Members of the LGBT community share their views at the press conference in Beijing on Monday on the report on Legal Gender Recognition in China. Photo: Courtesy of the UNDP
China should issue regulations to provide transgender people legal gender recognition to protect them from job, health and education discrimination, a report said on Monday.
Barriers to getting gender-affirming surgeries (GAS) in China have resulted in life-threatening self-harm or self-mutilation, a report released by the UNDP and China Women's University on Monday in Beijing.
GAS is required before they can change their name and gender marker on official identity documents. However, some criteria for gender affirming surgeries are "humiliating," the report said.
For example, transgenders must obtain the approval of human resource departments at their workplace before they can receive GAS, a Ministry of Public Security regulation states.
The process is forcing them to choose between either "outing" themselves to co-workers or giving up plans to change their sex, the report noted.
"The transgender community is a group being neglected by society. The term 'transgender' cannot even be found in any Chinese law or regulation," Liu Minghui, a professor at the China Women's University in Beijing who spoke at the press conference for the report, told the Global Times on Monday.
"Sex is a taboo topic in China, not to mention the notion of gender pluralism and transgenders which challenges the traditional concept of gender binary," said Xin Ying, director of the Beijing LGBT Center.
It remains difficult to convince Chinese government officials to provide legal protection to transgenders, which is a topic society rejects, Liu said.
Liu also urged authorities to include the transgender community in the employment non-discrimination law that China has proposed.
A number of transgender people engage in sex work, where they face the added humiliation and danger of near-constant administrative sanctions and penalties, the report said.
Transgender people in China live in the shadows and a great majority of them have experienced some form of domestic violence and discrimination, according to a report by the Beijing LBGT Center in 2017.
Nearly 90 percent of surveyed Chinese families cannot fully accept their children if they become transgenders, and that 20 percent of transgender people who have sex reassignment surgery said they felt discriminated against, according to the report.
The report also called for a law or regulation against transgender-related discrimination and violence on campus, and suggests providing sex diversity education.
Newspaper headline: Report supports transgender rights