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This is the reality of everyday life for trans women in Japan

This is the reality of everyday life for trans women in Japan

Soshi Matsuoka made this film about trans women in Japan (Photo: YouTube)

A heartfelt video showing the everyday stress and anxiety faced by trans women in Japan has been widely shared on social media.

LGBTI recruitment company JobRainbow released the video, with the hashtag #ForAllWomen, for International Women’s Day.

More than 30,000 people have now watched it on Twitter alone.

It shows three real Japanese trans women going about the city. One woman is nudged by a passing man and faces unwelcome comments.

Another woman dithers over whether to join the female line for a train carriage. Later, she hesitates before entering the female toilet.

It also shows a woman reading her phone. ‘Transgender women are biologically male, right?’ It says.

‘You are as you are’

‘You are as you are’ Job Rainbow’s introduction to the video reads. ‘It’s easy to say’.

‘But we know. even if you want to do that, the world is obstructing it’ it goes on to say.

It concludes by saying they will make a society where you can live as you are.

‘International Women’s Day is a day for respecting women’s independence, equality and dignity’ filmmaker Soshi Matsuoka wrote on Twitter.

‘I created a movie through real-time experiences to help transgender women … to break prejudices and support all women, including transgender [women]’ he wrote.

Trans rights in Japan

The Supreme Court of Japan published a ruling in January upholding a law that requires transgender people to be sterilized before changing their gender on official documents.

Two ‘respected medical professional’ must first diagnose a trans person with ‘gender identity disorder’ before they can apply to change gender.

They must also be over 20 years old, unmarried, not have any underage children.

Importantly, law forbids them to have functioning genitalia.

But, Human Rights Watch argued earlier this month, at least the case drew attention to trans issues.

See also

Japan’s trans court ruling may hold silver lining, says rights NGO

Canadian trans rights activist hopes to raise gender awareness in Japan

Japan Supreme Court: Trans people must be sterilized before gender change