Japanese soccer player Yokoyama comes out as transgender

Kumi Yokoyama, a Japanese soccer player, stated that they are transgender. This revelation was praised in the U.S., where they play in the National Women's Soccer League. However, it is not legal in Japan.

Japanese soccer player Yokoyama comes out as transgender

Washington Spirit forward, 27 years old, said that they feel more comfortable with their gender identity living in America because friends and teammates are more open to sexual diversity and gender.

"I'm coming to out now," Yokoyama stated in a video on Yuki Nagasato’s YouTube channel. "In the future I want to quit soccer, and live as a man."

President Joe Biden praised Yokoyama’s discovery.

"To Carl Nassib, Kumi Yookoyama - two inspiring and prominent athletes who were out this week: Thank you for your courage. Biden tweeted that many children around the globe are now seeing themselves differently because of you. Nassib is the NFL's first openly gay player.

The Spirit expressed pride and support for Yokoyama. "Thanks for showing the world that it's okay to be who you are!" The team added that the player used they/them pronouns.

Japan has been slowly increasing awareness and support for gender and sexual diversity. However, LGBTQ people often face discrimination and lack legal protections. Many choose to conceal their sexual identity. A recent equality law, which was pushed by rights groups, was scrapped due to opposition from conservative ruling parties.

Japan's transgender people must also have their reproductive organs removed in order to have their gender recognised on official documents. This is a requirement that medical and human rights groups have condemned as inhumane and unneeded and should be ended.

Yokoyama stated that they were not enthusiastic about coming out, but that they made the decision after thinking about the future and realizing how difficult it would be to live close to one another. They said, "I wouldn't have come out in Japan."

They expressed their gratitude to their friends, teammates, and girlfriends for their courage and support.

Yokoyama represented Japan at the 2019 Women's World Cup, France. She was transferred from AC Nagano Parceiro in Japan to the Washington Spirit.

Yokoyama stated that they felt a strong need to conform to Japan's closeted relationships. However, he hoped to be a man once he retired as a professional soccer player.

Yokoyama stated that more people in Japan are now aware of the term LGBTQ.

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