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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
Share your experiences in HONG KONG - Let others know what it’s like to be LGBTI in your country! If an experience is meaningful for you, it will probably be meaningful for someone else. On whatever topic, whether good or bad, your story is how the world knows about your country and LGBTI life. By selecting tags that mark the topic your story, others can learn from your experience.
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in HONG KONG...
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Eliana (user currently living in HONG KONG) posted for transgender readers on 03/02/2014 +20
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Crossing borders a real life story (Eliana's narration).
read more in her blog www.soyeliana.com

The 16 of September of 2013 my life change dramatically.

Before that day, I was a Colombian master student awarded with a scholarship in the Taipei Medical University, an outstanding person following a dream, living comfortably in peace and happy in the Island of Taiwan.

After that horrible day, I became a refugee of the United Nations, an stateless and homeless person in the middle of a horrible city called Hong Kong, with no Identity, no dignity, no passport and living in very poor conditions, sleeping on the floor in a improvised shelter for me.

What happened that day?.

As I mention before, I was in Taiwan, living and studying, and due to bureaucratic issues related to my passport (my picture) I had to come urgently to the consulate of Colombia in Hong Kong, the closest one, to issue a new passport to renew my Taiwanese Visa and also apply for the second year of my master in Taipei Medical University.

I came for only 3 days but that day the length of my stay became suddenly in a indefinite stay.

That day I was sexually abused, and I experienced a grave violation of my human rights in the International Airport of Hong Kong.

There due to the ambiguity with my gender, the customs and excise and immigration officer decide to refuse my enter to Hong Kong SAR, finding the way to deport me to my home country, a place that I left before, because I suffered two murder attempts, precisely for the same reason the ambiguity with my gender.

After the refusal to enter to HK I was forced to be naked, and two male officers who mocked of me, touched and manipulate all the parts in my body, freely and with no regret, took advantage of the fact that because in my passport was written an M in my gender instead of an F, and they were complete legally able to do what ever they want to me, including touching sensible parts of my body, like my boobs that according to them are not that sensible if you have an M in your passport.

I was sexually assaulted, but for Hong Kong, according with their legal definition of sexual abuse, sexual abuse or sexual assault is only considered when it happens (man person to a female person). So according with that, we all transgender woman, can be raped and sexually abused without any legal implication for the person who commit that crime, like the sexual offense of those two officers commit to me at the Hong Kong International Airport (The busiest airport in the world).

After almost one day detained in the airport’s jail in horrible conditions, in where I was exposed to all the man that were in that detention room being forced to use the man’s toilet in front of them, instead of the female one I wanted to go and share same seats even when I was dressing a skirt.

The officer who were quite discriminative, violated each of the steps that they should follow with a person that is in detention like me, and they refuse to contact my consulate in Colombia. Instead they were trying to deport me as quick as they can after they realized the big mistake they commit with me after the sexual abuse and the human right violation the just commit.

After hours crying, and asking for help, I found the way to turn on my phone using the international roaming and I sent a help message to all my Facebook friends after that The Amnesty International and several organizations came to release from that place.

After that I started a very painful and long journey in this city that I don’t like too much.

My fears of being deported to a place in where I can not be myself, in where I can not consider to have family and where expose my self as I am could lead me to the death. Forced me to find a long-term solution in the highest representation of the nations in the world. the UN.

I became an Asylum seeker and in less than a month I got the Refugee Status of the UN.

I became an stateless person, holding the Recognition of the United Nations.

That day I lose many things, my life, my past, my master degree, my nationality, my passport, my identity, and my medical and hormonal treatment in Taiwan, since that I was not able to return to Taiwan, because I was a UN Citizen and Taiwan is a country not recognized for the UN.


who I am.

I am Eliana (Sasha), born in Bogota – Colombia. I’m a Dr in Pharmacy and Chemist.

I was born in Bogota my mom ran away from the soviet union in the 70′s she is half Jewish – Russian and my father is Colombian.

I am a Transgender Woman.

I left Colombia a very transphobic place to start a life in Taiwan in the way I always wanted, leaving back my whole life, and starting from zero.

