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
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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

 

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。

 

(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)

 

 

本土跨性別閱讀手冊 – 香港版

Domestic Transgender Reading Manual – Hong Kong Version

 

自序

跨性別人士的性別身份,與及其性傾向的掙紮與含糊,都會很容易挑動一般被認定為社會主流價值觀人士的大腦神經,要由他們來定個是非對錯,或是罪與不罪!一個人是男是女,竟然會引來是是非非、流言蜚語,或多或少是社會對此群體的不認識與不理解,然而當局者又有多少能夠理解及認同到自身的處境呢?

原本申請政制及內地事務局 - 平等機會(性傾向)資助計劃時,只預備寫一份數頁紙的資料,向社會人士介紹關於跨性別族群的狀況,用以消除一些誤解。但後來只怪自己想的太多,一時間意隨氣發、筆隨心走,一寫就是萬多字的文章。原來以為可以有一組義工參與編寫工作,後來發現雖然網上相關資料不乏,但論及本地,適切地描寫本土的跨性別狀況的資料幾乎於無,那就只有閉門造車,以自身四十多年的血淚,與同行者的經驗,描摹成書,冀能出門合轍,裨益各方。

此前曾參與過香港舉辦的「真人圖書館」活動,感覺蠻有意思,作為一本真人的跨性別圖書,給人借閱,通過互動,讓讀者更能明白理解書中內容。願此書字裡行間,能給予大眾一個平易的管道,認識理解跨性別群體,就像一本閱讀手冊,讓您有一天遇上眾多獨特生命個體當中的一位跨性別朋友時,能夠好好細讀他精彩的生命故事。

此書能夠完成,首先要感謝參與此項目的 Eleanor Cheung,提供部份詞解內容及校對,Lucetta Kam 及Garry Kan 幫忙校對及給予意見、Elaine Mui 幫忙排版。另外也不得不感謝在我尋覓自我身份認同這條路上,給了我很大啟發與支持的一些朋友,Connie Chan、Momo Li、Dr. Sam Winter、何春蕤老師、Eleanor Cheung、Rose Wu、Diana Kwok、Kenneth Cheung、Lucetta Kam、Day Wong、小曹、慧琛、柏琛,前老板彭宏陵先生、前上司Leslie Wong女士、宏馬國際的一眾舊同事、我媽媽及多不勝數的朋友,沒有您們的支持,我不會走到今天。最後亦是最重要的,是要感謝一直與我同行,看顧帶領我的主耶穌,願榮耀頌讚歸予我們的父上帝!

梁詠恩 Joanne Leung

跨性別資源中心創辦人兼主席

2012年2月11日寫於香港馬鞍山

 

序一

There may be as many as 20 million trans people worldwide, with perhaps 11 to 12 million in Asia. Some are assigned male at birth but grow up identifying as female, others are assigned as female but grow up identifying as male. Still others grow up identifying as both male and female, or as neither, or indeed as a third gender. However they identify, their sense of their own identity challenges what we normally think of as male or female, or otherwise cause us to question our ideas of gender.

Throughout the world trans people find themselves living on a slope that leads from stigma and prejudice (rooted in ignorance and misinformation) towards social exclusion and life on the margins of society. Trans people fall victim to stigma and prejudice, experience discrimination, harassment, and abuse, and fall victim to violence. They get shunted out to the margins of society where, unable to get jobs or housing, and cut off from their families, they fall into poverty, get into risky situations and engage in risky patterns of behaviour. Their health and well-being, both emotional and physical, suffer. For too many the final point on the slope is sickness and/or death. And in all this governments seldom offer effective protection, and indeed sometimes aggravate the problem with laws and policies that are antagonistic towards trans people and make their situation worse. Health systems seldom provide trans people with the health care they need.

In many places worldwide trans people are mobilizing; going out into broader society to educate others about the trans experience. For several years Transgender Resource Center (TGR) has been doing this on behalf of the Hong Kong trans community. This excellent booklet is the latest in their efforts.

We all need to learn more about trans people. There are more of them among us then we tend to think, and it is high time we started to appreciate the diversity they bring to our human experience. I highly recommend this booklet to the HK public.

Sam Winter, Member of the Board of Directors, WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health)

 

序二

Mandy當年十六歲, 樣子清秀可愛, 出生時是男孩, 自小便覺自己是女生,要求我用”她”來形容其性別。Mandy和男生一起感到格格不入, 反而跟女生很投緣。男同學排擠她,大叫:”女人型”, “不正常”, 老師也不阻止, 只叫她多做運動, 增强 “男子氣概”。她一向是成績中上的乖巧小孩, , 不明白為什麼會因為她喜歡做女孩子而受到如此不平待遇。情竇初開的Mandy對愛情充滿期待。平日多作男性打扮的她有一次打扮亮麗和一位男性朋友到處遊玩,男性朋友把她當作”小公主”, 對她百般呵護。Mandy覺得被那位男性朋友視為女性感到十分享受,可以隨心所欲做回自己。她說: “做女孩子真好!”

認識Mandy令我重新學習甚麽是性別, 也讓我體會到社會狹窄的性別定型如何令Mandy在成長階段嚐盡被排擠和歧視的苦頭。 社會上大部人常以性別兩分化(非男即女)的角度去理解我們的性別, 認為性別只有男和女兩種, 而男孩應有男子氣, 女孩應是女性化, 如果有些男孩是女性化而女孩有男子氣的話, 這些朋友們便被視為不自然, 或不正常, 遭受社會人士, 例如宗教人士, 老師, 社工, 甚至家人的誤解, 在日常生活中長年面對種種壓力和不公對待。Mandy做回自己的盼望是那麽真實, 她的成長經歷又有多少同伴和老師明白?

