Recently the government of Hong Kong legally recognized a 25-year-old transgender woman as female without having completed gender reassignment surgery -- a first in Hong Kong.
Eliana Rubashkyn left her native Colombia due to transphobia and now studies at the Taipei Medical Institute in Taiwan. After her social transition, however, Eliana required a new passport from the nearest Colombian embassy, which meant she would have to travel to Hong Kong, where the nearest embassy was located. But Hong Kong required surgery to change identity documents.

Rubashkyn intensively worked for months with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCHR) to obtain a certificate and to qualify for recognition from the Colombian and Hong Kong governments. Throughout the process, Rubashkyn faced ridicule and harassment.

Now that she has successfully received a passport, Rubashkyn hopes to resettle in a country that recognizes the gender identity of individuals without requiring gender reassignment surgery.

Way to go, Eliana.

Filed under: International, Transgender

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