Do I need gender to vote? August 8, 10:42
I'm scared to go to the polling place.
The reason was something I never even imagined.
Although it may be a little from the whole, there are people who feel that going to a polling place is a “crisis for living” in the same way. One of them has stood up and is now starting to move around the world.
“You are not yourself?”
An election three years ago.
The person went to the polling place with his admission ticket.
I want to become a society that is friendly to a small number of people in their own position. From that wish, I really wanted to get one important vote.
Present the admission ticket at the reception.
The person in charge asked,
“You are not ... is n’t it?”
The gender written on the admission ticket is “female”.
However, the person looks “man”.
When I told him I was, the person in charge started talking to another person.
It was suspected that it was an impersonation vote.
Again. This pain came again.
I hear the voice, "Is that man a woman or a man?"
The number of people who gradually discuss increases and repeats the same story.
"I want to escape from this polling place."
I was desperate to suppress that feeling.
That one letter lives ...
That person is Minori Hori (29), a group employee living in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture.
Transgender where mind and body do not match.
In July, when the House of Councilors election was held, I learned about Hori's ongoing activities and applied for coverage.
Mr. Hori, who responded to the interview, said, "If you can understand the transgender position," the admission ticket to the polling place.
In the transparent window part of the envelope, you can see the name and the word “female” in the gender column.
Of course, there was such a description on the admission ticket in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, which was delivered to me, but I honestly never minded it.
“It's a problem to see the gender from the envelope window. I'm afraid to see if this is seen by others. And some people lost their lives by themselves. ''
“Crisis” at each election
Hori is a woman in the family register.
Ever since I was a child, I have been feeling uncomfortable with being divided as a “woman” in school classes.
When I was in my first year at university, reading a transgender book led me to realize my personality and to live as a man.
She shortened her hair and changed her clothes to men. I started to inject hormones. As I behaved obediently to my feelings, I came to think that no one wants to know my gender when I was born.
However, every time an election was held, “life hiding gender” was in danger.
This is an unforgettable experience for Mr. Hori, the three-year-old election introduced at the beginning.
“I have been blaming myself for being bad even though I haven't done anything wrong. Now I can't go to the polling place even if I want to vote.”
There is a difference in handling in the local government!
When I heard Hori-san's story, I interviewed the municipality's election management committee in Miyagi Prefecture, and asked if "sex" is written on the admission ticket.
Then, it was found that 27 out of 35 municipalities had a gender column in the admission ticket in 27 municipalities.
“Gender is necessary for identity verification at polling stations and subsequent gender-specific tabulations,” explained most selections.
According to the prefecture's selection, the contents of admission tickets and the method of identity verification are left to the local governments. The local government continued to indicate gender in line with customs, and there was no particular concern for transgender. Rather, the current situation is that the voices of those people have not been transmitted to the local government.
After the announcement of the House of Councilors election, Mr. Hori took action.
He went to the selection of Miyagi Prefecture and Onagawa Town, and requested that the gender notation of the polling place admission ticket be stopped.
I dared to call myself "transgender" and wanted the people involved in the election to know the facts. I was also prepared to get the attention of the media.
On July 16, Mr. Hori submitted a request form to the selection of Onagawa Town. I want it to be a town. "
Mr. Hori has also begun signing activities using the Internet, seeking to eliminate gender confirmation at polling stations.
An article titled “Towards a society where transgenders can vote with confidence” was posted on a signature site on the Internet, introducing their experiences and asking for approval.
As of August 5, one month later, the signing site received more than 7,700 approvals.
I was expecting criticism, but in the comments, there were many voices supporting Hori's courageous behavior.
The selection moved!
Did Hori-san's appeal go about three weeks after submitting the request?
In Miyagi Prefecture, a prefectural assembly election is held in October. We asked 27 municipalities whose genders were listed in the polling place admission ticket at the House of Councilors election to respond to the prefectural election.
Then, 11 cities and towns, including Onagawa-cho, said they were preparing for the end of gender descriptions. Instead, they are considering making a distinction between men and women by numbers and the presence or absence of an asterisk (*).
In fact, the prefectural organization that received the request of Mr. Hori was urged to consider revising the gender notation at a briefing that gathered representatives from the municipalities.
The remaining 16 municipalities agreed that they would continue to consider these issues as a future issue even if they were not in time for the prefectural election.
The person in charge of the selection of Onagawa-cho, who received a direct request, is grateful for Hori's actions.
“I did n’t think gender was a problem until I received the request with embarrassment. I wanted to value the opinions of people with sexual minorities.”
Not "I didn't know"
Mr. Hori says he intends to continue his activities if he wants an election in which nationwide transgender people can vote with peace of mind.
What I felt through interviews is that not only in elections, but also by adding the entry fields for men and women, they may have hurt someone unknowingly.
Various reports from government agencies, documents submitted to companies and organizations, questionnaires. There are a lot of documents that seem to have no problem even if there is no gender column in everyday life.
How about reviewing the gender of familiar documents once again from that perspective?
Sendai station reporter Maki Hirayama
Joined in 2015. In charge of incidents and justice at the Sendai station, interviewed the affected areas at the Ishinomaki branch office. Return to Sendai again in the summer of 2019. Table tennis is a skill of participating in inter-high.