從Mandy的故事中, 我認識到性別不一定只有男女兩種, 也不一定是固定不變的。 有些人的性別像水一樣流動, 不止是男及女, 可以是 “又男又女”或同時具備男性化和女性化, 或多元性別的特質。跨性別人士便具此種性別特色。跨性別是一個多元的概念: 1) 它是指那些挑戰或超越性與性別界限的人士; 2) 它也可以是指一群天生性別與後天性別認同不一樣的朋友; 3) 以及那些透過手術或其他方法將其性別重新設定的朋友。跨性別朋友可以是任何一種性傾向,包括異性戀, 同性戀, 雙性戀等。跨性別現象亦非單一現象, 它在各個文化中展現, 在亚洲, 美洲, 歐洲, 非洲等世界各地均有跨性別群體。 多元性別是活生生存在的, 不容否定。在香港, 有許多人的性別是流動多元的, 卻苦於社會的偏見, 年年月月, 日覆一日默默承受不公平的對待, 不必要的壓抑。

西方英語世界有關跨性別的研究和書籍近年越來越豐富, 但在香港有關跨性別的中文出版文章不多, 跨性別朋友及其家人都缺乏中文資訊, 跨性別資源中心是推動香港華人跨性別權益的先鋒組織, 很高興看到中心的跨性別朋友出版此本小冊子, 以教育為目的出發,為社會人士及跨性別社群提供資訊及資源,加深認識跨性別議題,消除誤解, 推動跨性別社群的平等權利。

郭勤

香港城市大學

應用社會科學系情性輔導研究計劃社會工作導師

 

目錄

  • 跨性別資源中心簡介
  • 什麼是跨性別
  • 引言
  • 跨性別 = 變性?
  • 易服 = 病態?
  • 跨性別 與 同性戀 之關系
  • 跨性別人口比例
  • 可見度
  • 為什麼男變女的變性人比較多?
  • 香港跨性別族群歷史及現況
  • 生活上的困難
  • 歧視情況
  • 法律保障
  • 變性
  • 變性是精神病?
  • 發現自我的階段
  • 評估過程
  • 荷爾蒙治療
  • 真實生活體驗
  • 手術概念
  • 手術是唯一出路?
  • 手術後的身份轉換
  • 手術後生活狀況
  • 易服
  • 解說
  • 只有易服男?
  • 跟性行為有關?
  • 沒有變性傾向或需要?
  • 自我認同
  • 出路
  • 名詞與概念
  • 結語
  • 熱線服務

 

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早於註冊為社團以前,已一直積極參與香港各間大學院於性別課題之分享,至今已舉辦及參與過百場的講座及工作坊。又於電台、電視台、雜誌等媒體接受訪問,將積極正面之跨性別身份呈現於公眾面前。組織也一直與行政機關、醫療部門、法律機構、輔導團隊、基督教組織等保持密切聯系,於醫療、法律、平等機會、健康、心理、日常生活、及工作機會上推行倡導工作。

組織每月舉辦聚會,讓跨性別人士有適當空間,發揮關顧互助精神,又讓社會上對跨性別友善的人士,有接觸及支援群體的渠道。

 

什麼是跨性別

引言

社會上存在著各式各樣的人,彼此的不同,形成了一個色彩繽紛的世界。人類生活的土地本來就是一個多元的國度,萬物有序而各從其類,各依其本相而存活繁衍,生生不息。宇宙被創造美妙之處,從來就不是單一的,不像人類發明電腦時所建基的二元世界,只有1和0(True or False),卻是一個無始無終,無窮盡的世界,萬物到了盡頭,又回歸於始。在穹蒼之下,一切都是帶著多元、流動、變化、和活潑的色彩。光和暗之間有美妙的層次、日與夜之間是最美好的時光、黑與白之間充滿晶瑩斑斕、對和錯之間原來是寬恕與包容。

但人類喜好自義、分類的本性,將一切有別於己的東西都嘗試定性為「錯」,也就是不正常。將一切本來多樣化的事物簡約為單一的二元觀念。很自然地,大多數的、強勢的就成為了唯一的標準,杖量之尺卻執掌在這些主流之人手上。

歷史坦白地告訴我們,人類不斷重覆犯錯,許許多多的殺戮流血,都是源出於這個二元排己的觀念,但人類始終不能汲取教訓,只是將定位不斷轉移,再排立異己。

近年的人權運動,似乎為社會帶來了一線生機。人類一直在建立的一堵圍牆,已開始慢慢被拆解推倒了,為的是要建立一個更廣闊包容的空間,讓人可以依照自己各自的不同,為理想而活。解放宣言如雨後春筍般蓬勃萌芽,推動者為著比自己弱小的人群作出了努力,企圖實踐一個平等互愛的新世代。

是非黑白,從來都沒有一個本相,從前的「是」,可以是今日之非。世上本來就存在著許許多多性別模糊的出生嬰兒,只是從前在醫療霸權體制下被改變為兩性中之一,成為了犧牲品。現代醫學告訴我們,人類性別已不能只用外在的生殖器官去定義,科學告訴我們中性人(Intersex)存在的事實,只是對於跨性別(Transgender)的研究,一直未有被認真處理,而又因著社會的歧視狀況,其可見度幾近於零,以至一直未能被社會理解。近年跨性別者的勇敢站出來,冀能打破僵局,為跨性別族群及社會帶來新的希望。

 

跨性別 = 變性?

跨性別是一個集合詞語,主要是形容心理或行為上的性別認同,有異於其出生性別的人士,或其思想行為,顛覆了主流社會的性別定位。在社會上跨性別人士一般都極其隱藏,當中比較能被社會認知的主要有兩個族群,分別是變性及易服人士,而因著變性人士的可見性比較高,需要的支援比較明確,而對社會的訴求又比較明顯,所以一般大眾都會理解變性人就等同於跨性別人士。

跨性別族群當中,不是所有都會有變性的意欲,有部份只希望通過易服來處理內心的掙扎,而因著環境、經濟、健康各方面的條件,都可能影響當事人的取向,所以在跨性別人士當中,要真正判別一個人是否有變性傾向並非容易。

 

易服 = 病態?

