Suicide of transsexual triggers activists' plea for better support

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 12:00am

Activists called for better support for transsexuals yesterday after the suicide of a man who lived as a woman and was waiting for a sex-change operation.

Louise Chan, 33, who complained to the South China Morning Post last year about media harassment, was found dead at her home in To Kwa Wan early on Monday. A pan of burnt charcoal was beside the body. Police said the death was not suspicious but no suicide note was found.

A brother found the body of Chan, who had been cross-dressing since the age of eight, early on Monday morning.

In a statement yesterday, individuals and gender rights groups, including the Civil Rights for Sexual Diversity and Transgendered Equality and Acceptance Movement, said they felt society discriminated against the transsexual community.

'There is a need for the government and social groups to provide the relevant assistance and support,' the statement said. 'The government should also eliminate such discrimination through legislation and education.'

Chan told the Post in May last year she was fired from a hair salon after being pestered by magazine journalists who published an article and pictures. She said she spoke out to show she was not ashamed of being transsexual.