Japan is now the first country in the world to elect an out transgender man to a public office

A new sun of inclusivity has risen in Japan. We only hope it never sets.

Dipannita Saha Dipannita Saha Mar 20, 2017
Tomoya Hosoda has become a councillor for the city of Iruma. Photo: Facebook

While the whole world is still fighting the stigmas attached to the transgender community, Japan has done something that has made history. It has become the first country in the world to elect a transgender man to a public office. Yes, the country has brought in a major change!

Tomoya Hosoda won 21 out of 22 seats to become a councillor for the city of Iruma, in the central region of Kanto.

According to Japanese media reports, the 25-year-old councillor does not just want to fight for LGBTQ rights but also for the rights of the disabled and the elderly. He wants to construct a system that embraces diversity and helps minorities

"Until recently, people have acted as if sexual minorities do not exist. We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone's expectations", he told Stonewall, an organisation which supports the people from the LGBTQ community in Japan.

Before being elected to office, Hosoda raised awareness about LGBTQ issues and sexual health, and modeled for the Out in Japan photo project. In a profile for that project, he even laid out his hopes for the future.

Also read: In a first, a transgender woman just got legally married in West Bengal and we couldn't be happier

"For me, coming out is just the starting line. Some walls cannot be overcome by one person. But at such time, we have to work together and help each other out. By moving forward one step at a time and meeting all kinds of people people, ways of thinking and values started to change," Hosoda added.

The newly elected councillor isn't first transgender politician to hold public office. In 2003, Kamikawa Aya, a transgender woman, was elected as a Tokyo municipal official.

Transwomen have attained public office around the world over the last few years, however female-to-male public figures remain relatively rare.

Japan has set a different precedent altogether. It has set an example for other countries to follow in the footsteps. Especially for India, where Transgender people are still ostracized. Yes, we currently have Madhu Kinnar as the Mayor of the Raigarh Municipal Corporation, but that still doesn't make much difference when we look at the bigger picture.

We are hoping that more people from the transgender community will contest elections in India and get elected.

Also read: When Manobi Bandyopadhyay, India's first transgender principal, found true love

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