易服是形容穿著異性服飾的一種行為,任何人也可以有易服的行為或經驗,不代表有什麼問題。因著社會不斷改變,男女的服飾亦不斷變化及更替,現在普遍社會上被認定為女性的服飾,曾幾何時本來就是男性所穿著。今天社會的性別服飾已較前模糊,現今女性的穿著也趨向男性化,而社會上一般接受女性穿著男性服裝,但反之言男性若穿上女性衣物,或穿得比較女性化,就很多時會引來批評甚至被視為變態。

一般有連續性的易服行為,才會被稱為易服者,所指的一般是指男性穿著女性衣物,因女性穿著男性衣服一般不會構成明顯的身份或生活上的問題。在香港的情況,一般未有變性意欲或沒有強烈持續對出生性別的不安情緒的跨性別人士,都會被界定為易服者,當中涉及不同的性傾向,而族群裡一般相信異性戀的人口比例會較高。

至今關於易服人士為何要易服,仍未有一個確切的理解,當事人一般會說穿著女性衣物後可以舒緩壓力。而歸根究底,可能也與其性別認同的焦慮有關,只不過在易服者的身上,其影響的程度,未至於令當事人有改變性別的欲望。

就觀察而言,一般易服者都有固定的工作,生活模式與一般人無異,也可能有伴侶,甚至已為人父,有部份家人亦了解當事人的易服行為。只不過他們自知社會未能接受他們此種行為,但無論當事人如何努力,也改變不了這種焦慮。事實上,易服者都不希望影響他人,只不過在有限程度上去表達及抒發其個人的性別取向,如果說他們是病態,倒不如說社會對多元性別認同和表達的不包容吧。

 

跨性別 與 同性戀 之關係

跨性別的概念是一個人對自我身體或身份性別的一種否定,從「自身」出發。當我們討論一個人是跨性別時,是針對其性別認同單獨來看,不應與其性傾向混為一談。

而當我們討論同性戀這個概念時,是針對其性傾向的「對像」來取決,去界定其為同性戀、是異性戀或是雙性戀。讓我們先簡化當中的一些複雜元素,先撇除跨性別這個元素,假設性別就只有男和女兩種,一個同性戀人士喜愛的對像是相同性別的,而異性戀人士喜愛的對像,就是跟其性別剛好是相反的。

就一般而言,不包括跨性別在內,同性戀及異性戀者均接受及肯定自我的身體性別及身份認同,不會因為其性傾向的關係,而欲改變其身體,或欲打扮成另一種性別。在同性戀中偶有喜愛易裝打扮的,也通常是作為一種娛樂或性別表達方式,而不會像跨性別人士,對身體及性別身份感到焦慮不適。

而當以跨性別為主體討論時,情況就比較複雜,通常會以當事人認定的性別(不論是否完成性別重建手術),去界定自己到底是異性戀還是同性戀,但基於相互尊重的原則,最終應以個人的感受為依歸,不應強迫其接受。而跨性別族群中,異性戀、同性戀及雙性戀也各有存在,暫時亦無一個清晰確實的比例。

當然對於跨性人士來說,其性傾向亦多少會影響其自身的性別定義,但很多時候只會影響到其會否接受性別重建手術的心態,而相對比較少影響其身份認同。性別認同與性傾向的複雜與密切關係,不只令社會人士混淆,亦令很多跨性別的人士躊躇當中,不知何去何從。

 

跨性別人口比例

跨性別的人口比例從來都沒有一個比較明確的定案,因其可見度非常之低,所以很難以統計數字去理解此群體的各種狀況。而在每個不同的國家,其情況也大有不同,譬如有些國家對性別的觀念比較開放,就會令跨性別人士容易向社會大眾呈現。資訊比較發達的國家,也會令此類人士容易認識及認定自我身份而現身。而在一些國家當你承認自己是跨性別時,是會帶來生命危險的,就相對好像比較少此類人士的存在。有些說法指跨性別人口比例是1:1000,但一般都相信其實際人口要比此計算的數目為大。

社會的歧視狀況是主因導至跨性別人士高度隱蔽的狀況,香港有著中國人傳統重男輕女的觀念,也令跨性別人士不敢走前一步。就香港而言,變性人大約為數200-300人,有約100人是在香港政府醫院完成性別重建手術的,所以這個數目應該比較確定,而其餘的百多人則是估計是在泰國、美國、英國、台灣等地完成手術的人士。

跟據香港一個專屬易服人士(Crossdresser)的網上論壇資料顯示,會員數目在2011年尾高達33,000人,當中絕大部份都是男跨女(原生男性,認同為女性)的易服人士,差不多沒有包括女跨男及變性人士,撇除了重覆登記、非跨性別人士等之外,保守估計會高達一萬人以上,這已經沒有包括其他沒有上網、及未敢於網站上登記的跨性別人士。

 

可見度

一直以來,跨性別人士都是社會裡的隱蔽一族,但隨著社會慢慢的變得較以前開放,也受著西方影響,中國人傳統對於男性及傳宗接代之觀念都變得比較寬鬆。七、八十年代的年青人開始擁有經濟獨立的自主權,也對性有較多的思考空間和想像。到了九十年代香港的互聯網開始普及,寬頻年代來臨,令一些對自身性別感到焦慮的人士,於遼闊的互聯網世界裡搜尋到相當豐富的相關資料,也認識到來自世界各地以及本土的同道中人,進而一步一步去探索及追尋自我的生命旅程。

而香港以吳敏倫醫生為首的一組專家,明白到有變性欲望的求診者之需要,於1979年率先在瑪麗醫院成立了性診所,開展了香港性別重建手術的新一頁。自此,報章上也不時有變性人士的報導,但始終在當時社會的氛圍底下,當一個變性人在工作及生活上都會遇上很多困難,以至大部份接受了性別重建手術的朋友都會選擇隱藏身份,到了今天也不例外。

不過,近年亦有少數變性人士,嘗試從自我壓抑中尋找出路,勇敢地向公眾及傳媒公開身份,以積極態度面對自我身份認同。以2010年爭取變性人婚姻權的W小姐為例,該事件的報導引發了公眾對變性人士的權益關注,間接提升了跨性別人士在社會上的可見度。

其實跨性別族群的人口比例應該不少,但能夠令社會及政府關注,從而明白到他/她們的需要,提供資源分配及援助,最重要還是其可見度。所以近年來一些關注跨性別的團體,都致力於向公眾呈現此群體的現實狀況。

 

為什麼男變女的變性人比較多?

