The country of Japan has seen its first transgender man elected to public office.

Tomoya Hosoda, 25, has been elected to the council in Iruma, Japan, which is a city of an estimated 150,000 people. While Hosoda is not the first transgender man elected to a public office in the world he is the first to do so in the country of Japan.

In 1994, Mark Rees was the first transgender man in the world elected public office when he became a councilor in Tunbridge Wells in the United Kingdom. Elsewhere in 2010 Alex Richer was elected councilor in Zurich, Switzerland while in 2014 Gypsy Vered Meltzer was also elected to councilor in Appleton, Wisconsin in the United States. Two years later in 2014 Jay Irwin was elected to the school board in Ralston Omaha, Nebraska, also in the United States.

Nevertheless, Hosoda’s election has broken new ground for the transgender community in Japan. “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 said. He affirmed that he wants to help create a system by which diversity is celebrated and minorities are protected.

Hosoda joins Kamikawa Aya, a trangender woman who was elected as a Tokyo municipal official in 2003, as one of two transgender politicians in Japan.

(Information sourced from LGBTQNation.com)

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