Since 6 years old I realized that my physical gender was not matching with my inner feeling, and I had to grow in the wrong way being a person I was not.

I used to wear my mom’s make up and outfits since 9.

In my adolescence the awful changes related to my puberty lead to try to commit suicide in several occasions.

However at 17 years old I understood who I was, a transgender woman, and I realized that is possible to be who you are, but is a quite complicated way full of barriers, solitude and isolation.

After that I tried to be my self in my room several times, but was in my 20′s that I had the courage to go out in the streets cross dressing as Eliana, knowing the hazards and treats that people like me will find in a transphobic place like Bogota.

Colombia is a country where Machismo, Transphobia and Homophobia, are deeply integrated to the society, a 60 years war, and the crime and ultra-right paramilitary groups making social cleaning in the streets make colombia to holds one of the highest murder rate of transgender woman in the world.

Precisely in 2009 I almost die in the attempt of being my self, only the third time I went out to the street as Eliana exposing my self less that 5 minutes, I was stabbed in my back (4 inches scar) and I was about to be shot in hand of the social cleaning patrols.

After these terrifying episodes that nobody of my family and friends knew, I understood, the dramatic rejection and transphobia in the society, and my family a complex mixture between Colombian and Soviet backgrounds that make them quite afraid and phobic of the human spectrum of sexual orientation and and gender identity lead me to leave everything back and escape from all, because If I want to be my self I needed to leave my country, my family, my friends, my past.

At that time I was able to speak 5 languages and I had two degrees, I knew that things could be easier in some way for me in the future, I was wrong.

Taiwan

Taiwan was my chrysalide, there the gender identity is seen as part of the nature of the human soul as Budha said your body is only a crust the real you is within you, a vision that the conservative Hong Kong nowadays don’t understand.

So there I found a safe place to be myself, and start my medical treatment and my transitioning while I was studying my master degree in medical sciences.

My life in general was quite nice, and I was in peace, and happy to be my self, I had to work as a part of sustaining my Hormonal Treatment selling food in the streets of Taipei, selling cakes, lunch boxes and cupcakes, an activity that I did part time with my university activities.

In Taiwan I found a lot of answers in Buddhism and I became my self a most spiritual person, and the awareness of the human nature and the diversity and dynamicity of the universe increased in me.

However things starting to change progressively, my face and my body change abruptly, I became evidentially in a woman, so one year after when I had to renew my visa for my second year of scholarship, the Immigration officers said that my passport was not reflecting my identity and I need to contact the closest embassy of my country to solve that problem I needed to change the picture and also the M to an F.

My embassy never helped me, and after several attempts the only way to solve my problem was going to the closet consulate to Taiwan. Hong Kong.

After the Airport.

Rainbow of Hong Kong an NGO in charge of LGBT advocacy and issues in Hong Kong decided to hold my case and give me support in different ways.

Part of the help they are providing to me is the temporary shelter in their offices in Jordan, place in where I’m living now.

In Taiwan I was holding a complicated medical treatment including a medication “Leuprolide Acetate” that can not be suddenly suspended because it can produce several adverse effects related to a general metabolic disorder.

Unfortunately I couldn’t continue my medical treatment in Hong Kong, and the Hospital and the general health system, refuse to provide me any medical assistance.

Two weeks after I fainted in the street and an ambulance took to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, when they realized about my gender ambiguity, they immediately locate me into the padded room for insane and mental patients in the psychiatric hospital, in restrains to a bed, instead of providing medical assistance due to the reason I fainted, I was in restraints 30th of September and 1st of October, then Rainbow of Hong Kong save me again.

The fight after that episode against the Hong Kong public health system was that strong that Rainbow of Hong Kong, finally got full assistance to my medication, and since January my whole treatment have been covered for the Health System of Hong Kong.

The UN acknowledge to me the Refugee Status, with this status, I can be officially protected for the UN toward any hostility of any government like the Hong Kong one.