從世界各地的資料顯示,「男變女」跟「女變男」的變性人比例都是相約的,沒有太大差別,而本港政府醫院的數據也顯示同樣的結果。感覺上男變女的數目比較多是可見度的問題,原因可能有以下幾點:

  • 就本地觀察而言,香港的女變男變性人士比較偏向獨立、多以小型聚會交往。而男變女的則較喜歡群體聚誼,生活圈子比較闊,喜愛傾訴心事,知道其身份的人也比較多。
  • 女變男的用了賀爾蒙藥之後會變得相當男性化,就連聲線也會轉變,很容易隱藏變性的身份。相反男變女用藥後的變化較不明顯。
  • 女變男的在變性前的期的生活及衣著改變一般不易察覺,比較容易處理。相反,男變女的,在前期都可能經歷過易服的階段,生活上有很多需要處理的問題,需要大量在群體中交流及搜集資料,形成了關系較強及闊的群帶關係,造就了她們族群的發展。
  • 男變女過渡其間的轉變程度明顯,引起的反應和印象會較大和較深刻。

 

香港跨性別族群歷史及現況

過往的跨性別族群,其實根本說不上是一個族群,因為各自都只能在其生命中痛苦掙扎,每天過著雙面人的生活,根本沒有膽量去尋找或接觸其他同道中人。機緣巧合,2002年幾位跨性別人士組成了香港首個跨性別網上論壇(cdfamily),由不見天日的年代,一下子遇上了碩量無窮的族員,風頭一時無兩,期間亦分別出現了cdgal、cdparadise及 TSense三個論壇,頭兩者都是針對易服人士,而最後的TSense主要對像是變性人士。

但始終由虛擬世界走到現實處境,都不是一件容易事。當時有幾位於香港接受變性手術的人士,由醫生穿針引線下,組成了聯繫小組,後期人數一度高達廿多位,當中包括外籍人士及非跨性別人士的學者,其後於2004年註冊成為社團,定名為「跨性別平等與接納行動」Transgender Equality & Acceptance Movement,簡稱TEAM,但近年組織較少舉辦活動。

2005年成立的「性?無別!」主力於跨性別的熱線服務。同期也有稱為「蛇王工作室」的隊伍,專責到不同機構及學校作跨性別分享。至2008年數位跨性別人士與學者一同成立了「跨性別資源中心」,主力向社會推廣跨性別概念及服務跨性別社群。

經歷了多年的光景,現時估計會露面於社群內的跨性別人士仍不到一百,族群的發展仍要待當中有心人士繼續努力與堅持。

 

生活上的困難

跨性別人士在生活上遇到的困難,我們可以先簡化為兩部份來看,一是在其公開自己身份之前,一是在身份轉換之後,大程度上改變自己的外表及生活模式,或完成了性別重建手術後之情況。

在跨性別人士能夠認同自我及公開身份前,一般都會極度隱藏和壓抑自己的感受,原因是感到外在環境不可能接受自己的想法,也普遍地覺得自己的思想行為有問題、甚或變態。在他們的世界裡沒法找到可以傾訴的對像,感覺孤單之餘,也可能強迫自己改變,外表上裝扮成另一個別人心目中的形象來掩飾。久而久之,內心的抑壓越來越膨脹,沒法找到出路,性格可能會變得孤僻或負面,更可能做出傷害自己事情或自尋短見。好多時候他們會將生活上遇到種種不如意的事情,歸咎為身份認同的問題。

而當一個跨性別人士開始接納自己的另一面時,外表及生活模式都可能會作出很大程度上的改變。他們需要面對家人、鄰舍、親戚、朋友、同事的質疑或提問,有時候這類的提問亦未必帶有惡意,但對於當事人來說,都可能未有充份準備面對深入和嚴苛的提問而感到難受。

另外,他們在工作環境,也希望能以符合自己身份的衣著出現,但很多時候公司或同事都未必能夠配合,而當他以這一身裝扮去面試新工作時,都可能會遇上種種困難。

在日常生活中,他們經常要面對的一個尷尬就是洗手間的問題,當然在變性人士完成了手術後,更改了身份證明文件上的性別一欄,似乎就沒有問題。但在他們還未有決定變性,或在變性前評估中醫生要求的真實生活體驗中,需要全時間以另一性別方式生活,但身份證又未能更改時,就可能會無所適從。有些朋友為免尷尬,會選擇使用傷殘人士洗手間,或乾脆不在外間上廁所。

信仰也可能是其中一個需要面對的挑戰,無論是當事人自己,或是信仰群體中的反對聲音,都可能對其做成很大的沖擊。

當然,我們也遇見過性格積極正面的跨性別人士,也期望以他們的生活態度為方向,鼓勵更多朋友,走出陰霾,活出精彩有意義的人生。

 

歧視情況

我們從跨性別人士的第一身經歷中看見,香港在這二、三十年間對變性人的接納程度都有很大的改變,而跨性別這個詞語或概念,都是在近年才被引入本港。在此前對於男穿女裝,都好多時被冠以變態的名號,或稱為「人妖」,不然就被認為有犯罪的意圖,反而女穿男裝,似乎一直都沒有太大的問題。

但由於真正能夠以一個跨性別的身份出現,去面對各方面情況的機會都不多,又由於群體的可見度低,坊間亦很少收到有關的歧視的投訴個案,所以都未能有效地分析到現時的歧視情況。

從群體的經驗得知,在服務性行業中對跨性別人士的歧視情況都有所改善,而比較嚴重的範圍是在工作間內、求職時、教會、部份娛樂場所、入境問題、拘留及監禁等等,多會遇到不愉快的經歷。

 

法律保障

現時本港沒有法例保障跨性別人士,性別歧視條例中亦不包括此等情況,只有被判別為「性別認同障礙」的變性人士,因為被列於美國「精神疾病診斷與統計手冊」(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder,簡稱DSM或稱為 精神病學名冊)之中,才能引用殘疾歧視條例加以保障,但此名冊亦同時帶有另一層的歧視意味,所以一般都不喜歡引用此法例去處理事件。

 

變性

變性是精神病?

現時本港及大部份國家,均要求欲接受變性手術(亦即性別重建手術)的求診者,必須通過為期最少兩年認可的精神及心理評估過程,當被界定為性別認同障礙症後,才可轉介至外科部門排期接受手術,而香港暫時只有公立醫院提供此項服務。

由於西方一向依據2001年發表的「性別認同障礙護理指引」第六版本 (Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association’s Standards of Care For Gender Identity Disorders, SOC) 及「精神疾病診斷與統計手冊」第四版 (DSM IV) 作藍本,到目前為止仍將性別認同障礙例為精神病的一種,所以香港處理此項目的仍然屬精神科部門專責,但有很多這方面的專家都不認同此種分類。

近年經業者努力推動下,世界跨性別健康專業協會 (World Professional Association for Transgender Health, WPATH) 已於2011年尾發表了第七版本的 SOC,新版本以跨性別主體為本,作出了大量修改及補充,將從前對跨性別人士的誤解逐步釐清。

 

