Teaching English while Transgender in Taiwan


Hi, I am a licensed high school teacher from the USA. I am also transgender. Are there any trans teachers on here that could tell me about their experience? Or anyone who knows trans teachers in Taiwan? Is it unrealistic for me to think about obtaining employment in Taiwan as a teacher for being trans? I understand if there are some difficulties–there are plenty here–but would like to know before committing to something in Taiwan.


I knew a trans woman about a decade ago who taught in a buxiban in Taoyuan. She then moved down to Miaoli and basically ran a school there. She would occasionally wear women’s clothing around town in her free time, but she was gender neutral when teaching.

I am no longer in touch with her. However, it shows that trans women can land buxiban work.


There is at least one that owns a school.


Is that someone else? The trans woman I knew was made kind of manager of a school, director of studies I guess. She didn’t own it or have any financial investment.


Don’t know details. Daytime out male gay. Nighttime out trans.


I’ve known gay, bi, and people who consider themselves gender binary (The one where they can be male sometimes and female sometimes) who have taught in Taiwan. I think it’s very possible.


To be clear, my gender presentation is and would be female all the time. I’ve been transitioning/out as trans for years at this point, and “pass” maybe half the time in public.

You are also probably thinking of gender queer, not gender binary.


Last year we heard from two members who identify as non-binary, one American and one Taiwanese. They might have some thoughts to share.


I believe one or both have left taiwan though. Maybe they will still chime in.


I used to talk to this girl who lived in the shithole countryside area I used to live that didn’t have any issue living or working here. She would “pass” all the time and had no issue gettin a job teaching and didn’t face any ‘discrimination’, beyond the typical “oh, I didn’t know, you look so pretty” comments. This older and fatter neck beard dude worked with her and he experienced way more issues with mangers and parents, due to the fact he looked kinda creepy and came off as strange/stinky. In Taiwan, IMO looks are extremely important. Most Taiwanese don’t give a shit who you or where you come from are as long as you’re attractive.

People in Taiwan still attach their photo to their resumes. My mother in law owns some company and deals with the hiring of dudes for IT positions. If someone has acne or is “too fat” she will quickly click through their resume and move on to the next more attractive one. Yikes… i know :disappointed:

I saw your other post and it looks like you are extremely qualified to teach here. I wouldn’t worry about anything as long as you “pass” and are not super fat or something. :blush:

1 Like

Thanks that’s very helpful!

Still, I don’t pass all the time just some. But not usually with my voice. My gender expression is definitely clearly female though.

I managed to get in touch with someone who is queer and taught in Taiwan last year. They seemed to think that it would depend on the school (same situation here in the US though), but that I probably wouldn’t have much trouble from admin at work as a foreigner once I was hired at least. She said there was more of an “as long as it’s not my kid,” mentality towards LGBT people in Taiwan.


As long as.you don’t tell other people how to behave like the ‘they’ person earlier , I would avoid like the plague. Live and let live.

1 Like

What’s "they"person.?


The person who wants to bebcalled the “they/them” pronoun.
I don’t care what pronoun you use but please don’t violate the number rule. We have enough trouble teaching Grammer rules they/them must have a plural verb.
As he/she/it and other singular pronouns must agree with singular verbs.

1 Like

The supreme irony of that person getting so strung out about the pronouns their colleagues might use is, of course, that in Mandarin the commonly used 3rd person pronoun has no gender, so when they talk about the poster among themselves, they have no choice but to call them “they”, and even when the co-workers do speak English, about 75% of the time they fuck up “he” and “she” any friggin ways.

1 Like

The cool thing is 3rd person pronouns are all pronounced the same. But they have additional classifications and have their own character. People which is he/she, inanimate things which is it, gods, animals and quite a few other things I don’t know. They are all pronounced “ta” but written differently.


They/them/their to refer to a single person has a long history.


commonly used 3rd person pronoun


Spot on!


I’m trans and teach in a fairly small city. For better or for worse, trans issues aren’t in the spotlight here. I’ve found I “pass” better in Taiwan than I did in the states – variances in mannerisms or physical traits are just attributed to being a foreigner. I’m short and somewhat effeminate, but I present as male and my passport says male so my employer and coworkers don’t question that. If I weren’t also here with my girlfriend, they’d probably assume I were gay. A couple of months into teaching a class of younger students, I did hear my students discussing whether I was a boy or a girl with regards to which pronoun to use for me during an activity. We established male pronouns were appropriate and that was that. Kids are super chill.

Unfortunately, I don’t have much insight into employer attitude if you feel like you don’t have much choice in disclosure. Please feel free to send me a message!