Being Trans and Masculine: A Comparative Ethnography of Trans Men in Bangkok and Hong Kong

Denise Tang

In recent years, there has been heightened visibility of transgender persons and communities in Asian societies. Yet little is known about the lived experiences of transgender persons other than empirical data on medical transitions and mental health. Research studies often tend to place more focus on transgender women. Trans men and trans masculine individuals remain largely invisible in academic literature. This study explores the socio-cultural construction of trans masculinity through a qualitative ethnography study of 40 trans men living in Bangkok (Thailand) and Hong Kong. One of our goals is to find out how transgender men have been differently marginalized and stigmatized in both Chinese and Thai societies. As queer tourism between Hong Kong and Thailand is commonplace, the selection of research sites point to an in-depth exploration of linked histories and processes of modernization in Asia.

Research assistants: 
Prem Pramoj, Chanakan Wittayasakpan

Funded by General Research Fund, Hong Kong Research Grant Council Project Number: 13604919

Community Partners:
Gender Empowerment
Transgender Resource Center
Asia Pacific Transgender Network 

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