The first ever trans man has been elected to public office.
Tomoya Hosoda, a 25-year-old, was elected a councilor for the city of Iruma, in the central Kanto region of Japan.
A medical sciences graduate of Teikyo University, he came out as a student and transitioned quickly. He formally changed his name and gender in 2015.
Hosada was elected in one of the 22 seats for the election.
‘Until recently, people have acted as if sexual and gender minorities do not exist,’ Hosada said.
‘We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone’s expectations.’
He plans to fight for LGBTI rights, the disabled and elderly while in office.
‘Coming out is just the starting line’
‘For me, coming out is just the starting line,’ he said in a profile for Out in Japan.
‘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.
‘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.’
Hosada is the second transgender politician to be elected in Japan, after Kamikawa Aya in 2003.
New Zealand’s Georgina Beyer was the world’s first openly transgender member of parliament in 1999, with Poland’s Anna Grodzka following in 2011.