After having this recognition the UN started a troublesome process to find and third country for me to go to, even though they have more that 20 countries for resettlement, most of them like Norway, Belgium, Canada, France or Italy, force me to do the sterilization surgery or mutilation, to recognize my gender as female in my documentation, on the other hand a lot of countries do not provide any transgender assistance or health care like the United States health system, so the UN has been struggling in the way to find a good solution for me.

After 15 of December things with immigration department started to be complicated again, I was afraid to approach them for the previous experience, the 6 of January I went there after having a recommendation letter from the UN, however after that even with the refugee certificate I became an illegal person, and I was liable to be detained according with the Hong Kong law (see section 32), because of the overstaying I was arrested by the end of January and on 4th of February the Immigration Office will decide whether they send my case to the court or not, it means I can be in detention, in jail or in the worst case being deported to Colombia, a place in where my life will be in danger.

My Blog for more information: www.soyeliana.com

Local and world news about my case:

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1346238/transgender-woman-hong-kong-customs-officers-behaved-animals-during

http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/news/art/20131103/18491211

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/trans-woman-claims-hong-kong-customs-behaved-animals031113 ;

http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/trans-woman-subjected-to-invasive-search-at-hong-kong-airport-12289.html

http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/3/article_14137.php

http://programme.rthk.hk/rthk/tv/programme.php?name=tv/thepulse&d;=2013-11-15&p;=2862&e;=240071&m;=episode

http://www.las2orillas.co/transgenerista-colombiana-maltratada-en-hong-kong/
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Anthony (user currently living in HONG KONG) posted for gay readers on 27/03/2012 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention +10
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Hi anyone listening?

I am a gay wih no rights at all, I live in a country with my "partner" (Hong Kong) that promotes itself as being a world city but is horribly homophobic.

I dont have any rights as a EU citizen expat partner I have to leave the territory every three months to get a tourist visa to stay, I cannot work or set up a biusness I am seen as completely invisible.

This hurts me a lot, I have seen all my dreams come to nothing for 14 long years as a "tourist".

I am sad I have had enough.

I repeatedly over the years tried to join in desperation a forum for expats called http://hongkong.geoexpat.com/ as I feel so lonely at times but repeatedly they have banned me the minute I have made it clear I am gay. So that I dont even have a voice mongst people of my own language.

The problem is it's difficult talking about day to day life without people knowing you are gay, I have to remeber to say she instead of he and I sometimes get it wrong.

When times are hard for what ever reason there is no support, I must hold my heart and speak no words, I may not join any forums where other expats frequent and moan about the silly little things in life, I am banned for life instead. Even for simple words like "partner", even when I get it "right".

I am sad and sore from crying myselft to sleep.

I have over the years thought of so many ways to end this misery, just to silently creep off and dissapear. However when faced with this misery I remember there are so many other people in the world like myself trapped to a life that is not worth living and I say to myself there must be hope there must be hope somewhere and so I keep looking.

Its in knowing that im not the only one suffering on a day to day basis that I can sometimes honestly only get up in the morning.

And so here I am.

I wish for something very simple a forum for everyone gay bisexual straight in any walk of life that chooses to live and work or partner their partner in living and working abroad and especily in Hong Kong. One where everyone is welcome no matter what their sexual orientation, it would make so much diference, just a little difference in how we have to live.

At the moment I would say that 70% or more of expats living in Hong Kong are single gay males.

Im horrified and shocked that they choose to live here under these circumstances but so it is a perpetution of life in the closet. I want to change things somehow but Im not sure how.

I found this site by looking up Gay rights and decided to wipe away the tears and take my chances, right now today 6. 55 Pm Hong Kong time.

I hope it makes a difference because my life is hell but you can bet you no one else is telling.
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Alex (user currently living in HUNGARY) posted for gay readers in response to this story on 30/03/2012 +10
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Dear Anthony, this is a horrible story that you are describing. However, I have a question. if you are not originally from China, why do you have to stay there for such a long time if life is horrible there? Could you move and go to your country (what is it? and is it better there?) or some other place?
Thanks.
Alex.
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Anthony (user currently living in HONG KONG) posted for gay readers on 27/03/2012 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention +10
link
Hi anyone listening?

