about Japan, trans talk

The thing about Tokyo…

The thing about Tokyo

…most people don’t give a fuck.

It’s been awesome to witness the acceptance and encouragement a transsexual in transition is given in this crazy, crowded megalopolis.  Transition ain’t easy; in fact, it may be the most difficult (and defeating at moments) experience I have observed in this life.
And I am so glad that she is able to do it in Tokyo.

Tokyoites (mostly) not giving a rude fuck about someone in transition isn’t why we chose to move here but it is a decided perk.  It’s a strange and beautiful thing that the inhabitants of this city can be so conformist yet respectful of an individual’s self-expression.  Yes, there is a massive sea of businessmen and office ladies in their requisite suits and skirt-suits with black pumps, respectively, but behind those 9-5 (attached with massive overtime) outfits are characters who let all kinds of freaky flags fly into the wee hours, or not.  Point being that people here recognize and respect that everyone is multidimensional and who are they to judge?  Not only are there all kinds of daily queer sightings, gender-bending has always been a part of popular culture here, from the historic Noh theater to the beloved transsexuals on popular variety shows to the crossdressers in the cosplay neighborhood of the anime capital of the world.  In the states, especially in the South where we were living, there is no way she would have gotten the support she currently receives from her university peers, faculty and administration whilst transitioning. Just the other week, a very concerned teacher called twice, left a voice-mail and texted because she realized she had unintentionally hurt my girlfriend’s feelings and wanted to remedy the hurt and misunderstanding ASAP…that’s the thing about Tokyo.

I’m not saying that people can’t be hurtful with their stares or what might be downright dirty looks, even, but that’s as bad as it has been thus far.  No slurs, no bullying, no discrimination and certainly no acts of violence for crossing genders.

Tokyoites really embrace one of my golden rules:
As long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else, do what you want.

And that’s pretty damn cool.


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