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Ha Ri-soo Appeal to the Law

Posted December. 04, 2002 22:35,   


A transgender entertainer Ha, Ri-Soo (27) becomes a topic of conversation because he filed a request to change his sex from male to female at a court recently.

Ha filed a request to change the census register and name at the Inchon District Court last 29th saying, “Please change my sex in the census register from ‘male’ to ‘female’ and also change my name from ‘Lee, Gyung-Yup’ to ‘Lee, Gyung-Eun.’”

The President of an entertainment project company TTM, which Mr. Ha is belonged to, Kim, Kwang (43) said, “Ha, Ri-Soo is a woman in appearance regardless who sees her, and she is recognized a woman by the public,” and “I understand that she filed the request due to her wish to live as an ordinary married woman after her career as an entertainer.”

Although Mr. Ha lives in Sungnam City, Gyonggi, her address is registered in Namdong-Gu, Inchon, so she filed the request at the Inchon District Court, and the Court plans to decide whether to permit or not as early as in two weeks.

There were total of 4 cases that the Court made decision on changing of sexes, but the decisions were inconsistent. The Daegu District Court Family Division abandoned the changing of sex request that Ms. Huh (25) who had sex transformation operation to male on April 2002 by saying, “Although her sex chromosomes were different than ordinary women from the birth, but there is no evident to prove that she was a man from the beginning.”

However, the Busan District Court Family Division allowed Mr. Yoon who lived in Yongsan-Gu, Seoul to change sex by saying, “It is right to accept the request according to the doctrine of the Constitution such as a transgener`s human dignity and value and right to pursue happiness.”

Medically, the sex is decided by the combination structure of the 23rd chromosome (XX or XY), sexual and reproduction organs, sexual hormones, mind, or action. For most people, the rest of the sexual genes are decided by the combination structure of the chromosomes, but for some people, the combination structure of the chromosomes and the sexual genes can be developed differently.

kchwang@donga.com stein33@donga.com