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Breaking down China's transgender barriers

Nonbinary counselor seeks major changes in law and culture

Huang Xi, pictured here in Guangzhou, is the founder of mainland China’s only nonprofit organization offering psychological counseling to transgender people. She came out as a transgender woman to her mother and long-term girlfriend in 2017. (Courtesy Huang Xi) 

HONG KONG -- Huang Xi, the founder of mainland China's only nonprofit organization offering psychological counseling to transgender people, is a rarity -- a Chinese transgender woman living a fulfilling life.

Huang, who was identified as male at birth in southern China in the 1980s, began to question her gender in kindergarten, but stayed in the closet until 2017 when she came out to her supportive mother and long-term girlfriend, adopting the feminine pronoun while identifying as neither male nor female. "I love to dress like a woman and get out of the binary male-female bias. I'm open to people with all genders," she says.

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