Judicial Victory for Transgender Activist in Hong Kong

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Transgender activist Hong Kong

Henry Tse Receives New Identification Card

Henry Tse, a transgender activist in Hong Kong, has finally obtained a new identification card reflecting his gender change following a protracted legal battle. On Monday, April 29, 2024, Tse expressed his commitment to continue fighting for the equality of his community during a press conference.

A Multi-Year Legal Struggle

In February 2023, Tse won his appeal against the government’s refusal to change the gender on his ID card, marking a significant victory that was achieved without the requirement for complete gender confirmation surgery. This ruling followed a landmark decision by the city’s highest court, which declared the government policy requiring such surgery unconstitutional, labeling it an excessively harsh burden.

Ongoing Challenges Despite the Victory

Since initiating his judicial review in 2017, Tse has encountered numerous hurdles, not only from the government but also from society, including personal attacks. Despite these challenges, he highlighted that what was normal for many was finally becoming normal for him and his community.

Progress and Persistent Challenges

In April 2024, the Hong Kong government amended its policy to now allow changes in gender on ID cards without complete surgery. However, the policy still requires certain conditions, such as breast removal for transgender men and genital removal for transgender women, along with two years of continuous hormonal treatment.

Life Resuming its Course

Tse now plans to update his other official documents, including his passport and bank information. The activist, who previously had an active lifestyle in sports, also plans to rejoin a gym, marking a return to normal life.

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This legal achievement represents a significant advancement for the LGBTQ+ community in Hong Kong, although many daily challenges remain to be addressed.

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