Being Transgender In Japan
On this blog segment of my trans life, I want to get into transgender spectrums. There is a vast groups and sub-groups under the widely used umbrella term "transgender" so in order for me to move forward with sharing some of the variants of transgender people and how each one identifies, let me break it down to these terms so that there is clear context and understanding of the spectrums.
Think of gender spectrums like a category under race, religion, or creed that is classified under the main umbrella term. For example, in China, they are what we know as Chinese people, then there are the groups of Chinese that they fall under. For example, there are the Chinese from the north which is different from the Chinese from the south, in the other Northern provinces they may speak a different sub-group dialect, express a different cultural appearance or tradition of their region, and so forth, nevertheless, they are still Chinese people. This can be viewed in the same way a transgender person is identified and classified.
I will utilize myself as an example of one of these sex and gender diverse spectrums. As shown in the image above to compare my two gender fluid gender expressions, it reads:
"Transgender is an umbrella term to categorize all gender spectrums:
My gender identity are one of the many gender spectrums that exist among a sex and gender diverse community. I will utilize Japan as one of the countries with a very open expression of groups and sub-groups especially among the J-anime and J-pop scenes. Japan has one of the most genderfluid, gender non-binary, and genderless individuals that exist and co-exist among Japan's past, present to modern day, and futuristic society. No one is judged, shamed, or condemned from any form of expression. Japan is such a carefree and fun country. While the gender spectrum is an open and accepting topic for the Japanese, the sexual identities for Japan is still somewhat considered taboo. This is quite an opposite perspective for Japan compared to the United States.
In the United States, the gay and lesbian communities are somewhat widely more accepted and normalized and not really seen as taboo. However, anyone being transgender is still shamed, stigmatized, and dehumanized in the United States, hence transgender people are treated or seen as a taboo in America. Japan is quite the opposite of this, transgender people are widely accepted, honored, and even revered whereas if one is openly lesbian or gay, that can be frowned upon but Japan is otherwise a very safe place to be if one identifies as lesbian, gay, or transgender. You don't ever hear about any type of LGBTQIA+ violence in Japan. Japan is a country that allows and encourages expressions of the humanity in all forms rather than oppression. However, transgender rights are still somewhat of a challenge in Japan when it comes to Japan's sterilization laws and documentations to reflect their current identities.
The other thing about Japan is that the Japanese reflects their diversity in J-anime and J-pop culture. It isn't the other way around where an androgynous character in J-anime comes to life in human form, rather it's the existence of the Japanese human expression and gender representation that is drawn into life into J-anime to reflect it's societies diversity. This has been a long reflection in Japanese culture. In the days of the shogun to the days of the bushido, the paintings in scrolls has reflected the sex and gender diversity, forms, and practices for ages and ages. It is even common for a shogun or samurai men to be sexually attracted to the same sex and engage in MSM.
It also common for Japanese men to practice being an onnagata in kabuki theatre while also being androgynous. Transgender was not a term used in the ancient times but the expression has always existed. In Japan, there were noblemen and monks that were considered genderless and genderfluid, as genderfluidity was seen as godly. I believe ancient Egypt also revered genderfluid beings also as the belief of angelic beings were genderless in Agnostism.
Focusing back onto present day, I have known my friends from Japan to be genderless where they are seen as neither a boy or a girl. Some of my friends are born intersex, meaning they both have a male and female reproductive parts. My genderfluid friends who are androgynous were just born with neither masculine or feminine traits but they had both of those traits and their gender expression are in between. They were often called gender benders in Japan, because of the spike in genderfluid youths in Japan, Japan has created genderless fashion to accommodate the gender expression of genderfluid individuals.
