Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Protesters demand Hong Kong acts after the death of a trans woman

Campaigners in Hong Kong desperately want the government to change its gender laws.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition asking to make the laws friendlier to trans people, after a trans woman took her own life.

Earlier this month the 25 year-old committed suicide at a busy Metro station, with advocates reporting that her actions showed the difficulties of trans life in the country

Before her death the woman wrote the following on Facebook:

"Every day to not know whether you're able to live, to wake up every day secretly crying in bed, every day watching the world and want to run".

"I am sorry to speak of death, but I have to clearly describe the situation in which my gender role is difficult to gain social acceptance".

Which I'm sure anyone reading this will agree is utterly heartbreaking.

The petition is accompanied by a statement from leading advocacy groups and organisations in Hong Kong.

It asks for the government to move swiftly on the Gender Recognition Act, and calls on the media to respectfully report on gender and for all people, to treat the trans community better.

Gay Star News report that Hong Kong's first openly-gay politician, has said the government's stance on trans issues is negatively affecting the lives of LGBTI people.

He added: "Those who are opposed to legislation, and those who use the worst language and exhibit egregious behaviours to reject us as full members of society have blood on their hands".

In March, an Equal Opportunities Commission and Gender Research Centre at the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies issued a joint statement, calling on the government to take action.

It was supported by over 75 organisations, academics, businesses and religious institutions.

Hopefully the Hong Kong government takes action, as so much work remains to be done, in terms of improving the lives of trans people.

It seems like every month, we hear of another trans person being murdered in the United States and around the world, and it has to stop.

One trans life lost to prejudice and bigotry is one too many.

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