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26 Sep 2016

Two transgender women refused entry at HK airport

The pair, who were travelling from from Bangkok, were told by immigration officers that they did not satisfy the purpose of their trip.

The two transgender women were told they could not enter Hong Kong as immigration officials did not believe they were there to shop and sight see.
The pair were then asked to sign documents concerning their gender and were reportedly asked by officers if they were “cut already”, referring to their gender re-assignment surgery.
The pair refused to sign the documents and returned to Bangkok.
A lawyer representing one of the women, Jonathan Man Ho-Ching said he “could not rule out the possibility of prejudice and discrimination” and said “there was a lack of understanding of different sexes and genders.”
A spokesperson for the Immigration Department told Pink News the tourists were “suspicious” and “failed to satisfy that they were genuine travellers.”
Joanne Leung Wing-yan, Chairwoman of Hong Kong’s Transgender Resource Centre, said that Hong Kong immigration had “no reason to ask them to deny them access.
“I just hope there will be a different kind of treatment and understanding for transgender people” she said.
Hong Kong immigration were criticised in a 2013 airport case in which officers were accused of behaving like animals during a body search and subjecting a transgender visit to a nine-hour ordeal in which she was mocked.

The two transgender women were told they could not enter Hong Kong as immigration officials did not believe they were there to shop and sight see.

The pair were then asked to sign documents concerning their gender and were reportedly asked by officers if they were “cut already”, referring to their gender re-assignment surgery.

The pair refused to sign the documents and returned to Bangkok.

A lawyer representing one of the women, Jonathan Man Ho-Ching said he “could not rule out the possibility of prejudice and discrimination” and said “there was a lack of understanding of different sexes and genders.”

A spokesperson for the Immigration Department told Pink News the tourists were “suspicious” and “failed to satisfy that they were genuine travellers.”

Joanne Leung Wing-yan, Chairwoman of Hong Kong’s Transgender Resource Centre, said that Hong Kong immigration had “no reason to ask them to deny them access.

“I just hope there will be a different kind of treatment and understanding for transgender people” she said.

Hong Kong immigration were criticised in a 2013 airport case in which officers were accused of behaving like animals during a body search and subjecting a transgender visit to a nine-hour ordeal in which she was mocked.

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-09-27 15:25  
It seems to me, an outsider who loves HK, that at one time HK enjoyed a reputation for being tolerant and open. In recent years, it now seems to be much more intolerant, authoritarian, oppressive, and not at all responsive to the needs of ALL its citizens. Sad.
2. 2016-09-27 15:39  
Why wouldn't they sign the form?

Don't we want immigration officers to be to the letter?

Are there no transgender people in the sex industry?

More facts required before I make my judgement.
3. 2016-09-27 16:42  
GTiLad, would you be OK with being refused entry because you are GAY. Are there no GAY people in the sex industry?
The fact that they are being treated differently because of their gender identification should be enough to make a negative judgement!
4. 2016-09-27 16:51  
This is a very worrying case. Regrettably, I have reports of similar cases at Taiwan's international gate-ways too.

While it points to the need for greater education and political dialogue between stake-holders, ultimately real change comes only as a result of legal action- and that is a herculean "david and goliath" contest, with all the financial odds and strength weighing against the appellants....

That leaves campaigners to do their best to "name and shame" and possibly make the HK authorities worry about losing tourist $
5. 2016-09-28 06:36  
3, if their passports say male yet they identify as female....

I guess my passport might as well be homemade.

I think I'm intelligent enough to accept being refused entry if I'm trying to enter a country where sex working is illegal or found to lead to illegal activity. I don't think my sexuality would matter. I could use it as an excuse however if I didn't get my way (even if it was for my own safety).

I do speculate however. I also ask for more facts.

It's very easy to be shocked and fearful. The activists like this. Best to question everything don't you think? Facts let you know when to actually worry.


6. 2016-10-04 16:37  
So there are no such things as human beings anymore.
Comment #7 was deleted by an administrator on 2016-10-10 20:25

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