跨性別現身日 之 快問快答
Quick guide to Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV)
美國密西根洲的Rachel Crandall於2009年3月31日成立國際跨性別現身日 (International Transgender Day of Visibility, TDoV)，致意慶祝跨性別者及她/他/大也們對社會的貢獻，並提升針對跨性別者歧視行為的關注度。
International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) was founded in March 31st 2009 by US-based activists Rachel Crandall, TDoV dedicates in acknowledging and celebrating living members of the transgender community, as well as raising awareness of discrimination against transgender people.
A：March 31st every year!
A：Everywhere! TDoV is widely commemorated in various countries, through means such as parades and online social media campaigns.
A：Obviously TDoV is about the transgender community; but we also need the support from allies and general public!
答：在TDoV成立前，較廣為人知、以跨性別人士為主的紀念日子只有跨性別追悼日 (Transgender Day of Remembrance, TDoR) – TDoR由1999年11月20日開始，紀念及追悼因歧視或仇恨而被殺害的跨性別人士。當時的社會需要一個TDoR以外的紀念日，用意在卡認同和慶祝在世的跨性別人士。除了追悼已逝去的跨性別朋友們外，我們亦應慶祝努力地、默默地、驕傲地生活著的跨性別者。
A：Frustration arose as the only transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), founded in November 20th 1999, mounted in mourning the lost trans lives due to discrimination and hate crime. The lack of acknowledgment and celebration of the living members of the transgender community become more and more prominent. We should mourn the lives we’ve lost, but also celebrate the living.
What is visibility? Why is visibility important?
所謂「現身」並不是純粹關注在光鮮亮麗的外表或成就；媒體上看到的「美麗篇章」或者「成功例子」，如：第一位跨性別洲際⼩姐、第一位跨性別副總理等等… 這些都是十分值得慶祝的故事，但在褪下光環後，更值得我們關注的是跨性別人士的需要、以及她/他/大也們會面對的偏見或歧視。 要了解跨性別人士的需要，你可以由最基本的三個方面入手，分別是：性別認同、性別過渡、和性別承認。
Visibility comes in many forms – not only the glory, accomplishments, and proudness shining on the outside; but also the needs, access to resources, and stigma hiding behind the curtains. To really get to know more about transgender persons, you can start with: Gender Identity, Gender Transition, and Gender recognition.
Your psychological sense of self. Who you, in your head, know yourself to be, based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender.
Gender transition is the process transgender persons go through to live a gender role that is more aligned with their identified gender, which differs from their assigned sex. It involves a lot of changes and adaptation, and can be divided into three major aspects – social transition, physical transition and legal transition.
Transgender persons’ gender identity can be recognized and protected by the law, and be displayed on statutory identification documents such as ID cards and passports. According to current guidelines in Hong Kong, a transgender person must complete certain surgery in order to change the legal (binary) gender on the HKID card. Yet, this does not automatically grant them a comprehensive legal affirmation and protection.
出櫃 Coming Out
Coming out as transgender can be a little different from coming out as gay/ lesbian/ queer: It is inevitable for a transgender person to come out – be it to themselves, or to their friends or families. It is not an one-off action – on the contrary, coming out as transgender is a process that will be repeated over and over again in their course of life. The first time coming out might be when they first started gender transition, they have to come out to people around them due to their change in appearances, voices or the way they dress. As time goes by, when a transgender person can express their identified gender more comfortably, or when they look ‘passing’ to others, coming out as trans allows them to embrace who they really are – to love themselves truly, as the person they always have been.Gender Empowerment offers counselling services for both the transgender persons and their families. We also hold support group meetings, allowing group members to share their experiences in a safe and supportive environment.
People are often scared of and intimidated by what they don’t understand, therefore they turn into fists and sticks to battle with the unknown. It is somehow illogical but that doesn’t mean it cannot harm the trans community. Transgender people may experience stigma and they’ll have to deal with people’s opinions and people judging their appearance.
