The High Court of Hong Kong has ruled against three trans people who wanted to change their legal gender without the gender reassignment surgery. All three are recognized as men in Britain where they live, but they are Hong Kong citizens and their IDs are still female because Hong Kong law does not allow them to be legally recognized by their true gender without medical approval. Judge Thomas Au said that full gender confirmation surgery was the “only objectively ascertainable criterion” in deciding a person’s gender, the Hong Kong Free Press newspaper has reported. The lawyers of the men say they disagree with such a decision and they plan to file an appeal. In his 59-page judgment, Judge Au rejected the idea of switching to a system of self-identification, which trans activists all over the world continue to campaign for. The Hong Kong judge wrote that this decision should not be viewed as the government forcing trans people to undergo gender confirmation surgery, because anyone who gets the surgery has to give their consent.