A Big Step Forward for Trans Rights in Japan

We at Grindr are celebrating the decision by the Japanese Supreme Court to make legal gender recognition for trans people a simpler and more humane process.
Jack Harrison-Quintana
&
Director of Grindr for Equality
November 1, 2023
February 26, 2024
3
min. read
今井咲帆/AP
Table of Contents

We at Grindr are celebrating the decision by the Japanese Supreme Court to make legal gender recognition for trans people a simpler and more humane process.

Japan long had a requirement that trans people undergo surgical sterilization before they could have access to government-issued identification documents that reflect their gender identity. The court accurately and powerfully characterized this as a “cruel choice between accepting the sterilization surgery that causes intense bodily invasion and giving up important legal benefits of being treated according to their gender identity.” 

Not only did this requirement stand as an arbitrary judgement about trans people’s ability to be parents, it is also widely considered to be a form of torture. In April of 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that such a requirement was a serious infringement of human rights, and we are thankful the Japanese courts have now followed suit.

{{video-inline-cta}}

Of course, there are many further steps to guarantee the full rights of trans and all LGBTQ people in the country. The Supreme Court did not rule, for example, on requirements that trans people undergo transition-related surgeries before the government will recognize their gender. This is a problem not only because many trans people are unable to access such surgeries, but also because many do not want them. The country also continues to require that trans people seeking legal gender recognition be unmarried and not have children under eighteen years old, all of which must eventually be reformed. Finally, Japan remains the only G7 country without marriage equality.

Still, this represents an enormous step forward for the LGBTQ legal environment in Japan, and for human rights broadly. This is only the twelfth time the Supreme Court has handed down a judgment that a law was unconstitutional since the establishment of the system in 1947. Personally, as someone who has been engaged with the Japanese queer movement for many years, I am filled with hope to see this development and am looking forward to more successes from Japanese activists in the coming years.

Share this article

Find & Meet Yours

Get 0 feet away from the queer world around you.
Thank you! Your phone number has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We’ll text you a link to download the app for free.
Table of Contents
Share this article
“A great way to meet up and make new friends.”
- Google Play Store review
Thank you! Your phone number has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We’ll text you a link to download the app for free.
“A great way to meet up and make new friends.”
- Google Play Store review
Discover, navigate, and get zero feet away from the queer world around you.
Already have an account? Login

Browse bigger, chat faster.

Find friends, dates, hookups, and more

Featured articles

Related articles

Find & Meet Yours

4.6 · 259.4k Raiting