,在TA認知裡,或許知道曾經發生過這樣的事,但就完全沒法跟父母心目中的體驗相結連。當孩子開始有獨立思想後,一般都不能理解為何父母會樣樣都管,卻又很難花耐性去聽聽自己的心聲……

家長們……你們的孩子正在呼喚……TA的難過,TA的吶喊,你們都聽到了嗎?

 

「我很想跟我最愛的媽媽分享我的難過,但我真的怕會傷害她……」

 

「我真的盡了力,我也很想改變啊!被人歧視的感覺好痛苦,我真的好想自己是個正常人!」

 

「您不知道!您根本不知道我每次洗澡的時候、換衣服的時候,看到鏡子都要躲起來!走進廁所也要低著頭,好像我做錯了什麼一樣!」

 

「我花了二十幾年去改變自己!您說我沒有盡力?人都快崩潰了!還想我可以怎樣?」

 

「您寧願您的女兒變成了兒子,還是永遠無左個女丫?」

 

「我並不怕死,我只是怕妳傷心!怕我再沒辦法照顧妳,所以我才撐下去!媽……但我真的怕我再撐不了多久……」

  

「我真的希望我沒有出生過!對不起,我辜負了您們!」

  

「爸媽,我真的很害怕!我不是一定要這樣,只是我一個人真的不知道可以怎樣面對!您們可以陪我一起去找出路嗎,給我點擁抱嗎?」

  

「您是我這個世界上最信任、最愛的人,想不到您還沒聽完我的話,就……」

  

「媽,需然我不知道我將來長大後會怎樣,但我知道,妳的愛讓我有力量去克服一切的困難!多謝妳,媽咪!」

  

「我知道您們都受了很多苦,但您們還是這樣無私的去接受我!我會加油的!不會白白浪費您們的愛!」

  

「性別?如果世上沒有性別多好……」

  

結語

天地博大,萬物有序;周而復始,生生不息。天地從其律而行其中,萬物以其類聚而繁衍。律深且奧妙,不為人知;類廣而繁複,非為人辨。世人遂將此奧繁之道簡而約之,讓民得以知之;分而別之,則吾輩可以辨之。奈何日久,後人愚以奉之天地真理,妄自殘害別己異士,乃歧視也。

身為中華兒女,我們深受著中國傳統文化的價值薰陶,面對著自己與別不同的孩子,很容易就會不知所措,害怕TA們會在這個物競天擇的社會裡活不來!但適者生存之道,並不是叫我們依循所謂的傳統而一成不變。相反,傳統告訴我們在物競天擇之下,更要不斷求變求出路。

很多人以為真理就是唯一,所以便將唯一以外的種種可能性都定勝為「錯」。事實上,永恆一直在變幻中發展,真理不斷在驅動著人類邁前。那些堅持真理唯一的人,實在是沒膽量求變求真,沒勇氣走出自己的安全網,遂以恐嚇手段,讓其他人以為離開原地就是離經背道,天理不容,實際是己所不欲,乃施於人。

性別中之男女二分,很多人也以為是上天賜下之物種繁衍定律。但首先我們要明白物種之得以繁衍,並不需要所有個體都予以實踐。事實上自然界裡充滿著不一樣的繁衍及生存模式,才得以成為整全的生態大環境。但當社會裡的激進道德批判者在指責跨性別及同性戀時,好多時候都會說TA們是違反自然,而當論到自然界裡也有此類情況,TA們就會說人類不是野獸,不可以相提並論。試問如此的無理辯駁,又如何可以去辯思中國人的傳統道德倫理?

中國古賢智慧中的太極觀,道出了宇宙構成之奧秘。《易傳》有曰:「易有太極,是生兩儀。兩儀生四象,四象生八卦。」。太極圖中分為黑白二色,代表陰陽兩方,天地兩部。白中黑點代表陽中有陰,黑中白點代表陰中有陽,外邊的正圓代表宇宙無限大之意。太極講求陰陽互配,無邊無界,變幻無窮,才是宇宙生成之道,萬物也基於此理。再者《易經.系辭上傳》第五章:「一陰一陽之謂道,繼之者善也,成之者性也。」,其語義爲:一陰一陽的運行變化稱之為道,人從天道變化中得到了善,人性使天道賦予人的這種善得到完成和顯現。成之,是說人秉受天道之善是通過人性來實現的。

我們能否在男和女之間,找到讓不同需要的人活得更好的方法?我們能否去學習聆聽和接納一些我們未知未明的事物,就全靠人世間的大愛。

僅將此書獻給天下間之父母!

