Washington Spirit ahead Kumi Yokoyama, pronouns they/them, not too long ago got here out as transgender in a youtube video recorded by a former teammate.
It wasn’t a call taken evenly by World Cup star Kumi Yokoyama. They’re one of many few athletes to take action in Japan the place the method of fixing authorized gender markers known as ‘abusive’ by the Human Rights Watch.
Yokoyama, who represented Japan on the 2019 Ladies’s World Cup and at present performs for Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit, advised the Japan Times dwelling in america made it simpler to be “open” about sexuality and gender.
They determined to announce their transition and their extraordinary resolution to delay taking Hormones till after they retire so they might dwell at peace with themselves, their staff, and followers.
“Not too long ago, the time period LGBTQ has change into acquainted in Japan, and also you see it within the media these days,” stated the 27-year-old footballer.
“However I believed that if individuals in my place didn’t communicate up, issues wouldn’t progress.”
Yokoyama’s message was posted on the YouTube channel of former Japan teammate Yuki Nagasato — a World Cup winner in 2011.
Yokoyama, who needs to be referred by the gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them”, had high surgical procedure on the age of 20.
They intend to have additional gender reassignment surgical procedure after they’ve retired from enjoying.
The ahead stated there was strain to evolve to gender norms in Japan, however there was much less discrimination in america and Germany, the place Yokoyama beforehand performed for Frankfurt.
“In Japan, you’re all the time requested ‘do you may have a boyfriend?’, however right here it’s regular to ask ‘do you favor males or girls’,” Yokoyama stated.
“I hid it from my teammates to start with, however they advised me it was uncool to cover it, and that I didn’t should.”
We assist and are so pleased with you Kumi💙🏳️⚧️Thanks for displaying the world it’s okay to embrace who you’re! https://t.co/Gi7btIAT7l
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) June 19, 2021