Law, Film, and Trans Identity in Hong Kong

This paper builds on existing work in the burgeoning area of ‘law and film’ studies to examine the relationship between the construction of trans identity in Hong Kong law on the one hand, and the construction of trans identity in Hong Kong cinema on the other. I argue that while films narrating the experience of sexual minorities in their own voices are often presumed to speak back to the law, in this instance they actually reproduce and reinforce the understanding of identity in the court cases on transgender rights. I further demonstrate that while the films, like the cases, constitute attempts to humanize trans subjects, they also unwittingly perpetuate the dynamic of exclusion enacted by the law. I conclude by turning to independent queer filmmaking as a forum for articulating and recognizing alternative trans subjectivities.