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Trans man wins China's first illegal dismissal case amid calls for anti-discrimination laws

Mr C said he only wanted an apology from the company who fired him for wearing men's clothes

Trans man wins China's first illegal dismissal case amid calls for anti-discrimination laws
Mr C (center) has won the first LGBTI anti-discrimination case in China. | Photo: Common Language (NGO)

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.’

Two people one man in a suit and a woman in a grey cardian post in front of an official emblem

Mr C (R) with anti-discrimination lawyer Liu Xiaonan. | Photo: Weibo

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

A landmark study in 2017 revealed trans people in China face high levels of discrimination and violence.

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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