Trans man Tomoya Hosoda (25) has been elected a councillor for the city of Iruma (Saitama Prefecture) (http://www.saitama-np.co.jp/news/2017/03/14/07.html).
He placed 21st out of the 22 seats contested in the election. “It was a tight race, I still haven’t really processed it”, Hosoda said, surrounded by supporters as he received the news Monday morning.
Hosoda has stated that he does not just want to fight for LGBTQ rights, but also for the rights of the disabled and the elderly, by playing his part in constructing a system that embraces diversity and helps minorities.
“Until recently, people have acted as if sexual minorities do not exist. We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone’s expectations”, Hosoda stated, adding that he has received many messages of support and gratitude from LGBTQ individuals ever since he announced his run for city council.
Hosoda came out and transitioned while attending Teikyo University’s Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, and changed his name and gender in the family registry in 2015. While a student, he expressed his desire to raise awareness and work to prevent and treat sexually transmitted diseases in Japan (Source: http://lgbter.jp/tomoya_hosoda2/), and participated in various LGBTQ events such as Out in Japan to enhance trans visibility (http://outinjapan.com/tomoya-hosoda/).
Hosoda is the first LGBTQ candidate in the history of Saitama prefecture, and the second transgender politician to be elected in Japan (following Kamikawa Aya in 2003).
By Ioana Fotache, Stonewall Japan Secretary