Transphobia is a term used to describe prejudice against transgender people. It can come with nasty comments and actions, either online or in person. Such harassment or discrimination is often rooted from people who are scared or uncomfortable with trans identities. It is based on fear, hatred, disbelief, or mistrust. Unfortunately, a lot of trans people might have already experienced transphobia first-handedly. Transphobia can come in many different forms, including negative attitudes and misunderstanding, disbelief or discounting preferred pronouns or gender identity, derogatory language and name-calling, and even violence. It can also appear in subtle forms of discrimination such as denied jobs, housing or health care. Transphobia can lead to barriers to employment, elevated symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidality.
校園裡的跨性別孩子 Being trans at school
The moment of realisation comes in different stages of life for every transgender persons – some might realise only later in life, whilst some might know when they were only 3. For those who knew at a very young age, most of them went through feeling alienated at school. School can be difficult for everyone, but for trans teenagers, being at school can create extra tension and challenges. Having to wear a school uniform that doesn’t match their identified gender, or experiencing discomfort and awkwardness using bathrooms and changing rooms – situations like these can aggravate trans teens’ gender & body dysphoria. In simpler terms, trans boys might not feel comfortable being forced to wear a dress, and walking into a men’s room might be daunting for many trans girls. Gender Empowerment acts as a mediator between the school and the transgender person, helps them to resolve issues regarding class structure and bathroom usage etc.
Your trans colleague
Going to job interviews can be daunting for anyone; however, transgender persons may encounter another layer of difficulty:
- Education or certain working experience: Some transgender persons may find it difficult to explain their past – for example, for a trans woman who went to an all-boys school, explaining to the interviewer regarding such ‘discrepancy’ can be overwhelming. Coming out in such a setting might create extra tension and stress.
- Their gender identity/ the way they ‘look’ doesn’t match their gender on legal documents: In Hong Kong, a transgender person has receive a confirmation letter stating that they have completed Gender Affirming Surgery (GAS) in order to change their gender identity on the Hong Kong Identity Card. However, it is not necessary for a transgender person to undergo GAS in order to feel aligned to their identified gender. Thus, it can be stressful when a transgender person has to choose either ‘male’ or ‘female’ on a job application form.
Gender Empowerment offers one-to-one career counselling and career workshop for the transgender community.
本港由威爾斯親王醫院 (威院) 的性別認同障礙診所(性別診所) 專⾨負責有關性別不安的個案。但現時性別診所只接受18歲以上的有需要人士，而另外公立醫院的輪候時間亦較長。而跨性別人士的狀況屬於非緊急，加上要輪候多個專科。就算成功開始見精神科醫生，能夠正式開始荷爾蒙療程亦可能需要等上1-2年；更別說接受手術的階段，可能是3-5年或更久。而這段漫長的等候時間，對跨性別人士來說所造成的心理壓力更是多一層的困難。現時香港的基本醫療程序：
In Hong Kong, the Gender Clinic in the Prince of Wales Hospital provides one-stop medical support for individuals experiencing gender dysphoria. However, the Gender Clinic only serves individuals over 18; on top of that, it is common knowledge that the waiting time in the public services is unbearably long. As transgender persons’ cases fall under the non-urgent category, and they need help in various specialities – even when they start seeing a psychologist, it is possible for them to wait at least 1-2 years to start hormone therapy, not to mention another 3-5 years to receive surgery. Such a longing and waiting period can become mentally draining for transgender persons. Below is the current medical procedures in Hong Kong:
In the international context, there isn’t a standardised gender recognition system. In general, there are currently four kinds of proceedings in changing one’s gender around the world:
(1) self declaration;
(2) expert assessment;
(3) completion of sex affirmation surgery;
or (4) no change of gender recognition at all.