發現自我的階段

一位跨性別人士,從成長到發現自我,都可能會經歷過數個階段。從出生到入學,開始有機會接觸及學習到男女之別,或在幼兒院時期,上洗手間或排隊時,老師要求男女分開,這種種的機會都會引發當事人對性別的疑惑,所以有說一般的跨性別人士,都是從4至8歲開始認識自我的不同,此為啟蒙期。

而整個在校期間,越來越多的疑問及掙扎會充斥及伴隨著其成長,這個時期也正藉身心發展的重要階段,若然不能接受自己的不同而我行我素的話,就可能會活在痛苦與困惑當中,既找不到傾訴對像,也不知怎樣面對,當事人也很可能會成為校園欺凌對像,此通常為一段疑惑期。

到當事人開始明白到自己的與別不同,嘗試去尋覓答案,及至出外工作,擁有經濟獨立能力時,都會不停地去探索及發掘自己的需要,到處找尋相關資訊,或開始添置異性衣物。但這個階段最可能令當事人產生極大的痛苦與予盾,反覆在渴求與自責中糾纏,當中很多人會萌生輕生的念頭。若然此時他也正在面對戀愛的問題,事情會變得更加複雜,面臨的壓力更大。此階段視為探索及掙扎期。

有部份跨性別人士會向外尋求幫助,可能是社工、心理輔導、醫生、甚至教會,但外間對於跨性別的認識都極之有限,有些時候甚至會令事情更加惡化。近年有由跨性別人士自組的團體成立,及兩間接納跨性別人士的基督宗教教會出現,似乎都對這群無助的人士提供一些支持及援助,無論其最終會否決定變性,都期望能先處理好其情緒及心理質素,使其確立及認識自己,再積極正面去處理人生將來的路。

 

評估過程

要在香港接受變性手術,必須通過認可的評估程序,除了精神科及心理科醫生的評估報告,確定當事人是否適合進行變性外,亦須接受一連串其它科的治療與檢驗過程,當中包括社工、職業治療、語言治療、遺傳科、內分泌科、婦產科、及法律顧問,2005年以前瑪麗醫院的「性診所」專責處理所有分區的性別認同評估,提供一條龍服務。但因資源調配問題而結束後,各區醫院網絡要分別處理該區的求診個案,又由於該性診所的部份醫生相繼退休,中間出現了一段真空期,令當時的求診者無所適從。

這幾年間,在一些願意幫助變性人的醫生努力下,現時已有數個分區從新開始評估工作,而以沙田威爾斯醫院的「性診所」整合得最為完善。該醫院轄下的整形外科,亦正準備為性別重建手術而舖路。

一般評估過程最短需要2年,當中比較重要的部份為心理評估、荷爾蒙治療、及真實生活體驗,希望能令當事人清楚了解自己的需要,避免做成錯誤決定。

 

荷爾蒙治療

在評估過程當中,如醫生初步確認求診者屬性別認同障礙個案及情況穩定,就可能會進入荷爾蒙治療階段,通常會用口服或針藥,以減低其體內原性荷爾蒙指數,同時亦增加另一邊荷爾蒙的指數。此階段會讓當事人感覺到一定程度的身體及心態上的改變,以確定其身心皆適合進行變性。此期間的轉變在停止服用藥物後,視乎用藥時間長短,某程度上可回復至原先的身體狀態,讓當事人可以在能夠逆轉情況下,測試及體驗藥物及手術對當事人帶來的影響。

在完成手術後,病人的生理上亦不能夠製造身體所需的荷爾蒙,所以也需要繼續進行荷爾蒙治療。

 

真實生活體驗

接受評估人士要全時間以另一性別身份生活最少一年以上,以確知其手術後能適應新的生活,醫生會發出一封證明信件,證明當事人正接受評估,有需要作異性服裝打扮,以免於洗手間或其它場合出現麻煩。但由於當事人身份證未能於此時更改性別一欄,在工作上及其它方面都可能會遇到困難,所以醫生一般都會與當事人商議真實生活體驗的比重。

 

手術概念

變性是以外科整形手術,將當事人的身體重建為另一個性別,通常是針對其生殖器官作改造,但因各人不同的情況,亦可能包括胸脯、面型、喉結、甚至聲帶等的各種手術,務求令當事人於手術後更容易融入新的生活。

現今的變性手術過程要比一般人所理解的繁複,當中涉及性器官的重建,正確應稱為性別重建(整)手術 SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery),或性器官重建手術 (Genital Reconstruction Surgery)。

手術中最重要及複雜的是性器官的重建,當中涉及外觀上及功能上的處理 ,以當事人的自身器官及神經組織為材料,建造成有感覺、像真度高的身體部位。

男變女的手術比較簡單,一般包容隆胸、尿道移位、陽具及睪丸切除、包皮逆反作陰道形成、龜頭形成為陰核、陰囊組織形成為大小陰唇,最後就是喉結磨平等等,一般會一次過或分開兩次完成。另外也有採取以大腸作為陰道材料的手術,好處是會有自然分泌及較長的陰道。

女變男的手術較為複雜,胸脯切除後,除掉了多餘皮膚組織的傷口非常之大,乳頭亦要重新移位。除了切除陰道、子宮及卵巢外,亦要從零開始建做男性的性器官,人工陰莖的建造多選擇從手臂、小腿或其它部位取皮瓣、骨、肉及神經組織,在原處培植好,再移植到適當位置上,一般都需要做好幾次的大型手術。陰莖重建手術的處理方法有很多種,視乎需要的效果而定,但危險性高,傷害性大,成功率低,這種種因素都令很多人退而求其次,選擇不做完整的性器官重建。

 

手術是唯一出路?

