Coming-of-Age ceremony held for LGBT people in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward


A Coming-of-Age ceremony for young people in the LGBT community was held in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on Saturday, where the participants and their family members had the chance to exchange thoughts about moving into adulthood.

Some 180 people, ranging in age from those in their teens to some in their 80s, turned up for the event, which was organized by ReBit, a Tokyo-based nonprofit group that supports the LGBT community.

Shunka Hirao, 27, from the city of Mitaka, Tokyo, appeared in a kimono and spoke about her struggle to be recognized as a woman. Born male, she could not talk with her parents about her gender identity for the longest time while growing up.

“I will live in accordance with who I really am, so I can inspire others,” Hirao said.

Setagaya Mayor Nobuto Hosaka was among the attendees of the event. Last year, under Hosaka’s leadership, Setagaya Ward started a program to recognize same-sex unions.

A similar event was also held in Tennozu Ward in the city of Osaka on Saturday. Organizer Yu Morita, 21, said that, while a few municipal governments have recently started to recognize same-sex partnerships, misconceptions about sexual minorities still remain. “We want more people to come to these events to get to know us better,” Morita said.

  • hckpro

    I don’t get what coming of age day has to do with where you like to stick it. Does everything have to be about sex?

  • Serendipity_NosePicker

    ATTN: Japan
    You are still a great nation. Do NOT do as the USA and drown yourself in unprincipled immorality. You will gain nothing as a people, yet lose much of yourselves as a civilized society. Ours has been in decline since the 60’s, but much more so since 2009.

    Do NOT continue down this path!

  • Olivier

    Wow, most of the comment here, from cisgenre white male are proof again that a lot of heteroSEXUALS males have NO IDEA what kind of bullying and problems LGBT people have to go through from childhood to adulthood…
    It is highly advised to these heteroSEXUALS guys to meet some LGBT people at least once in their life, and really discuss the matter with them!!!
    Then, maybe, they will be eligible to talk about these issues…

  • gigi4747

    No one should be bullied, but no one should embrace lies, either, eg, that marriage can be redefined or that children do not need or are not entitled to a mother and a father. Thankfully, Japan has not had the epidemic of divorce or out of wedlock births that the U.S. has had, which made the promotion of redefining marriage much easier in the U.S.