China’s transgenders perform self-surgery to avoid stigma

Young transgender people in China are risking their lives and health by attempting surgery on themselves and taking unsafe hormones, Amnesty International said in a report on Friday.

An “alarming” lack of knowledge and expertise within the country’s public health system, as well as restrictive eligibility requirements, has made it almost impossible for trans people to access safe hormone therapy or other gender-affirming treatment, The Guardian quoted the report as saying.

In China, trans people are classified as having a mental illness and require the consent of their families for sex reassignment surgery, Amnesty found.

The prevalence of discrimination and stigma means many choose not to tell their families.

“China is failing transgender people,” said Doriane Lau, China researcher at Amnesty.

“Discriminatory laws and policies have left many people feeling they have no choice but to risk their lives by performing extremely dangerous surgery on themselves and seeking unsafe hormone drugs on the black market.”


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