對於有性別認同障礙的人士來說,能夠擁有另一個性別是終其一生追求的夢想,但換取得來的代價非常之大,除了身體上之傷害外,手術後也要準備面對各種來自社會或家人朋友的壓力。而對於沒有變性意願的跨性別人士,更好像沒有解決方法。

以「跨性別資源中心」的理解,跨性別人士所面對的壓力與焦慮,源於不同層面錯縱複雜的社會與自我身份建構,與及生理心理間之相互糾纏。我們要清楚,其問題不是全然來自自身,但要社會改變並不是一朝一夕的事。若返回從其自身出發,先釐清自身問題,再結集群體力量,推動跨性別運動,改善社會對跨性別人士的環境,自會事半功倍。

但昔日處理跨性別議題的力量都源自於外部,且由不甚理解並缺乏同理心的權力人士主導,從醫療輔導,到法律體系,無不以神聖不可侵犯的姿態,去主宰跨性別人士的命運。今天跨性別人士紛紛起來,在各地推行平權運動,埋沒已久的聲音已被聽見,跨性別族群已經是可見及可被理解的,對於內部的支援服務,也能夠更確切地考慮到群體的真正需要。

相信不久的將來,手術只不過是其中的一種手段,去表達自身的價值及取向,而不再是跨性別者的唯一出路。

 

手術後的身份轉換

凡香港區民,在任何國家的認可醫院完成變性手術後,憑醫生發出的手術證明文件,都可以於人民入境事務處申請更改身份證上之性別。完成手續後,以新的身份證就可處理其它的性別更改事項,如護照、考評局的證書、銀行、保險、回鄉證、駕駛執照等等,但仍有一些學院及機構沒有更改性別的機制。至於其它國家所發的護照,則視乎該國家的條文規定。

 

手術後生活狀況

以往的變性人士,在完成了手術後,一般都選擇以完全屬於另一個性別(即手術後的性別)身份過新的生活,亦因擔心被歧視,或希望較容易結識另一半,故此都會想盡辦法隱藏自己的過往。他們的生活與一般人無異,亦有在各個行業中發展,而並非好像一般人想像中的生活不濟。

但因長期處於怕被別人發現身份的壓力底下,比較容易引起情緒焦慮。而反觀於手術後仍然保持與跨性別群體連繫的朋友,比較能舒緩各方面的壓力,從而活得更加開心。

傳聞中亦有說變性人一般活得不久,但這說法沒有根據,而因以往社會對變性人的歧視,對變性人做成巨大的壓力,以至有部份公開了身份的,最終在年青時就了結餘生。相信在有更多可被觀察的個體出現後,真相才會被理解。

 

易服

解說

易服是通過穿著另一性別的服飾,以表達對自身性別的不滿。易服可能隱含著對外在環境的一種政治手段或是抗爭,又或是對自身感受的一種外在表達,但很多時候對當事人來說,可能純粹是美與不美、對與不對的選擇,是自然不過,甚或沒有選擇的餘地。

但這種選擇往往帶來外在環境的壓力甚至迫害,企圖將一些不為社會接納的行為或價值觀,從新推回界線的另一邊。荀子曰:「約定俗成謂之宜」,我們不禁會問,到底這些界線又是誰來判定的呢?

 

只有易服男?

昔日封建社會的年代,無論西方或我國,對男女之角色定位都非常嚴緊,尤以女性為甚。但自從女性開始從男權世界走出來之後,每每都以男性的打扮自居,或作為一種行為或政治上的抗爭手段。

今天社會對女性穿著服飾的界線比較模糊,女性隨時打扮得較為男性化,都不會衍生太大的問題,反而造就了女性寬闊的表達空間。所以我們不可以說沒有易服的女性,女同性戀中的其中一類,在在就是以陽剛方式登場,表現出鮮明的性別形象,只是社會暫時沒有易服女性呈現的必要或空間,而當此類情況到達當事人表達需要改變性別的一刻時,我們才會赫然大悟。

 

跟性行為有關?

以往對易服的理解,就是喜愛穿著女性服飾的男士,他們既沒有變性的意圖,更是愛女性的異性戀,易服只為喜好,很多時更與性行為扯上關係。

我們不能排除此類的可能性,但當對跨性別群體進行深入了解後,發現當中有很多以前未被觀察及分析過的錯綜關系,從前,或者到今天仍被認為是易服的群體裡,原來充斥著有變性意欲的、異性戀的、同性戀的、雙性戀的、無性戀的個體,這些不同的需要及取向,都建構出各式各樣不同的個體模式,我們根本無法簡單地、二元地,將「易服」及「變性」兩者分開,這樣做就只會是以某人的意願,去將一個個體的獨有特質強行污蔑。

讓我們先處理有關性行為的問題,假設我們說一個男士,在易服後會有性的幻想、需要、甚至行為,我們可能會錯誤地將焦點單獨放置於易服這個因素上,而否定當時的其它外在條件。我們可以想像,若果當事人不是一個易服者,只是個一般的男性,他在一個私人空間裡,有一個空餘的時段,一切的外在條件都驅使他去作出一些關於性的幻想、需要、甚至行為,我們會否假定他在一種沒有易服、或什麼什麼的狀態底下,就會誘發出一種性癖好呢?

再舉個簡單的例子:我要吃晚飯的原因並不是我穿著了睡衣、用了三小時電腦、現在是晚上八時或者今天上了五次廁所等等,只是我覺得肚餓,需要用膳以作充飢而已。其他人不應該胡亂猜測我穿著了睡衣後才想吃晚飯,因為兩者是沒有因果關係的。同理,我們亦不應該胡亂地說一個人因易服而有性的幻想、需要、甚至行為,因為兩者同樣是沒有因果關係的。

我們也發現,一個跨性別人士在性方面的需要高低,也影響其對改變性別的決心多少,這並不意味著其改變性別的欲望程度怎樣,只是在各方因素底下,權衡過後的取決方向而已。

 

沒有變性傾向或需要?

上文說到在被界定為易服者的當中,也存在有變性傾向的。在訪問一些易服者中,出奇地發現大部份人士都希望能成為另一性別,只是覺得自身條件不足,根本無法實現這種想法。也有在衡量過得失以後,毅然決定不作此想。當然,也有覺得沒需要、或沒必要去傷害身體,去換成另一種性別,但如果將問題換個角度,說如果有一種藥只管吃了,就能變成另一種性別的,很多這類人士都表示會,「想也不想、二話不說」就會吃掉!

