New Report: Survey of Chinese Transgender Female Sex Workers

(Friday January 16, Beijing) Transgender female sex workers are amongst the most marginalized and discriminated populations in China, Asia Catalyst said in a new report published today. The Chinese government should decriminalize sex work and enact anti-discrimination legislation including gender identity and sexual orientation as protected categories.

The 72 page report, “My life is too dark to see the light– A Survey of the Living Conditions of Transgender Female Sex Workers in Beijing and Shanghai” documents the daily reality for transgender female sex workers in Beijing and Shanghai. Based on 10 months’ research by Asia Catalyst and two Chinese community based organizations, Beijing Zuoyou Center and Shanghai CSW (commercial sex worker)&MSM (men who have sex with men) Center, the report documents discrimination, police violence, legal restrictions and a policy environment preventing this highly marginalized group’s access to public services, legal identity and appropriate health care. They experience amplified stigma due to both their gender identity and their profession. (more…)


Partner Spotlight: Common Language

In 2003, Trim was volunteering as a moderator of online groups that discuss lesbian and domestic violence issues in China. While sorting through QQ–a popular Chinese messaging service– she found an influx of posts from “lesbians wanting to kill themselves” due to the stigma and discrimination they experienced. Realizing that China needed an organization that focused on issues faced by the lesbian community, she met Xian, a lesbian activist with the goal of establishing such an organization, and Trim joined the founding team.

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Reflections as an Intern at Asia Catalyst

Eli Binder was an intern with Asia Catalyst for the summer of 2014. He is now in his second year of the College Program at Bard High School Early College.

Asia Catalyst brings together representatives from Chinese community-based organizations (CBOs) in its year-long peer-driven capacity building program. These CBOs represent marginalized groups who experience unique challenges in obtaining the highest attainable standard of health, including people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), LGBT groups, people who use drugs (PWUD) and sex workers. Over the course of a year, the reprsentatives of these CBOs learn how to effectively run an organization and conduct rights-based advocacy. In July, an external evaluator collected testimonials from alumni organizations about the most significant changes that were sparked by Asia Catalyst’s training.

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Reflections from AIDS 2014

The 20th International AIDS Conference, “AIDS 2014”, was held in Melbourne from July 20th to 25th.

The theme of the Melbourne Declaration, which was drafted by the organizers of the AIDS 2014 conference, was “Nobody left behind.” The Declaration affirms that non-discrimination is fundamental to HIV response, and asks governments around the world to guarantee the equal rights of people at risk for HIV.

With the support of Asia Catalyst, I attended the conference alongside Ziyang Guo from Beijing Zuoyou Information Center and Tingting Shen, the Advocacy and Research Director from Asia Catalyst. As the organization I represent, SCMC, focuses on health rights issues for sex workers and LGBT people, I attended the sex worker and LGBT related sessions at AIDS 2014.

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