Gender Pronouns Explained to Japanese on National News

“It is said that mis-gendering can seriously hurt the other person’s heart.”
“In a suburb of New York, middle schools teach about sexual minorities to students. The school works to protect the sexual identity of sexual minority students. In classroom activities, they use the pronoun, “they.”

The Japanese female author then describes her visit to a radical conservative baptist church in Georgia. After asking about sexual minorities:

“I was surprised at his strong response, even an hour and a half into his sermon, the minister repeatedly criticized sexual minorities. These conservatives strongly believe that ‘sex is determined by God,’ so they say using “they” is bad. After a sermon, one male believer said, ‘The Bible teaches that sexual minorities are dangerous. Men are men, women are women, and we never use genderless pronouns.'”

“I’m Shige Sakurai, a Japanese-American who identifies as a sexual minority.
Three years ago, Sakurai, a university teacher in Eastern Maryland, obtained a license with an “X” in the gender column, meaning neither male nor female.”

「わたしの最終目標は、より多くの人がこの問題に関わることです。“they”が広がることで、私たちが直面する問題の解決への第一歩になることを願っています」
“My ultimate goal is to get more people involved in this problem. I hope the more general “they” will be the first step in solving the problems we face.”

tl;dr: The article presents, to a Japanese audience, using gender pronouns as an act of love, tolerance, and understanding, while painting opponents as religious fanatics that only oppose it due to their belief in God. The author then alludes to the use of gender pronouns as something that Japan should perhaps consider use of.


Link to Article (日本語)
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