Japan Elects First Out Trans Man To Public Office


Japan is thought to be the first country in the world to elect an openly transgender man to public office.

Last week Tomoya Hosoda was elected in one of the 22 seats at the election to become councillor for the city of Iruma, local media reported.

According to local organisation Stonewall Japan, the 25-year-old has been a passionate LGBTI advocate and pledged to also fight for the rights of the disabled and the elderly, by constructing a system that embraces diversity and helps minorities.

“Until recently, people have acted as if sexual minorities do not exist,” he said.

“We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone’s expectations.”

He said he’d received messages of support and gratitude from the LGBTI community ever since he announced his candidacy.

Mr Hosoda began to transition while at university, and officially changed his name and gender in the country’s family registry in 2015.

Mr Hosoda is the second Japanese transgender politician elected in Japan after trans woman Kamikawa Aya was elected as a Tokyo municipal official in 2003.