Japan just elected its first trans man into public office
Japan has elected its first trans man into public office.
The country has made the landmark step with the election of Tomoya Hosoda as a councillor for the city of Iruma.
The 25-year-old won of the 22 seats up for grabs in the election.
The country elected its first trans politician in 2003, Kamikawa Aya. However, New Zealand was the first country to have an openly transgender member of parliament, Georgina Beyer, who was elected in 1999.
Hosoda came out as trans while he was a student at the Teikyo University studying medical sciences, and began his transition in 2015.
The newly elected official said that he hopes he can meet the “expectations” of those in the country.
“Until recently, people have acted as if sexual and gender minorities do not exist,” he said. “We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone’s expectations.”
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In a profile for Out in Japan, Hosoda explained that he will be working for LGBT rights as well as improving the lives of the elderly and disabled.
He said: “For me, coming out is just the starting line.
“It is now time to build a foundation for the people who need to move forward. Some walls can not be overcome by one person. We have to work together, and help each other out.”
He credits his friends and family for being a great support network during the election process, and acknowledged that while it was difficult he hopes his political presence can help stop trans discrimination.
“My parents, friends, colleagues and old schoolmates support me. While there were so many troubles, a lot of suffering, we can move forward one step at a time.
“The more we meet people, the narrow-minded way of thinking will expand.”