Izumi Hosaka, an openly MtF transgender woman living in the city of Nemuro, Hokkaido won her first election on September 10th. Twenty people ran for that election and she obtained the fifth most votes.
Ms. Hosaka is registered as a man on family registry in Japan, but she lives as a woman and she openly came out as a transgender when she ran for that election.
Another good news is the city of Nemuro stopped dividing candidates by sex from this election in response to the petition she made to the city for the abolishment of gender section on an application form for official seal registration. The city also has removed gender section from application forms which candidates use for election.
Ms.Hosaka was born a boy in the city of Kobe and suffered from gender identity disorder (GID). After graduating from Kobe university, she started working part time until the age of 30. However, she wanted to have better work skills and decided to study laws. She didn’t tell anyone that she was a transgender at first, but she made up her mind and took an oral exam to be a lawyer, dressed as a woman hoping to live as a woman 24/7. And she passed the test.
She started working in a lawyer’s office in Okayama Prefecture in 2013. She actively tried to get a lot of experience in both civil and criminal cases. She also participated in LGBT seminars held by Okayama Lawyer Association as a guest speaker. It was when she revisited the city of Nemuro in June of 2015 that she was fascinated by the atmosphere of the city and decided to become independent from her lawyer’s office.
Last September, she petitioned the city for the abolishment of gender section on an application form for official seal and her petition was passed unanimously. As she visited the Diet and interacted with other politicians, she started feeling that the Diet was doing nothing but saying yes to whatever the mayor was offering without enough discussions. That’s when she decided to run for the election. She kept standing by herself on the street, making speeches with a megaphone for a long time. People started listening to what she was trying to achieve and she started gaining a lot of support from them.
She is the 6th openly transgender person who ran for election in the Japanese history. She is the 4th openly transgender woman and 3rd transgender person elected to public office in Japan. There are six openly LGBT politicians in Japan.
In July of this year, parliamentary association for LGBT was launched. We hope her win in the election will give the association more power and vitalize the local communities.