The world’s first transgender man has been elected to public office in the city of Iruma, Japan.
The 25-year old Tomoya Hosoda was recently elected as city councillor in one of Iruma's 22 seats. The young LGBT rights advocate told Stonewall Japan that as an elected official, he also wants to fight for the rights of the elderly and people with disabilities.
Hosoda took part in a visibility campaign two years ago, called Out in Japan, that sought to highlight queer and trans people in the country.
In his profile as a part of the campaign, Hosoda spoke of his journey coming out trans.
“I thought that I could not be happy. But I remember (building) my courage and deciding to come out and hope to live,” he said at the time. “For me, coming out is just the starting line. Some walls cannot be overcome by one person. But at such a time, we have to work together and help each other out. By moving forward one step at a time and meeting all kinds of people, ways of thinking and values started to change.”
While many transgender people throughout the world have been elected to public office, according to Gay Star News, Hosoda is the first out trans man. In Japan, he joins Kamikawa Aya as the second transgender politician in the country.
Aya became the first trans women elected as a Tokyo municipal official in 2003.