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Transsexual actress slams prejudice

(China Daily)

09:29, September 22, 2011

Jin Xing attends the making of a TV dancing show in Shanghai in this file photo taken on Sept 15. She had a sex change in 1996.

BEIJING - A famous dancer says she was axed as a judge on a TV talent show because she has had a sex change.

Jin Xing was contracted to appear on eight episodes of Feitong Fanxiang, a contest for professional singers broadcast on Zhejiang TV.

However, on Monday night she received a call from the show's director, Chao Chi-tai, to say she had been dropped because "her transgender identity could have negative effects on society".

Jin told China Daily that Chao was citing an official document from the Zhejiang provincial administration of radio, film and television.

"We have been friends for many years, and he is a reputable artist, so I believe in him," said the 44-year-old retired dancer.

An official at the watchdog declined to comment on Thursday, saying only: "I'm too busy to confirm or deny it."

Jin, who underwent a sex-change operation in 1996, insisted she is not interested in compensation or in taking measures to force an apology from the administration.

"I'm just angry that the officials used such a lame excuse. It's a personal attack," she said.

Posts about the dismissal on her micro blog roused a strong reaction from many of her followers.

"I will always support you," wrote a netizen called mjy1988. "Love exists whatever the gender. These officials don't realize the love and equality of personality."

Zhang Beichuan, a professor specializing in sexuality at Qingdao University, said if Jin was axed for being a transgender female, "it's a serious case of discrimination".

"The decision to change gender has nothing to do with morality," he said, adding that China still has no specific laws to protect the interests of this group.

The Ministry of Health released guidelines on the supervision of sex-change operations in 2009 to ensure their safety. People who apply must be single, over 20 years old and must have waited for at least five years to undergo the surgery.

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