Apart from the binary gender, only a few countries provide the option of a third gender (New Zealand, Australia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Germany, certain states or provinces in the United States or Canada, and India. For transgender persons, a simple ‘male’ or ‘female’ on their legal identification can create different hurdles in life. In Hong Kong, one has to complete gender affirmation surgery (GAS) and receive a medical certificate from the Gender Clinic or other private practices in order to change their sex entry on the Hong Kong Identification Card and passport. However, changing their legal sex entry does not automatically guarantee a comprehensive legal protection, nor can they change their sex entry on their birth certificate. For example, it can be difficult for transgender persons to apply for insurance, or they may be rejected in using changing rooms.
Trans people facing sexual violence
本港自1957年訂立強姦及非禮罪以來，《性罪行條例》曾於2012年進行過一次修訂，然後在民間團體的推動下，法律改革委員會(下稱：法改會)終於在2019年12月就現時《性罪行條例》的改革發表報告書*。內容包括將強姦更新定義為「未經同意下以插入方式進行的性侵犯」，涵蓋以陽具或任何物件插入陰道/肛門/口腔的侵犯行為，擴大了強姦罪的定義。對於跨性別人士來說，可以說是進一步保障了跨女們 (例：用任何物件插入人工陰道亦算是強姦)；但在其他方面：如被捕時被男/女警員搜身、被偷拍上身衣領、遭受其他含性暗示的目光 或行為等等，現時仍未有相關指引或在法改會的報告中被提及。那麼就算法例改革後 又是否能為跨性別人士提供全面的保障呢?
當歧視、性騷擾、性暴力等行為進一步升級，就有可能演變成殺害事件，這亦是每年11月20日為跨性別追悼日 (Transgender Day of Remembrance) 的其中一個成立原因。雖然香港在這方面的關注度未普及﹐或者暫時沒有實質數據顯示跨性別人士所面對的暴力，但從外國的相關報告中也反映到一些跨性別人士會面對的困難。國際間較有公信力的數據是由Transgender Europe (TGEU) 於2008年推出Transgender Murder Monitor** (TMM)所提供，監察全球每年跨性別人士被殺害的狀況。只是2019-20年度(2019年10月1日至2020年9月30日)就已經有350名跨性別人士被害，比起上個年度增長了6%。大部分的案件發生於巴西 (152)、墨西哥 (57)、和美國 (28)。由2008年起計截至2020年9月30日，全球有3664名跨性別人士被殺害。要注意的是，這些數字只包括被記錄在案的跨性別受害者，而又有多少是未被納案、又或者有多少案件是因為使用了被害人的原生性別來歸類，以致被湮沒了的呢?
Hong Kong’s first legislation regulating rape and sexual harassment dated back to 1957, ever since then, Sexual Offence Act (regulated under Cap 200 Crimes Ordinance) was only update once in 2012. Under the relentless proposition of local advocacy groups, The Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong eventually issued a reform report on the Sexual Offence Act in December 2019*. In this report, rape is redefined as ‘sexual penetration without consent’, which includes intrusive acts through using a penis or any objects penetrating a vagina/ anus/ mouth. Theoretically, this reform further protects transgender women (ie: using any objects to penetrate artificial vagina also counts as rape). However, this reform report failed to mention other aspects such as: assigning male/ female officers for body search; secret photographing breasts or upper body; or sexually suggestive gaze. Even when the Act reform is completed, is it really sufficient to protect the trans community?
Every year on the 20th of November, the community commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), to remember the trans people who’ve been murdered due to discrimination, sexual violence, or transphobia. In Hong Kong, the society rarely notices the violence towards transgender people, or in other words, there is no accurate numbers or records documenting such incidents. However, on an international context, Transgender Europe (TGEU) released the Transgender Murder Monitor (TMM)** in 2008 in order to monitor violence against transgender people globally. The TMM 2020 update reveals a total of 350 trans and gender-diverse people registered murdered between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020, representing a 6% increase in reported murders from the 2019 update. The majority of the murders occurred in Brazil (152), Mexico (57), and the United States (28), adding up to a total of 3664 reported cases in 75 countries and territories worldwide between 1 January 2008 and 30 September 2020**.