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Transgender student submits petition in Tokyo seeking uniform choice regardless of sex

A university student, right, who submitted the petition to the education board, is seen next to Tatsuya Furudo of the organization Nijiizu, which supports young LGBT people, on Nov. 9, 2021. (Mainichi/Miyuki Fujisawa)

TOKYO -- A transgender university student who graduated from a Tokyo metropolitan government high school this spring has submitted a petition to the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, signed by over 10,000 people, calling for students to be able to choose their uniforms regardless of their sex.

    In a news conference on Nov. 9 before submitting the petition and a request to the education board, the 18-year-old university student held a news conference and called for the introduction of such a system.

    "I want a selective uniform system to be introduced and promoted across the whole of Tokyo so that all students can go through school life with peace of mind," she said.

    The term transgender refers to people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were identified as having at birth. The university student is a transgender woman, currently living as a woman. After enrolling at a Tokyo metropolitan junior high school, the student had to wear a male uniform to conform with her registered sex. Commenting on this, she said, "It felt like I was being denied."

    The student launched the petition on Change.org in November last year as a third-year high school student. Over the course of about a year, it gained signatures from 11,579 people.

    "This is not just a matter for transgender people," the university student said. "It's irrational to decide on clothing based on sex, and there are many people who for various reasons (such as physical condition), find it tough to wear their uniforms."

    (Japanese original by Miyuki Fujisawa, Digital News Center)

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