Don’t Tolerate Japan’s Anti-LGBT Lawmaker

Don’t Tolerate Japan’s Anti-LGBT Lawmaker

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We are parents of LGBT children.

In a Shincho 45 magazine article, Mio Sugita, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan called LGBT people “unproductive” because, according to Sugita, LGBT people “can not bear children.”Sugita also questioned whether “ the use of tax money for LGBT couples could gain public support.

We are infuriated with Sugita and will not tolerate our children getting harmed like this.

Our children already experience difficulties on a regular basis because of transphobia, homophobia, and queerphobia, including being told they are “not normal.” Our teenage children are now shaken by news stories on Sugita’s anti-LGBT comments widely spread on social media. Youth have shared with us that Sugita’s comments made them “fearful,” “too anxious to sleep,” and “not sure if it’s okay to be who I am.” Some shared that they are angry. Anti-LGBT comments stated by a politician, whose job is to change Japanese society for the better, are harming our children and their well-being.

Why do individuals who do not bear children have to be called “unproductive” in the first place? Furthermore, don’t people deserve to be alive even when deemed “unproductive?”

Sugita has a history of making anti-LGBT comments. For instance, on a past TV show now available to watch on YouTube, Sugita spoke about high suicide rates among LGB (but not T) people while laughing, after expressing that teaching about LGBT issues in schools is unnecessary. For us, it is heartbreaking that there are children who consider ending their own lives from facing societal consequences of not conforming to norms. We do not understand how anyone could laugh about it.

If you or someone you care about are feeling like “this has nothing to do with me,” please try to imagine the experience of being the parent, whose transgender child got very upset watching this YouTube video.

It’s really not that difficult to respect LGBT people. One of our children came out to their peers in elementary school, and their peers have all been accepting of this young person. They continued to play with this friend just like how they have always played together. Children know how to respect each other.

Much to our surprise, Sugita recently stated on social media that senior members of the LDP including some of the ministers are supportive of Sugita and Sugita’s anti-LGBT views.

How could that be true?

We have heard that there are LDP politicians who care about LGBT issues and have been working on bills on LGBT rights. But now we are wondering if they feel the same way Sugita feels inside.

In the Shincho 45 article, Sugita said LGBT people are unhappy people. However, what makes our children unhappy is not their LGBT identities, but the people who oppress them. No matter how accepting we become as parents, we cannot protect our children from harms caused by oppression in society.

Therefore, we demand that the LDP:

address Mio Sugita’s anti-LGBT comments and host a press conference for Sugita to give an apology for the anti-LGBT comments;
remove Sugita from the party should there be no improvement observed in Sugita’s behavior; and
make a law that does not tolerate unfair treatment of marginalized people.
Whether you identify as LGBT or not, let’s make our voices heard.


[photo by BuzzFeedJapan]