Calling for fast, easy sex-change options

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 23 Nov 2018

Non-binary campaigners are demanding new laws to make Hong Kong residents recognize self-chosen gender identities.

At the moment, our society legally recognizes the changed sex of people who have physically changed sex.

But Jerome Yau, a spokesperson for non-binary groups, says Hong Kong policy violates human rights by asking individuals to use hormones and or surgery.

Instead, a man should be able to declare himself female and have all associated legal rights.

This includes the right to enter female-only places such as women's changing rooms, toilets, chocolatiers, the soft furnishings section of Wing On, etc.

The activists' plan will make the whole sex-change thing super-easy.

And it allows people to change their minds and return to their biological sex, which researchers say happens often.

But should there be a limit on the number of times you can change sex?

And minimum time periods for staying one gender?

I just ate a salad so I am feeling quite girly but I am planning to spend the afternoon shouting at a TV sports channel, definitely more of a guy thing.

* * *

Hong Kong women now live six years longer than Hong Kong men, reader Alix Woo tells me: "So my plan is to be a guy until I'm 80 and then have a sex change."

* * *

Okay, so let's make "identification" our theme today. Westerners are much more permissive about this than Hongkongers.

In the UK, a white actor named Anthony Lennon said he "identified as black" and was given a grant reserved for black people.

In the Netherlands, Emile Ratelband, 69, demanded the right to legally change his age because he "identifies as 49." Courts agreed to consider this.

"I'm going to identify as a Neanderthal," said an Internet commenter who calls himself Wood Bats. "It'll lower expectations."

* * *

In Hong Kong, I've met people who self-identify as bananas (yellow outside, white inside) eggs (white outside, yellow inside), Oreos (black outside, white inside), peaches (pink or yellow outside, black inside), etc.

If self-identification is legalized here, district councillor Paul Zimmerman could legally become Chinese to better match his job as local representative.

Car-crashing celebrity Nicholas Tse Ting-fung could legally become Congolese (statistically the world's worst drivers).

Members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong could legally become tins of shoe-polish.

* * *

Judging by this photo, India is already ahead of the game on this topic.

* * *

Many children have quietly changed sex in Hong Kong's international schools. At least they're teens. In Norway children from the age of six upwards can legally change sex. At that age, children don't even know if they like broccoli yet!

In fact, I don't know if I like broccoli yet. You can't rush important decisions.

And that leads us to a joke sent in by a Hong Kong transgender friend: "How many transgender people does it take to change a light bulb? One to sit in the dark for two years and 100 to tell them not to rush it."

* * *

The story goes that a young New Territories man told his traditionalist father that he wanted to become female.

To his surprise, Dad smiled and nodded.

"Sure you can change sex," the father replied. "Your mother needs help with cooking and cleaning."

Talk to me: send ideas and comments to the Facebook pages of this author or The Standard.

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