This article is actually taken from one of my comments on a youtube video posted by Find Your Love In Japan:
What Japanese Think Of Being Transgender
It's certainly good to see people talking about this topic. When that first step is taken its gets people thinking about it and dealing with it rationally rather than as taking it as an affront to their own sexual identity. That's how a group of people's rights become a part of the whole and that's how they've started in every case for every group whose rights did not exist throughout history.
The first barrier is stigma and that stigma is broken by discussion. One of the questions confronted by transgender persons is which bathroom a transgender person should use? Shouldn't their right to secrecy be taken into consideration? I mean if you're transgender and want to be regarded by society as your visibly implied gender rather than your physical gender, then wouldn't it mean that you should use the bathroom of your implied gender rather than your physical gender? That way your secret is safe in a sense if keeping secret your gender identity is important to you.
I think most of the stigma to do with Gay and Transgender rights is based upon the embarrassment someone might feel if they saw someone transgender without knowing they were transgender and finding them visually and sexually attractive. Likely for a lot of people that would be an affront to their own sexual identity and would force them to consider things that they might not otherwise have considered or even wanted to consider.
Lastly, some people consider that one should only stick up for their own. In other words you are defined as being what you stick up for. So if you stick up for the rights of others, you're numbering yourself amongst those people and are only allowed the options in life that they have and the limits of stigma and cliché. If you're a guy and you stick up for Women for instance, a lot of people would consider you to be a Woman or Gay and identifying more with being a Woman than a guy meaning that you'd be prevented from interacting with Women in terms of companionship. Maybe being labeled as the "nice" guy or something of that sometimes coded terminology. The same thing with anyone that you stand up for. Socially we're pressured into standing up only for the group in which we'd number ourselves in terms of our identity. This prevents people from standing up for others who are different from them quite honestly and is ass backwards and always has been.
If people only stood up for their own, then history would be much different as Women and Children would have no rights whatsoever and most Men would simply be slaves to a despotic leader. There would be no democracy or vote anywhere in the world nor even would there be organized socialism. The strongest and most physically and violently capable would be the leader of any tribe in a world full of warring and constantly fighting tribes. We'd have no technology and free time to consider issues like this because we'd be working our fingers to the bone for fourteen to eighteen hours every day to ensure ourselves enough food to survive in our tribes and to feed the warrior and ruling class of people in our tribe. So having the courage to stand up for others even when they're different than yourself really says a lot about you, and where you'd fit in to our history. Just what kind of person you'd have been in history. Its actually ironic that for the most part, people of that ilk often fall to the tragic fate of early death, often by murder or betrayal.
If you are a courageous person unafraid to stand up for others the way that people get around that nowadays is the oppressors will steal your identity and having done that will credit it to someone else who is on their team, while burying and hiding you as a pariah to the rest of society because the reputation of being upstanding is worth stealing from someone else, but not actually doing because of the risk that I just explained. If someone is vocal online in written or typed words, how easy it must be for others to take the credit for that person's efforts just by stealing their online identity while socially abusing that person in real life enough so that in real life and in person, they seem to contradict their own online words, hence maintaining the identity swapping of those two people.
So really, the risks of standing up for someone else different from yourself are actually quite great. Even nowadays. I'm grateful that someone in the past did, because I'd much rather be writing this on a computer keyboard than trying to carve it into a rock with other rock tools in between working the fields as a slave. Though chances are I wouldn't have been a slave either seeing as I've always had the courage to confront such things. By the way, I'm putting a lot of effort into this despite the fact that I'm heterosexual. That's because I believe in people's rights because I cannot imagine how it would feel to live in a world where you were not allowed to be yourself when there were no moral grounds that could be argued against being yourself.
On another note, I've always had a regard for Women's rights despite being a guy but does that make me the dreaded "nice guy"? Maybe not as I do love Japanese eroticism which many have often labeled as oppressive towards Women. I completely disagree so long as a Woman's sexuality is in their own charge, and decision making capacity with regard to whom and when they share it with another. I've always regarded that kind of eroticism and play as so essential to our existence as intimate beings and is certainly one of the ways in which a person should bond with their soul mate, amongst others like intellectually, spiritually, philosophically and independently cohesive with one another. So I'd never regard Women whose aspect of life is based around eroticism as being lesser than Women whose aspect of life and being is based around their intellect. I prize both very highly but even more so, I prize their independence as to what aspects of life they'd choose to pursue and none being the lesser. So in a sense this is kind of like coming out of the closet in terms of admitting publicly that I adore Japanese eroticism. ;-)
Thanks for reading this far. Thanks to the posters of this video. I'll always have a piece of my heart reserved for Japan. I'm sure that Mr. Takei would be proud too and perhaps I can thank him for his inspiration and influence?
Brian Joseph Johns