A transgender man has been elected to a public office in Japan, marking a first in the world’s history.
Tomoyo Hosoda was named one of the councilors in Iruma, a city in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo. He placed 21st out of 22 seats.
On top of LGBT rights, the 25-year-old official hopes to fight for the disabled, elderly and other minority groups. He thanked his family and friends for their support in the election.
According to The Saitama Shimbun, Hosoda was diagnosed with gender identity disorder at the age of 20. He went under the knife for sexual reassignment in April 2015 at the age of 23 while studying medical science at Teikyo University.
By June of the same year, he changed his name and gender in Japan’s family registry.
“It is now time to build a foundation for the people who need to move forward. Some walls cannot be overcome by one person. We have to work together, and help each other out.
“Until recently, people have acted as if sexual and gender minorities do not exist. We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone’s expectations. The more we meet people, the narrow-minded way of thinking will expand.”
Hosoda is Japan’s second transgender politician, following the appointment of trans woman Aya Kamikawa in 2003.
He also parallels the Philippines’ Geraldine Roman, a trans woman elected as representative of Bataan province in the country’s recent national elections.