A transgender person awaiting surgery to become a woman has complained to the equality watchdog about a nurse who insisted on loudly calling her “Mr”.
Angel, who dresses and regards herself as a woman, says the nurse’s loud use of the male honorific had drawn attention to her gender identity disorder and made her feel humiliated.
The transgender-rights advocate in her 20s went last Friday to the psychiatric unit of the Prince of Wales Hospital, where her disorder was diagnosed in 2010.
She was seeking a medical certificate for a mainland friend who is also a patient and says the nurse turned “emotional and unfriendly” after saying the friend would have to come in person.
“She called me ‘Mr’ loudly. Everyone addresses me by “Ms” or calls me Angel as they can tell I’m a woman by seeing me,” the rights advocate said.
“I felt I was humiliated and my condition of having gender identity disorder was deliberately exposed by my being called ‘Mr’ in front of everyone in the lobby.”
Angel said it was the first time she had been addressed this way since she started dressing as a woman and the nurse had previously called her Ms.
She lodged a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission yesterday after seeking help from Rainbow of Hong Kong, where she is a full-time member of the organisation’s transgender support group.
An Equal Opportunities Commission spokeswoman said it would study the information in detail and would decide whether to launch an investigation.
It said gender identity disorder was a psychiatric disability covered by the Disability Discrimination Ordinance.
Angel said the nurse undid all her past efforts.
“All these years, I worked so hard, overcame so many obstacles, only in the hope of people seeing me as a woman and calling me ‘Ms’,” she said.
“I am a female from the inside to outside,” she said.
She hid it until 2010 when she learned of gender-transition assessments. Since then, she has lived apart from her family.
She has had four plastic surgery procedures in Taiwan to change her appearance while waiting for the gender transition surgery. The gender on her identity card is still male.
The hospital said it would follow up the incident and had always reminded medical staff to communicate well with patients.