Rejection, victimisation and discrimination have been prevalent in the lives of many transgender people in Hong Kong.
Today (17 May) is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, an annual event to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities globally, which provides an opportunity to break down barriers and take action.
In light of this, a recent report by Chinese University of Hong Kong interviewed 234 transgender Hongkongers between 2019 and 2010 to examine what the situation is like for transgender people in Hong Kong.
The report found that in the past year, half of the respondents (51%) reported facing discrimination in at least one of these four areas: Employment (35%), education (35%), provision of goods and services (37%) and disposal and management of premises (26%).
Rejection, victimisation and discrimination have been prevalent in the lives of many transgender people in Hong Kong, with 76% of the respondents reportedly facing rejection in different dimensions of social life and 62% of them reported having experienced different forms of victimisation in their lifetime.
In particular, 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. When using the toilet, they said they were subjected to verbal assault, physical violence, or even sexual contact against their wishes.
All of the social and legal marginalisation took a toll on their mental health. Two in five (43%) of the respondents showed moderate-to-severe levels of depressive symptoms, and 35% showed moderate-to-severe levels of anxiety symptoms.
Besides, 31% of the respondents reported non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, 77% of them contemplated suicide, 26% had made a suicide plan, and 13% attempted suicide in their lifetime.
Among them, one-third made effort to resist when facing transgender-related discrimination or cisgenderism.
To learn more about how to create an LGBTQ-friendly workplace, please join us at ShhOUT virtually on 16 June 2021. ShhOUT is a conference that aims at bringing a voice to a typically silenced and marginalised group and creating discourse in advancing inclusion of LGBTQ members in organisations in the region.