Non-recognition of transgender persons’ gender marker in Macau

Transgender woman Avery (anonym) sharing her story with Macau journalists in 2015

Since its founding, Rainbow of Macau has received queries from a growing number of transgender people who had undergone a sex affirmation surgery, after which they wish to change the gender marker on their identity documents. Rainbow of Macau raised this issue to the competent government departments. However, the Macau government could not help them with the matter unless the law is revised to allow for such change.

In 2015, the Macau government announced that the Legal Reform Consultation Committee was to commence a study about allowing transgender persons to change the gender marker on their birth records and identity documents.[1] However, no more updates followed since.

The HRC has recognised the right for transgender people to change the gender marker on identity documents.[2] The state parties which do not respect such right would contravene article 26 of the ICCPR.

Nonetheless, the Macau Special Administrative Region (“SAR”) is the only jurisdiction in the People’s Republic of China that does not allow transgender people to have their gender identity reflected on the identity documents.

Rainbow of Macau suggests that Human Rights Committee asks Macau, China to provide a timeline for enacting necessary legislation to allow transgender persons to change the gender marker on their birth records and identity documents.

This article is an excerpt from the 2020 submission of the Rainbow to Macau to the UN Human Rights Committee.

[1] “法律改革諮詢委員會第十八次全體會議”, DSRJDI, 1 July 2015,

[2] CCPR/C/119/D/2172/2012, para. 7.15.




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Jason CHAO

Jason CHAO

doctoral researcher, technologist and advocate of human rights / LGBT+ equality

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