Target: Fumino Sugiyama and his girlfriend
Goal: Praise couple for fighting for marriage equality and transgender rights.
The Shibuya ward in Tokyo voted to allow same sex marriage in the district, stating that such pairings “were equivalent of a marriage.” Fumino Sugiyama is spearheading this movement, and while he states that he doesn’t wish to rile the nation, he believes that all people should have the right to marry someone that they love. Sugiyama and his wife are not allowed to legally get married, but a new ordinance in Shibuya might allow them to do so. Praise and support this couple for facing the backlash in the Japanese community.
While Sugiyama identifies as male, he is legally female. Since he was seven, he never felt like a girl, and cried when his parents made him wear a skirt. Being transgender, gay, or lesbian is not widely accepted in Japan, where many conservatives are fiercely opposed to anything that disrupts the harmony of the nation. It is because of this social backlash that many of Sugiyama’s friends have committed suicide.
However, luck was on Sugiyama’s side. While sweeping the streets one day, he came across a legislator for the Shibuya ward. This district is known for its young and trendy crowd, and many of its legislators understand and sympathize with the youth, especially those struggling with their sexual orientation.
The district became the first location in Japan to legalize same sex marriage, but it is not legally binding. Sugiyama hopes that the new ordinance and overwhelming support from those in Shibuya will help the transgender and homosexual population feel safe enough to demonstrate and express their views. He also states that he intends to marry his wife, knowing full well that he will receive social backlash from many in his nation.
There are many countries in the world that do not condone same sex marriages. For some countries, committing homosexual acts or being homosexual is enough to sentence someone to prison, or worse, death. Japan is a developed nation, and should be committed to upholding civil rights. This includes granting those who are transgender or homosexual the right to marry who they love. Sign this petition to support Fumino Sugiyama and his girlfriend as they fight for their right to marry.
Dear Fumino Sugiyama,
I realize that many transgender and homosexual individuals in Japan face extreme backlash and fear for being who they are. It saddens me that so many of these individuals have committed suicide because society cannot accept them. I know that you are trying to make progress on this issue, though doing so places you in danger.
I am writing this letter to give you support and reassurance. The path you walk will be a hard and emotional one, but know that there are many people who share the same desires as you. These people will support and encourage you in the fight for same sex marriage and transgender rights. Please do not give up, and don’t let the naysayers take away your right to marry the person you love.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron via Wikimedia Commons