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We are here, living together in the same space ~Calling for Revisions to Textbooks that Harm LGBT Youth ~

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To live as yourself, and be free to love, is vital for each and every one of us. But for LGBT youth who are attracted to the same gender, or those who do not identify with their biological sex, living freely is not that simple.

At the current time, sexual minorities are notable by their absence from Japanese textbooks. I for one felt alienated when I read these textbooks as a student. It was when I was in the 2nd grade of Junior High that I first really fell for someone, but the textbooks I read at the time taught me that my love was abnormal. All because I, a woman, had fallen in love with another female classmate. Whenever I looked at her my heart would race. I wanted more than anything to spend time speaking with her. My feelings only grew stronger with time, but nowhere around me did I have role models of girls crushing on other girls, or men falling for other men.

It was at this time my Health classes started dealing with the topic of puberty. A passage from the textbook stated that 'everyone develops an interest in the opposite sex during puberty'. This and other passages made it clear that being attracted to the opposite sex was without question.

I felt as if I had been punched, and my mind went blank. I had been told that my being attracted to the same sex was anything but without question. I was unnatural.

What I learnt about sex and gender in Junior High made me feel as if a shadow had fallen over me. In my heart, I resolved never to fall for another person. I decided to take this path because I believed that loving a person of the same sex was wrong.

Even after so many intervening years, the same information is being fed to students, convincing them that sexual minorities do not exist. However, repeated studies from across the world show that 3% to 5% of the population is a member of a sexual minority group. If we think about that in terms of a classroom, it means that one student in every class is LGBT. That's in EVERY school wherever you go.

We cannot hope to begin helping LGBT youth without addressing the education system. 2016 provides us with just this opportunity for change, as this marks the year when the Japanese Curriculum Guidelines will be revised. This revision will set policy for textbooks written over the following ten years. If we miss this opportunity, the next chance will be 2026.

If we miss this chance, then for the next 10 years, LGBT youth will be given incorrect information, and this discriminatory discourse will continue. And those who will suffer are our children.

Two years ago, the government acknowledged for the first time that LGBT youth are at increased risk of suicide. They also released reports into transgender issues.

Let's make 2016 the year when LGBT minorities are no longer ignored by textbooks.

※Information about Sexual Minorities
Basic information about LGBT issues
※(Links to a Japanese site)

◆References

70% of LGBT youth report bullying, and 30% have considered suicide.

※(Links to a Japanese site)

Japan is ranked 10th of 40 countries in terms of openness to homosexuality(an American study)

※(Links to a Japanese site)

Sexual Minorities and Suicide Risk – Over 60% have considered suicide; the rate of attempted suicide is 6 times greater than heterosexuals.

※(Links to a Japanese site)



今日:Maikaさんがあなたを信じています

MUROI Maikaさんは「We are here」キャンペーンにあなたの手伝いも必要としています!Maikaさんと22,883人の賛同者と一緒うに賛同しましょう。