Trans man wins China’s first illegal dismissal case amid calls for anti-discrimination laws
A court in China ruled in favor of a trans man who sued his employer for unfair dismissal after he was sacked for wearing men’s clothes.
Known as Mr C, he was fired from his job a week after starting at the health center in Guizhou. The town is about 1200 miles south west of Beijing.
In a first hearing on the matter in early January, the Guiyang Yunyan District People’s Court did not rule the man was discriminated against exclusively because of his gender identity.
The court ordered Mr C’s employers to pay him a salary 843 yuan (US$133) and compensation of 1,500 yuan (US$238).
At the time Mr C said the decision was a landmark for trans people in China.
‘It is the first case in China where a sexual minority wins,’ he told the AFP.
‘It is also a piece of good news for the community.’
Mr C appeals the decision
But Mr C was not satisfied with the court’s ruling that he was not discriminated against because he was trans. He quickly appealed the decision in Guiyang Intermediate People’s Court .
‘I have not received an apology up until now, which actually means that – in law – there is still very little protection in this area,’ he told Radio Free Asia.
The court ruled in favor of Mr C. It ordered the court to pay him an increased amount in lost wages and compensation totalling to about 4000 yuan (US$635).
The appeal ruling read that a person should not be discriminated against because of their gender identity.
‘An individual’s gender identity and gender expression falls within the protection of general personality rights, [everyone] should respect others’ rights to gender identity and expression,’ the ruling read.
‘Workers should not experience differential treatment based on their gender identity and expression.’
Trans rights in China
The National Survey of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Population found almost 50% of the study participants said they had considered suicide or self-harm.
Also, due to widespread workplace discrimination, trans people often lived with very low incomes. A third of people earned less than 25,000 yuan ($3,770) a year.
‘The discrimination from work is a reason that a relatively large number of transgender respondents earn a low income,’ the Beijing LGBT Center’s director, Xin Ying said at the time
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