 

自我認同

易服者當中絕大部份的自我認同度都偏低,覺得易服這種行為是不正常、甚至變態。自我認同比較強的,就會覺得只是社會上的其他人,未能明白接受其行為,以至不敢向人表白,或顯露人前。他們既覺得不妥,但又無論如何努力,也擺脫不了心裡的欲望,常自稱為無間道,既然只得活在煎熬當中,唯有笑看人生。

近年內地及香港出現一些自稱為偽娘的男性,敢於走到人前,正面表達自己,但要當一個偽娘也有自身的條件限制,通常是較年輕的,樣貌極像女生,而且走可愛路線,他們的出現通常都會引來正面的回響。

 

出路

跨性別運動中,其中一個重要項目,就是令此群體能夠接納自我,正面去找尋出路,面對人生。既然沒法改變自己此方面的傾向,倒不如發掘其正面的好處,反正易服的行為只要不傷害人,總是有機會讓人理解的。

而易服的行為,可以作為一種藝術、一種文化表現,要做得專業及神似,其實一點都不容易,要花上很多功夫鑽研其中,才可能表現當中的美態與內涵。而跨性別人士,一般都曾遊走兩性之間,對於兩性間之差易與矛盾,都比一般人更加明白及了解,居中之人若將此道成為益人之器,當能廣結善緣,事事通達。

 

名詞與概念

 

1. 生理性別(Sex)與社會性別(Gender)

由二十世紀中開始,學者把性別的概念劃分為生理性別(sex)和社會性別(gender),但在一般人心目中兩者是同一個意思,兩者必需相配。前者以生理角度把人分為男、女、雙性人(或中性人)等不同的性別。後者則建構於文化、社教化(socialization)和自我的性別身份認同(gender identity)。大部人的生理性別和社會性別是一致的,但有些人則有不同程度的不一致。例如,有些人出生的生理性別是男,但其社會性別可以是女,如我國古代的「花木蘭代父從軍」是為一例。

 

2. 性傾向(Sexual Orientation)

根據美國心理學會(APA)的解釋,性傾向是指一個人對另一個人有持續的情感、浪漫愛、性慾或感情上的吸引。性傾向與性別認同(詳見下文)是兩個不同的概念,前者指一個人對另一個人的吸引,後者指一個人自己的身份認同。

 

3. 性別認同(Gender Identity)

根據Lev(2004, p. 397)的解釋,性別認同意指一個人在不考慮身體生理性別的前提下,對自身性別所產生的界定。

 

4. 跨性別 (Transgender/TG)

根據 Lev(2004, P. 399)的解釋,跨性別是一個總稱,當中包含許多不同類別的人。他們共同之處是自己在性別認同(gender identity)上或表達自己性別(gender expression)的方式──或多或少地──與出生時的生理性別或社會期望的性別角色(gender role)有異。跨性別一詞所包含的族群包括:變性人、易服人士、扮裝皇后/皇帝、性別酷兒等等。

但早年,跨性別一詞是指那些自己性別認同上與出生時的生理性別有異的人;但跨性別一詞有別於變性,跨性別人士沒有做性別重建手術。他們亦有別於易服人士,因為他們不只是衣著上選擇異性的服飾,而是性別認同上也傾向或認同另一個性別。現今的香港,仍有一些人用這一個定義,所以要注意。

 

5. 雙性人 (Intersex)

亦稱為「間性人」、「中性人」或「陰陽人」,是指在出生時生殖器官發生異變,或發育不全的人士,原因可能與染色體及性激素水平有關。由於有部份身體上會同時擁有兩種性別、或不完全發育的性器官,所以也有稱為雌雄同體。有統計說在2000個出生嬰兒中,就有一個屬於雙性人。

早年醫學界偏向將雙性嬰兒,通過手術改造成單一性別,但發現很多此類個案成長後,都出現性別認同的問題,所以現在醫學偏向保留其性徵,直至其成長懂性後,再商議作決定。

 

6. 變性 (Transsexual/TS)

變性一詞多被醫學界及大眾採用。根據 Lev(2004, P. 400)的解釋,變性人認為自己的身體不能反映他們真實的性別。雖然大部份變性人都希望能做性別重建手術,但變性人一詞可以應用在已經做了手術(post-op),等待做手術(pre-op),或不做手術(non-op)的人士。op指的是Operation手術的意思。

 

7. Post-op / Pre-op / Non-op TS

由於很多時候,我們指變性人其實是指變性欲者,即是有變性意欲的人士,而不特定地指完成了手術的人,為免混淆,在此等情況下,會將其身份再分類為以上三種,而統一歸入TS類別。

 

8. 性別認同障礙 (GID)

全寫是Gender Identity Disorder或Gender Identity Dysphoria,帶有濃厚精神病學色彩,日本稱為「性同一障礙」。近年學術界比較偏向使用Gender Identity Non-conformity或Gender Identity Diversity以減輕其負面意味,中文可譯作「性別認同模糊」、「性別認同不一致」及「性別認同多元」。

GID一般是指先天對自身性別感到焦慮,有持續長期改變性別的欲望,從醫學的角度指出一個人的狀況,但很多時被理解為變性人的等稱。

 

9. 性別重建手術 (SRS)

在香港普遍稱為變性手術,Sex Reassignment Surgery 是通過外科整形手術,將一個人的性別重建為另一個性別。由於需求不斷增加,現時在很多國家都有此項服務,而香港的變性人普遍選擇在本港、台灣或泰國進行此項手術,在泰國做手術除了方便、價錢比其它國家經濟外,其技術也備受推崇。

 

10. 賀爾蒙治療 (HRT)

Hormone Replacement Therapy 是以口服、注射、或皮膚吸收等方法去調整一個人身體內的賀爾蒙指標,除了性別重建手術前後期為變性人士施行外,也會應用到其他賀爾蒙失調的病人。

 

11. 真實生活體驗 (RLE)

Real Life Experience,以前亦稱為 Real Life Test (RLT),但由於近年的方向是希望欲變性的人士,能夠體驗將來新的生活,而不是去測試當事人合符資格與否,一般都將名稱更正為RLE。此程序要求當事人,嘗試全天候式以另一個性別身份生活,而因各人條件的不同,可能會以循序漸進及部份時間方式進行。

 

12. 過渡期 (Transition)

一般指決定變性的人士,在應用賀爾蒙治療開始,到完成手術為止的一段期間,由於對變性人士來說,是一個很重要的關口,一旦決定後,變化都會非常明顯。

 

13. Pass / Passable

是跨性別族群當中的術語,意謂一個人易服後、或以自己認同的性別生活時,外表會否引起其他人的懷疑。

 

14. FtM

指「女變男」或「女跨男」Female to Male,認同自己為男性,而未必需要是完成了手術的變性人士。

 

15. MtF

指「男變女」或「男跨女」 Male to Female,認同自己為女性,而未必需要是完成了手術的變性人士。

 

16. 易服 (CD)

CD可以是名詞作Cross-dresser,也可以作動詞為Cross-dress或Cross-dressing,指穿著異性服飾的人士或其行為,一般指男穿女裝。

 