Here is the documentary of what it is like to be transmen in Japan (first top video) and what genderless means in Japan's genderfluid society (second bottom video):
In 1682, in the Palace of Versailles of France, King Louis XIV and his royal court wore a specific fashion consisting of the men wearing high heel shoes, frill laces, tights, corsets, skirts, sporting long hair, and makeup. The men were still men, the women were still women, and the children were just called children instead of being called boys and girls, regardless of the court's fashion or the fashion expressed in both genders during that time period as there were no sex and gender-bias belief systems being strictly practiced. No men of France in the Palace of Versailles were ever shamed for sporting such trends and some of the men of France who practiced homosexuality were not shamed for bedding with the same sex. Anti-sex and anti-gender identity rhetoric were neither learned or taught in those time periods. Proving that the idea of a binary system where in today's society that there are only two gender is a structurally fabricated and taught since the early 1900's but times before that, the notions and laws of a binary system was not known or practiced. Not to mention, during those time periods predating back to the early 1600's, transmen and transwomen still existed nevertheless but was kept under the radar because they were stealth.
Not to mention, in Scottish culture, the men wore skirts. So why are skirts just defined to the categories of fashion as one belonging to just for women? Who came up with this gender role theory?
Anyway, here is a video of Addison advocating for genderfluid and gender non-binary individuals on the Dr. Phil show to educate others on it. The reality of why this is happening today in our society is because cisgender straight people who are anti-LGBTQIA+ has spent years oppressing, denying, erasing, and eradicating the existence of transgender and intersex people since the early 1900's by imposing their bias-beliefs. Since the existence and now the visibility of transgender and intersex people are now being shed to light, transgender and intersex people constantly have to defend themselves, so these terms by giving each spectrum a definition gives context to identify each individual and to show how various gender identities do exist. In this video, Matt Welsh, completely denies, stigmatizes, and erases the existence of intersex people which is such a huge disrespect out of sheer ignorance based on a gender bias-belief system. I can guarantee you that none of the people who are anti-LGBTQIA+ have ever met an intersex person.
I can answer why Matt Welsh cares so much and why he, like Ben Shapiro, Dinesh D'Souza, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, etc. and many other non-LGBTQIA+ politicians and commentators, share the same bias-beliefs against transgender and intersex people. They are scared of us. They don't like that a binary society get challenged or that the existence of a transgender or intersex person can change its views or beliefs or that there are those like us who live, breathe, and walk on this earth alongside them. They don't want us to share or co-exist in that same space. So the segregation, shaming, erasure, oppression, and censorship continues to bang on. They view our existence as such a threat because they spent all their lives being taught, told, and programmed to live in a binary gender role world, that if this piece of existence in fact exists on earth or in the face of humanity, then everything they were taught flies out the window. Most of these people have are what I call the, "addicted to the need to know", which is a concept that defines those who think they know it all and when they don't know something that is new to them, they will debate away it's existence, as they spend most of their lifetime controlling what they can't control by labeling and you know what I say, "labels are limitations" because labels keep the human expression defined into one thing but does not give room for the expression of others outside of itself. The fact that transgender and intersex beings scares them, they create exaggerated fictional scenarios or statistics against transgender people, and contribute 100% to the fear mongering in society against transgender people. In the end, the choice to oppress another human being from having their own human experience to be able to express that doesn't bear weight to the purpose of those who wishes to shame and censor out those who do take a different and unique walk in life.
Being transgender in Japan is a lot easier than being transgender in America. The Japanese people understand that it is very important for a human being to express themselves, that oppression is hardly the focus of the modern day society of Japan.
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Kaneda Yoshida (male pronouns: he/him/his) is a transgender activist, advocate, a trans brother to the Transgender Community and a fierce protector of trans youth. He is the original non-profit founder/leader of the Trans-Cis Alliance Coalition Organization (T.C.A.C, pronounced Tee-Kah). He actively and closely works with other LGBTQIA+ entities to bring about inclusion, intersectionality, diversity, justice, and equality for both the sex and gender diverse communities by campaigning, petitioning, and lobbying for individuals who face discrimination in schooling systems and in the workplace, rejection and abuse at home, as well as hate and violence in public spaces against LGBTQIA+ individuals. He has lobbied against anti-trans politicians, as well as capital institutions within the military, law enforcement, and city council government systems as well as took a stand against any entities that targets the health, livelihood, and well-being of LGBTQIA+ individuals.