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China still does not understand: a Weibo debate over US teen sex swap couple

The very first report on a transgender in China dates back to August 31, 1990. An article in Wenhui Daily (文汇报), a newspaper in Shanghai, told the story of Qin Huiying (秦惠英), a man-turned-woman, who had the surgery in Shanghai Changzheng Hospital (上海长征医院).

File photo of Qin Huiying, the first Chinese transgender reported by the Chinese media. Photo: baidu.com

However, China’s very first case of gender reassignment surgery was performed in the Third Subsidiary Hospital of the former Beijing Medical University (now named Peking University Health Science Center 北京医科大学第三附属医院) in 1983 on the then 21-year-old Zhang Kesha (张克莎), originally a man from Dalian who wanted to be a woman ever since she was a child.

File photo of Zhang Kesha, the first transgender in China. Photo: news.iqilu.com

In China, transgenders can have their sex identity on their ID card changed after they have successfully undertaken the surgery. According to a regulation issued in December 2003 by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (民政部), transgenders can get married in China so long as the two people are of different legal sexes, as identified on their ID cards.

Zhang Lin, a transgender woman (right 章琳) on her first anniversary with husband Yang Qicheng (left 杨启成) who is not a transgender. They got married on May 1, 2004, the first transgender marriage in China. Photo: news.iqilu.com

Chen Lili (陈莉莉), English name Emily, is a well-known Chinese transsexual model/actress, referred to by the Chinese media as the "Chinese Harisu" and the "No.1 Transgender Beauty".

Jin Xing, modern dancer, choreographer and owner of the contemporary dance company Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theatre (上海金星现代舞蹈团) was born in 1968 and changed sex at the age of 28 in 1995. Jin has enjoyed great success as a dancer and is referred to as the most famous transgender in China. She now lives in Shanghai with her three adopted children and her German husband.


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