Yesterday morning, two young male to female transsexuals took to the streets of Changsha City, Hunan Province. They carried banners saying: “I want to have a sex change and live my life as a woman” and “Even if I die from it, I want a sex change, one day as a woman would be worth it”.
A curious crowd gathered around the two. One of the demonstrators, who introduced him/herself as Shen Qingqing (申清清) explained that their aim was to make the public more tolerant towards transsexuals, as well as to get more hospitals to perform sex change operations.
The other, a 19-year-old Jiangxi resident called Mei Daizi (美代子) said he hadn’t been able to work up the courage to demonstrate before.
“Before I was a little cowardly, was afraid of getting yelled at. But after seeing Shen Qingqing protest, I decided to come with him to Changsha… Because I’m the only son in my home, my parents were very against me changing my sex,” Mei Daizi told a reporter.
Mei Daizi said that, since he was young, he hadn’t felt the same as other boys. Often, he’d consider himself a girl, and would sometimes sneakily try on his two sisters’ clothes. After ceaseless teasing at school, he decided he needed to become a full-on girl.
Last year, while working in Xiamen, he was actually dating a 30-something-year-old boyfriend who treated him wonderfully. He only revealed this year that he was not actually female. The family opposed the relationship, and Mei Daizi decided to break it off preemptively.
When asked if he would go back to the man after his sex change, Mei Daizi said “No way. The operation’s still a long time coming. By the time I get it, he’ll already have married someone else.”
While it is possible for transsexuals in China today to get their identity cards replaced and for their marriages to be recognised by the state after the gender reassignment surgery, life remains tough for China’s 400,000 transsexuals. Of these, only a tiny fraction have the means to pursue surgery and up to 90% of those whose application to have the operation is turned down by doctors end up committing suicide.
In mid-2007, we reported that a transsexual who went on a similar demonstration in Shenzhen got detained by the police. After she was released, sex-change hospitals got in touch with her and through the donations of various netizens, she finally fulfilled her dream of becoming a woman. Unfortunately though, all her vlogs documenting her transition have since been censored by Youku.
littleredbook has translated some of the Chinese netizen reactions to Mei Daizi and Shen Qingqing.
Source and photos: Chinaren