I am a gay wih no rights at all, I live in a country with my "partner" (Hong Kong) that promotes itself as being a world city but is horribly homophobic.

I dont have any rights as a EU citizen expat partner I have to leave the territory every three months to get a tourist visa to stay, I cannot work or set up a biusness I am seen as completely invisible.

This hurts me a lot, I have seen all my dreams come to nothing for 14 long years as a "tourist".

I am sad I have had enough.

I repeatedly over the years tried to join in desperation a forum for expats called http://hongkong.geoexpat.com/ as I feel so lonely at times but repeatedly they have banned me the minute I have made it clear I am gay. So that I dont even have a voice mongst people of my own language.

The problem is it's difficult talking about day to day life without people knowing you are gay, I have to remeber to say she instead of he and I sometimes get it wrong.

When times are hard for what ever reason there is no support, I must hold my heart and speak no words, I may not join any forums where other expats frequent and moan about the silly little things in life, I am banned for life instead. Even for simple words like "partner", even when I get it "right".

I am sad and sore from crying myselft to sleep.

I have over the years thought of so many ways to end this misery, just to silently creep off and dissapear. However when faced with this misery I remember there are so many other people in the world like myself trapped to a life that is not worth living and I say to myself there must be hope there must be hope somewhere and so I keep looking.

Its in knowing that im not the only one suffering on a day to day basis that I can sometimes honestly only get up in the morning.

And so here I am.

I wish for something very simple a forum for everyone gay bisexual straight in any walk of life that chooses to live and work or partner their partner in living and working abroad and especily in Hong Kong. One where everyone is welcome no matter what their sexual orientation, it would make so much diference, just a little difference in how we have to live.

At the moment I would say that 70% or more of expats living in Hong Kong are single gay males.

Im horrified and shocked that they choose to live here under these circumstances but so it is a perpetution of life in the closet. I want to change things somehow but Im not sure how.

I found this site by looking up Gay rights and decided to wipe away the tears and take my chances, right now today 6. 55 Pm Hong Kong time.

I hope it makes a difference because my life is hell but you can bet you no one else is telling.
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Ms T (user currently living in HONG KONG) posted for lesbian readers on 12/01/2014 tagged with at the work place +9
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How can anyone assume that because I am a lesbian, I will want to abuse young girls? This is a common thing in schools. My school has a number of lesbian and gay teachers and administration staff, but we cannot be free to express ourselves or discuss our lifestyle choices. It is taboo to be gay and work with children, no matter how illogical or unfair this is, it is accepted. So we have to hide our true selves for fear of parental and management backlash. No one assumes that straight teachers want to abuse the kids in their care, but say you are gay and get ready to to find a new job.
Loving caring people are living a lie, it is hypocritical to advocate social education, and still make it a virtual crime to be a gay teacher. I think it is time for a change. If you agree please send an email to
chunglunfong@yahoo.com.hk. If you could just say all teachers deserve respect and support no matter their sexual orientation, it would help us have the courage to make a stand. It seems so difficult when it feels no one cares. Thank you. Oh the school is an international one so should have a modern outlook. Kiangsu Chekiang College International Section. Thanks again and keep strong!
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Protecting Transgender Rights in Hong Kong: Equal Marriage Rights

This morning Hong Kong took a giant leap forward in protecting transgender rights in a judgment of the Court of Final Appeal which will allow a trans* woman to marry her partner. In a judgment that some Irish politicians could do well to take note of the Court concluded that in multicultural jurisdiction such as Hong Kong, the nature of marriage as a social institution had undergone many alterations in that the importance of procreation as an essential constituent “has much diminished”. In a 4-1 running, the Court held that it is “contrary to principle to focus merely on biological features fixed at the time of birth and regarded as immutable” and held in favour of the Appellant.

Full Article: http://humanrights.ie/gender-sexuality-and-the-law/protecting-transgender-rights-in-hong-kong-equal-marriage-rights/
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