Outside the Court of Final Appeal on February 6, Xie Haolin (Henry) held a light blue, pink and white striped "transgender pride flag" and showed a bright smile. The gender column has obtained the opportunity to "rectify the name". The Immigration Department has won the judicial review of the non-surgical certificate replacement case that was brought to court.
Changing from a female to a male and entering the field of "trans male", he is subject to the great backwardness of gender recognition in Hong Kong. He revealed in an interview with "Hong Kong 01" that when he used to hold an old ID card, trivial things such as visiting buildings, going to the toilet, Renting a house or even going to the bank, I have repeatedly encountered obstacles in the past six years, and even "the two sides are not human", "Every time I show my ID card, I have to be taken out of the closet." He lamented that justice was belated this time, and described it as a "tragic victory". "These are just basic living conditions and humble requirements, which should not have happened in the first place."
The appellant Xie Haolin smiled when he learned of the final victory on February 6.
(Photo by Liu Anqi)
[Transgender review case lost] Trans boy Henry’s real name sues the government: He only wants Hong Kong to recognize himself as transgender, others ask for a change of identity card gender, the final court appeals to the appellant: the case has far-reaching impact
Xie Haolin's natural gender is female, self-identifies as male, has taken male hormone drugs and had her breasts removed, and then obtained a gender recognition certificate from the UK in 2016, and has legal rights locally as a male.
When he returned to Hong Kong the following year, he discovered that the treatment of transgender people in Hong Kong was extremely poor.
He admitted that even the most basic physiological needs will encounter many difficulties.
Before my name was rectified, neither side was human.
It is illegal to go to the men's restroom in a public place, and it is a loitering offense to go to the women's restroom.
"Trans Man" Xie Haolin
I thought I would avoid trouble by using the disabled toilet, but I was kicked out of the toilet by the cleaner
The name is wrong and the words are not right. He once had a trans boyfriend who failed to use the toilet and even alarmed the police. In order to avoid complications, he would rather use the toilet for the disabled, but "sneaking" is not comfortable. "I don't want to encounter such a situation, but That's like hogging the toilets of needy people and trying to get kicked out by cleaners."
Xie Haolin was interviewed by "Hong Kong 01" in 2019. At that time, he said that he filed a judicial review under his real name, "I just want Hong Kong to recognize itself." (File photo/Photo by Ou Jiale)
If I fail to apply for a youth dormitory, I will always be suspected of not being myself when I go to the bank to withdraw money
Apart from going to the toilet, other areas of life also encountered resistance repeatedly.
He tried to apply to live in a youth dormitory, but to no avail. "As soon as the other party saw his ID card, he refused to rent it to me. I guess he didn't know that I should be assigned to a men's room and a women's room." He went to the bank to withdraw money, but failed. Can pass through like ordinary people, "Pick up your ID card and look at it, you will feel that you are fake, suspect that you are not the real person, and require additional verification, such as submitting documents to confirm your identity."
Every time I show my ID card, I have to be taken out of the closet.
"Trans Man" Xie Haolin
He said that whenever the presentation of his ID card was involved, he always got puzzled eyes and a series of troubles from the other party.
The error in the gender column not only causes inconvenience, but also creates privacy issues. "I have never tried such a situation in the UK."
When he was in the UK, Xie Haolin had traveled overseas to tell his family about his transgender situation, but he never received support.
(File photo/Photo by Ou Jiale)
Gender recognition certificate issued after feeling accepted to accommodate transgender while studying in UK
Xie Haolin, 31 years old this year, has disliked wearing skirts since she was a child, and loves to wear short hair. She is often criticized by her elders for "there are so many ugly people".
He studied in the UK during his high school preparatory years. In Brighton, which embraces gender diversity, he felt accepted and tolerated, who felt that he was out of tune with others.
Same-sex couples holding hands and dating are commonplace on the streets, and there is no need to wear school uniforms in middle schools, so they can do whatever they want.
He later decided to change his gender, and was referred to the hospital for follow-up. After submitting his self-report and medical certificate, he was issued a gender recognition certificate by the British administrative department in 2016, and obtained legal rights locally as a man. The gender column on his British passport also was changed to male.
In 2017, he was hired by an international organization in Hong Kong and decided to return to live and work.
The company pursues a policy that is friendly to sexual minorities, but every time I step out of the office, I always feel that it is difficult to move forward. "These problems cannot be solved if we do not go to the judicial review of the renewal policy."
Xie Haolin's childhood was not happy, and his family always blamed him for not acting like a girl, "very ugly".
(File photo / Photo by Ou Jiale)
Embarking on the road to equal rights is more difficult than imagined.
Support from the local homosexual community is scattered, and transgender organizations also have different spectrums. Xie Haolin said that some people even spoke out against the lawsuit. The road is really long and lonely." Although he was very excited about the final judgment of the Court of Final Appeal, he described it as a "tragic victory".
These in themselves are just basic living conditions, just some very humble requirements, which shouldn't have happened in the first place.
"Trans Man" Xie Haolin
According to Hong Kong's current policy, if you want to change the gender on your identity card, you must remove the original reproductive organs and construct heterosexual reproductive organs.
The final victory of the lawsuit this time means that the above-mentioned provisions violate the Bill of Rights.
The judgment stated that the gender marker on the identity card was used purely to verify the identity of the holder, not to determine or identify their legal gender.
It is necessary to wait for the immigration department to amend the regulations before changing the ID card and returning the man's body
"It's been so long, it's really frustrating." He said that he hoped that the immigration department would amend the regulations as soon as possible, and he also looked forward to receiving a new ID card. "But the affirmative work is still in progress." In recent years, he founded the Hong Kong Transgender Equality Association and actively engaged in advocacy work , Last year, it took over the project "Hong Kong Trans Men", connecting eight Hong Kong trans men and sharing their stories of being "marginalized", hoping to bring everyone's plight into the public eye.
After the case was successfully appealed, his mobile phone received congratulatory text messages from all directions, "Many unknown transgender people thanked me a lot." He knew that this was only a small victory at the stage, and it was only a short time before the Hong Kong government enacted the gender recognition law. The day is still far away. "Except for judicial review, there is almost no progress (legislation on the protection of sexual minorities)." Although he is sad, he still hopes, "I will keep doing it."
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How can I change the gender on my ID card?
According to the current policy in Hong Kong, the original reproductive organs must be removed and the heterosexual reproductive organs must be constructed.
Why did the judge of the Court of Final Appeal rule that Xie Haolin finally won the case?
The judge's written judgment stated that the policy involved in the case violated the "Hong Kong Bill of Rights" and did not accept the Immigration Department's statement that complete gender reassignment surgery is the only feasible and objective criterion. It also pointed out that the medical exemption of the current policy and the different policies adopted by other jurisdictions can be seen. Others The guidelines are workable and do not create administrative difficulties.