Transgender people in China turning to grey market for hormones


“In China, the channel is hidden,” he tells Sky News. Buying and administering unapproved drugs is risky. Unscrupulous dealers can substitute safe substances for animal hormones. Transgender people have experienced kidney problems and even paralysis as a result. Andy trusts his dealer and he stays away from more dangerous treatments. He grimaces as he injects his order. “There is also a testosterone for fitness purpose, but you are not sure whether it is a real or fake,” he says. “Many ‘brothers’ [transgender men] buy these, because they just buy whatever they can buy. But I don’t – I’m afraid of dying.” Many transgender people turn to the grey market for drugs because going through the official channels is too burdensome, expensive and stigmatising: prescription requires a formal diagnosis, and in China, being transgender is still classified as a mental illness.

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