Transgender College Students Experiencing Genderism in Hong Kong

Proceedings of The 4th Global Conference on Women’s Studies

Year: 2022



Transgender College Students Experiencing Genderism in Hong Kong

Dr .Diana Kwok



Genderism and prejudice faced by trans and gender expansive college students has been studied extensively worldwide in the last decades but has only recently received attention from Hong Kong Chinese society, specifically in relation to the institutional endorsed prejudice and barriers. Despite the potential involvement of trans students in college mental health or counselling services, the literature to date on college trans students is very limited. Most studies include trans groups with lesbian, gay and bisexual students without addressing trans students as a unique group, especially within empirical studies of Chinese societies. The current study used qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore themes gender-based prejudice experienced by Chinese college trans students. Transcripts were collected from trans students attending universities, describing their current or past experiences. Contextual themes to categorize their experiences emerged: 1) Facing individual dilemma: expressing gender vs risk of discomfort and harm; 2) Encountering uncertainties in institutional inclusion: accessibility vs denial of access; 3) Confronting interpersonal challenges: reinforcing transphobia vs challenging transphobia; 4) Meeting distinct challenges of non-binary identified students: visible vs vulnerable; 5) Confronting risks and engaging supports. The results suggest that trans college students in Hong Kong experience less trans-specific spaces, such support groups should be pursued, and provided with sufficient resources to support trans related programs. Staff and administrators who work to support marginalized or underrepresented community members should become knowledgeable about off-campus trans resources and supports and ensure that this knowledge is accessible to trans students

keywords: Genderism, Chinese transgender students, Universities, College, Gender Minority Students