The number of transgender people seeking medical attention in Japan has increased by 45%.
In total 22,435 transgender people had visited a medical institution in 2015. That was a jump of 45% compared to a study completed three years earlier.
The data was compiled from 26 medical services across Japan. This means the final numbers may actually exceed 25,000 people who were treated outside of those 26 institutions.
People diagnosed with gender identity disorder grew by 7,000 in the same year.
‘It is important to share the number of patients as it could lead to deeper understanding for them and the elimination of secondary damage such as discrimination and bullying,’ Okayama University Professor and head of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder, Mikiya Nakatsuka, told Japan Today.
Japan’s transgender community
The number of transgender people in Japan could be higher when taking into consideration people who can’t access appropriate medical care including; children, students and the elderly.
Some experts believed the number of people with gender dysphoria in Japan is about 46,000.
Even though more transgender people are visiting doctors, it is believed many are reluctant to because of the fear of stigma or financial reasons.
In 2004 Japan changed the laws to allow transgender people to legally present as their true gender under certain conditions. Some of those conditions include; gender reassignment surgery and forced sterilization.
In the 11 years until 2015 about 6,000 people subsequently had officially transitioned.