17. 偽娘

從日本傳至中國及香港的一個詞語,本屬ACG (Animations, Comics and Games) 動漫界的日本漢語名詞,指打扮成女生的男性,比真女性更女性可愛女生,有萌(意思類似「可愛」,但在不同時候,用法和定義也不一樣,在此不作詳述)的屬性在當中。至於與易服一詞間之分野定義,仍有待群體中的消化與發展。

 

18. 扮異性症 (TV)

Transvestite亦稱作易服癖,是醫學界的名詞,當此字於1910年被提出時,是以Trans(解跨越)加上拉丁語中的Vestitus(解穿著服裝)而成,基本上與今天的跨性別同義,但後期被泛指為需要通過穿著異性服裝而達至性興奮一種症狀,帶有病態意味。

易服的行為,在大部份的時候,都不牽涉有性的行為。但如果一位易服人士,在易服後有性行為的情況,可能只是當其以自身意願的性別呈現時,剛巧有性行為同時出現而已。未必等同上例的易服癖狀態,所以當我們稱呼易服人士時,不應隨便加上「癖」字。

 

19. 癖

對事物的偏愛,成為習慣,也指久治不愈的疾病。原意是指潛藏在兩脅間的積塊。中醫分為食癖、飲癖、寒癖、痰癖、血癖等。現代人愛指為帶有病態之喜好。

 

20. 扮裝皇后/皇帝 (Drag Queen / King)

通過易裝打扮來表演的男性或女性,扮演女性角色的是皇后,扮演男性的就是皇帝。他們通常只出現於娛樂場所、遊行、或其它表演的活動,平時多以原生性別示人。其服飾都會以誇張華麗為主,也會伴以歌舞於演出中,當中大部份也沒有變性的意圖,但也有例外。

 

21. 同志群體

同志一詞在早於1989年的「香港同志電影節」裡,被引用為同性戀的別稱,漸漸被同志界受落及廣泛應用於中港台間。後因運動的焦點逐漸從性傾向轉移到性別議題上,開始納入其他的性小眾群體,主要包括男女同性戀、雙性戀及跨性別人士,而在國際上等同這四大族群的縮寫LGBT,分別代表Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender及其延伸。

 

22. 酷兒 (Queer)

酷兒一詞來自英語的Queer,本來是指古怪、不正常的意思,於20世紀被用為帶有貶意的同性戀稱呼。但從80年代開始,同性戀族群將這個稱呼應用為指一切不容於主流社會價值觀的性愛表達方式與立場的人,同志之外,也包括如失婚人士、性工作者等等。是一個帶有抗爭意味的政治詞語。在學術界及基督教宗派裡發展出酷兒理論及酷兒神學等範疇,社會上也逐漸出現一種獨特的酷兒文化。

 

23. 性別酷兒 (Gender Queer)

在社會當中,其實除跨性別人士外,也有一些不服於原生性別、或二元性別框架底下的人,無法落入或歸類於任何一種性別身份之內,又不喜歡被定義及標簽,或喜歡遊走於兩性之間,不能被跨性別這個詞語所形容的,一般被稱為性別酷兒。

 

24. 精神疾病診斷與統計手冊

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders簡稱DSM,是由美國精神醫學學會出版的一本指導手冊,在美國及其他國家最常被使用來診斷精神疾病,目前最新版本是2000年的第四版修訂版,預計第五版會到2013年才會發表。

雖然這本手冊受到心理學家與精神病學家的廣泛接受,但是當中的精神疾病列表卻備受爭議。其中最有名的就是手冊第二版(簡稱為DSM-II)中將同性戀列為精神疾病的一種,這個條目在1973年由APA美國心理協會投票通過予以移除。

 

25. Harry Benjamin

班傑明可以算是首個對變性欲者進行有系統研究及定義的醫生,從1948年開始接觸第一個案例,至1966年發表「The Transsexual Phenomenon」變性欲現象一書,都主張通過變性手術,以減輕因性別焦慮而受痛苦的病人。1977年成立「Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association」班傑明國際性別焦慮協會,主導及推廣對變性人士的醫療護理。

 

26. 性別認同障礙護理指引 (Standards of Care For Gender Identity Disorders)

此護理指引從1979年第一版開始,一直是由班傑明國際性別焦慮協會所制訂及出版,直至2001年更新至第六版。但由於一直是以精神學的角度出發,以至內容方面都未能符合及完全照顧欲變性人士的需要。

及至2011年尾,由世界跨性別健康專業協會 (WPATH) 經眾多專家及研究人員努力底下,第七版本終於作出了重大及眾多的改變,由第六版的23頁增加至現時的120頁詳盡的指引,亦將名字更改為「變性、跨性別及性別不一致人士健康護理指引」Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People,充份反映該指引之適切性及去除病理意味。

 

結語

人類在地球上活了數千年的文明,科學一日千里,本以為對大部份的事物都經已有一定的理解。事實上,在不斷求真求變、不斷發問的人類本性底下,我們每天總會發現一些新的事物、新的知識與見解。從前人類以為地球是平的,也確信不疑,但有一天迷底被揭開,我們才恍然大悟。

性別在男女二分的界線底下,原來擁有無窮的變化與可能性,只是在某些人的定義下,被約化為單一的概念,而被大多數人所接受了,很可能當初企圖定義「男和女」這兩個字的人,萬不料後人會這樣理解其意思。在我們一般生活圈子當中,好多時會出現有定義自己是100%的男生或女生,想問,他們旁邊的其他人,又會是在他所理解中的百分之幾呢?

日光之下,我們以為並無新事,誰知雨過天清以後,會乍現彩虹。今日科學的重新整理與發現,展示出一幅多元而美麗的性別圖畫,就好像毛蟲蛻變後,化為彩蝶翩翩。

 

- 參考書籍(References):

Lev, A. I. (2004). Transgender emergence: therapeutic guidelines for working with gender-variant people and their families. New York: The Haworth Clinical Practice Press.

 

- 參考網頁 (Reference Websites)

American Psychological Association(美國心理學會)

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

 

和諧不是一百個人說同一番話

和諧是一百個人

有一百句不同的一番話之餘

而又互相尊重

(引自香港無線電視劇集《天與地》2011)

 

作者:Joanne Leung

資料搜集:Eleanor Cheung

校對:Garry Kan、Lucetta Kam

 

本活動計劃由平等機會(性傾向)資助計劃資助

本刊物的內容只代表本機構的意見,並不代表香港特別行政區政府的立場。