Finding a voice, fighting for rights: the emergence of the transgender movement in Hong Kong
Robyn EMERTON

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ABSTRACT
This paper is intended to provide a space for reflection on Hong Kongˇ¦s transgender movement at its current stage, with particular reference to the objectives and activities of the Hong Kong Transgender Equality and Acceptance Movement (ˇ§TEAMˇ¨). Established in 2002, TEAM was the first organized group of transgender people and supporters in Hong Kong. First, the paper examines the emergence of the transgender movement in Hong Kong, situating the stated objectives of TEAM in the broader social, legal and political context in Hong Kong. It then considers the successes and limitations of TEAMˇ¦s activities to date, measured against its objectives. Finally, it examines why Hong Kongˇ¦s transgender community has not yet fought for the right to legal recognition of their gender identity, as have transgender individuals and transgender movements in many other countries around the world. In the Asia-Pacific region these include Australia, Japan, the Peopleˇ¦s Republic of China, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand. Through interviews with members of TEAM , the paper questions whether legal recognition is indeed a concern and/or priority for Hong Kongˇ¦s transgender community, and, if so, what prevents Hong Kong transgender people from claiming their right to legal recognition in the courts or through the political process.
Authorˇ¦s biography
Robyn Emerton is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, and the Deputy Director of its Masters in Human Rights Law Programme. She has also practiced as a lawyer in the UK and Hong Kong. She specializes in human rights, especially in relation to gender, sex and sexuality. Recent publications include the transgender-related journal articles cited in this paper, Emerton et al (eds) International Womenˇ¦s Rights Cases (Cavendish, London: 2004); Emerton and Petersen, ˇ§Filipino Nightclub Hostesses in Hong Kong: Vulnerability to Trafficking and other Human Rights Abusesˇ¨ in Hewison and Young (eds) Transnational Work and Migration in Hong Kong (Routledge, London: 2004) 126-143; and Emerton, ˇ§Translating International and Regional Trafficking Norms into Domestic Reality: A Hong Kong Case Studyˇ¨ 10 (2004) Buffalo Human Rights Law Review 215 ˇV 260. She would be grateful to hear from anyone researching transgender legal issues in Asia.

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