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Japanese Law Divides Trans People

progressive activists call for abolishing family registry

Forum: tgpoc list
Date: 07/02/2003

On 7/2/03 10:52 AM, "DionHM" wrote:

This is so wonderful! Japan approved gender change on identification! I have a good friend in Japan who transitioned over a decade ago and for example, could not go into a bank to withdrawl money due to his gender on his identification being female. Masae Torai is quoted in this article and has written for FTMI Newsletter many years, he is to be saluted!

The new Japanese regulation requires that a trans person is 1) not married, 2) has never had any children, and 3) has had genital surgery as the condition for changing gender identification. The bill was initially promoted by trans activists and liberal politicians, but was hijacked by conservatives who wanted to ensure that the existence of trans people would not threaten the traditional family structures.

As a result, some Japanese trans activists have denounced this bill because it creates a hierarchy among transsexual people (e.g. people who are legally able to change their gender versus those who can never do so because they have had children), and also sanctions and reinforces the discrimination against same-sex couples. The more radical trans activists (who are rarely quoted in the media) are calling for the abolition of family register system, which they believe to be the root of various forms of discrimination, in addition to those against trans people.

Emi K.

-- * Putting the Emi back in Feminism since 1975.