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By The Numbers: The State of LGBT+ Rights

A look at the state of LGBT+ rights in Hong Kong, Macao and around the world.

MAPPING FREEDOMS 

By The Numbers The State Of Lgbt+ Rights 01 World Map

We take a look at LGBT+ rights and protections — or lack thereof — around the world, according to international research and advocacy organisation ILGA World.


MENTAL HEALTH

By The Numbers The State Of Lgbt+ Rights 02 Mental Health

Social stigma, harassment, hate crimes and institutionalised discrimination can impact the mental wellbeing of LGBT+ individuals*.

*Based on US Statistics

SOURCE: Human Rights Campaign Foundation


SITUATION IN THE SARS

Hong Kong: In 2019, the Chinese University of Hong Kong polled approximately 1,000 adults in Hong Kong about LGBT+ issues. Here’s where they stand on two key issues. 

Acceptance Over Time

We chart how public opinion of specific LGBT+ rights and protections has changed in Hong Kong.

SOURCE: Sexualities Research Programme

Legal Limitations

Hong Kong and Macao take similar positions on LGBT+ rights:

*Donated by sexually active gay men

SOURCE: Equaldex


MACAO

Rainbow of Macau, an LGBT+ rights group, surveyed nearly 1,000 people who identified as sexual minorities in 2019. Here’s what they found:

Harassment & Mental Health

In its survey, Rainbow of Macau collected data on rates of suicidal thoughts and harassment experienced by LGBT+ individuals.

On a scale from 1 to 10

SOURCE: Rainbow of Macau


Need-To-Know Terms

LGBT, an acronym for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender’, was first introduced in the US in the 1990s. With growing awareness of the gender and sexuality spectrum, new terms have been added to the LGBT acronym, such as LGBT+, LGBTQIA, LGBTQQIAAP, LGBTIQAPD and LGBTQ2S+:

UMBRELLA TERMS

Q Queer  

Q Questioning  

I Intersex  

A Asexual  

A Ally  

P Pansexual  

D Demisexual  

+ Other identities

TGNC/TGNCNB

An abbreviation for ‘transgender and gender nonconforming’, with the additional ‘NB’ for 

‘non-binary’ identities.

SOGIESC

An inclusive abbreviation for ‘sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, sex characteristics’ often used by NGOs in the context of international human rights.

Queer

Umbrella term for people who don’t identify as heterosexual and/or cisgender. Historically, the term had a derogatory connotation and has recently been reclaimed by LGBT+.

QQ

Abbreviation for ‘queer and questioning.’

SEXUAL ORIENTATION

Asexual  

A person who experiences little to no sexual attraction and/or lacks interest in sexual behaviour.

Bisexual  

A person who is sexually attracted to men and women.

Demisexual  

A person who experiences sexual attraction only after establishing a strong emotional connection.

Intersex  

A person whose genetic, reproductive or hormonal configuration doesn’t fit the typical binary definition of ‘men’ and ‘women’.  

Pansexual  

A person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to others, regardless of gender.  

Sex  

A person’s biological sex with regards to their reproductive system.

GENDER IDENTITY  

AFAB

Someone who was assigned female at birth. 

AMAB

Someone who was assigned male at birth. 

Agender  

Meaning ‘without gender’. Refers to those who don’t identify with any particular gender. Some use ‘agender’ if they identify as gender-neutral or have an undefinable gender. 

Androgynous  

Masculine and feminine traits combined in nontraditional gender expression.

Bigender  

When a person identifies as both male and female, either at the same time or at different times.

Cisgender  

Those whose gender identity aligns with their sex assigned at birth. Abbreviated as ‘cis’. 

Gender affirmation surgery  

A series of surgeries performed to modify a person’s body so that it more closely corresponds with their gender identity. Also known as Sexual Reassignment Surgery, and often abbreviated as SRS.

Genderfluid  

A person with different gender identities at different times – be that multiple genders at once, single identities, or none.

Gender nonconforming  

A person whose gender expression is considered inconsistent with the cultural constructs of binary genders; females aren’t ‘feminine’ enough or males aren’t ‘masculine’ enough. A cisgender person can also be gender nonconforming.

GENDERQUEER  

A person who identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.

PERSONAL GENDER PRONOUNS  

Some transgender or non-binary people use pronouns like they/them/their, ze/zir/zirs, among others instead of he/she or his/hers. Some people don’t use any pronouns.

  • They/Them/Their – ‘They’ was named Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year in 2019.
  • Ze/Zir/Zirs
  • Ze/Hir/Hirs
  • Xe/Xem/Xyrs

TRANSGENDER 

Sometimes shortened to ‘trans’. A person whose gender identity does not match their assigned sex at birth.

Transman/Transgender Man  

A person who identifies as a male, assigned female at birth (AFAB). 

Transwoman/Transgender Woman  

A person who identifies as a female, assigned male at birth (AMAB). 

Transfeminine 

People assigned male at birth, who identify more with femininity. 

Transmasculine  

People assigned female at birth who identify more with masculinity. 

NON-BINARY  

Any gender identity or expression that does not fit within the gender binary.

PANGENDER  

A person whose gender identity comprises many different genders.

SOURCES: It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, True Colors United, National LGBT Health Education Center, OutRight Action International