In the lead-up to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (upcoming on 17th May 2021), the latest survey of 234 transgender people in Hong Kong between 2019 and 2020, the largest survey on the population in Hong Kong so far, has been released on 12th May 2021.
The survey conducted by the Sexualities Research Programme of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with the Transgender Resource Center, found that:
Rejection, victimisation and discrimination were the rule rather than the exception in many transgender people’s lives in Hong Kong. 76% of the respondents reported facing rejection in different dimensions of social life in their lifetime. 62% of the respondents reported having experienced different forms of victimisation in their lifetime. 51.1% of the respondents reported facing discrimination in at least one of the following four domains in the previous year: Employment (34.8%), education (34.8%), provision of goods and services (36.9%) and disposal and management of premises (26.2%).
Transgender people in Hong Kong reported great difficulties in using a toilet which matches their self-identified gender, or even simply accessing toilets in public spaces. Worse still, when using the toilet, transgender people in Hong Kong were subjected to verbal assault, physical violence, or even sexual contact against their wishes.
A substantial proportion of the respondents had not undergone, were not sure or did not want to undergo gender-affirming medical interventions because of a variety of reasons, which means they were excluded from being eligible for a change of the sex entry on the identity card sex entry based on the current regulations set out by the Hong Kong government. Only 5.6% of the respondents had changed the on their identity card, and another 6% said they were in the process of doing so. 75% agreed that the government should recognise non-binary gender options.
All of such social and legal marginalisation took a toll on the transgender people’s mental health in Hong Kong. 42.8% of the respondents showed moderate-to-severe levels of depressive symptoms, and 34.7% showed moderate-to-severe levels of anxiety symptoms. Besides, 31.2% of the respondents reported non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour in the past 12 months. There were 76.9% of them contemplated suicide, 25.6% made a suicide plan, and 12.8% attempted suicide in their lifetime. However, transgender people displayed agency and one-third of them took action to resist when facing transgender-related discrimination/cisgenderism.
Chinese News Coverage:
2. 東方： 研究指近8成受訪跨性別人士有自殺念頭 倡設性別身份反歧視法
4. 立場新聞： 研究指近 8 成跨性別人士有自殺念頭 促政府訂性別承認法、反歧視法
5. 眾新聞： 跨性別平權W案後無寸進 中大調查：51%受訪者面對歧視
6. HK01: 調查發現近八成跨性別人士曾想過自殺 學者促跟進性別承認法
7. 頭條新聞：中大調查發現 逾半跨性別人士曾遭歧視
8. AM730: 八成跨性別港人想過自殺 專家倡精神健康支援
10. 香港商報： 中大調查：本港近八成跨性別受訪者表示曾遭歧視
English News coverage:
11. RTHK News: Transgender people face broad discrimination: survey
12. SCMP: Three-quarters of transgender people in Hong Kong have considered suicide, Chinese University survey reveals
13. Hong Kong Free Press: Half of transgender people in Hong Kong face discrimination, CUHK research shows
14. The Standard: Half of transgenders face discrimination: survey
Live radio programme current affairs:
15. RTHK Hong Kong Today (13 May):