Joanne Leung 梁詠恩

跨性別資源中心主席

 

性別是上天賦予人類的一份恩賜,一份自由活躍的真我表達。我們應該為到那勇敢探索性別的人而高興,為到了TA們的重新發現而雀躍!

梁詠恩@2014聖誕節

 

作者簡介

Joanne出生於香港,原生性別為男,經歷了四十多年的身份掙扎,終於在2009年於香港進行了性別轉換手術,正式將所有身份證明文件更改為女性,但仍堅持接納自己的跨性別身份及愛女性的情慾,努力於跨性別群體內做支援工作,亦經常與政府及醫療機關商討及處理有關跨性別人士之支援方案。現為跨性別資源中心主席、粉紅同盟副主席、香港政制及內地事務局消除歧視性小眾諮詢小組成員,及香港愛滋病顧問局核下之愛滋病社區論壇成員。

2006年起一直積極參與香港各大學院之性別課堂分享及媒體訪問,將積極正面之跨性別及同志基督徒身份呈現於公眾面前。2008年成立跨性別資源中心並任主席至今,活躍於中、港、台兩岸三地同志權益運動。

Joanne於2012年被香港Baccarat時尚生活雜誌評選為「四十五位四十五歲以下令香港帶來改變的人士」,2014年獲HER Fund頒授首屆「她。敢於改變」奬獎項,同年於聯合國日內瓦CEDAW會議發言,反映香港跨性別及同性戀之歧視狀況,為首位華人以跨性別身份發言。

作者:Joanne Leung 梁詠恩

校對:Lucetta Kam, Eleanor Cheung, Day Wong

本活動計劃由平等機會(性傾向)資助計劃資助

本刊物內容只代表本機構的意見

並不代表香港特別行政區政府立場

 


[1] 以下內容我們會以 ”TA” 這個詞語代替「他」或「她」,TA的讀音跟「他」或「她」一樣,但不帶有性別之分,讓我們能夠避免不斷重複使用「他」與「她」,也希望提醒大家,在語言文字的運用,也能夠尊重各人的性別表達及取態。

[2] 電子版本可於本機構網站下載 www.tgr.org.hk

[3] 此處只列出與本手冊有關的基本概念,其他資料請參閱本書系列第一冊《是非男女:本土跨性別閱讀手冊》。

[4] 美國著名性別學者朱迪斯·巴特勒(Judith butler)於1990年出版《性別麻煩》一書,被推崇為當代酷兒理論的經典文本。書中提出「性別操演」理論,及性別如何為人帶來種種麻煩等,對當今社會性別迷思提出了強烈批判。

[5] 性別流動指的是非生理上的一種狀態,會有可能隨著不同的環境、心情、需要等等而改變,改變可以是有意地或不自覺地,通道沒有明確的規律性,所以以流動來形容。

[6] 中國人的社會一般會認為男性應該陽剛,女性應該溫柔,又或者經常說男兒流血不流淚,這些都是性別規範。

[7] 更詳細的資料請參閱本書系列第一冊《是非男女:本土跨性別閱讀手冊》。

[8] Harry Benjamin 於1979年成立「班傑明國際性別焦慮協會 」(Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association), 一直在國際上主導及推廣對變性人士的醫療護理, 2007年更名為 「世界跨性別健康專業協會」(World Professional Association for Transgender Health, WPATH)

[9] 跨性別群體中有一大部份會全時間或部份時間穿著異性服裝,TA們會被界定為「易服人士」,通常指的是男跨女,因為女性穿著男裝不被視為易服。有人會用「易服癖」來形容TA們,但事實上絕大部份的易服人士之所以易服並非因為癖好,而是TA們於性別表達或性別認同上的需要。

[10] SOGI的全寫是Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,也有在後面加上“E”字,即加上Expression以擴闊其保障範疇適用於性別表達方面。

[11] 英國國民(海外)護照亦即BNO,容許香港居民透過郵件提供申請表格及證明資料,將護照上的性別更改,並不需要完成性別重置手術。