The Japan Times revealed that people having their sexual orientation or gender identity revealed without their permission has become a serious problem within the country, affecting victims’ well-being, causing some to suffer mental health issues and suicides.
In June 2015, a 25-year-old student at Hitotsubashi University law school was outed as gay by his classmates after secretly revealing it to a group of peers via a messaging app. After the incident, the victim felt the need to visit a specialist for a psychosomatic disorder.
Shortly later in August, the victim said he cannot see himself operating in the same professional group as the person who outed him and killed himself by jumping off one of the university buildings.
The victim parents after sued both the classmate and university for mishandled his son’s situation. Although a settlement was reached with classmate at the Tokyo District Court in February, family is fighting for a case appeal.
As mentioned in the Japan Times, parents’ lawyer Kazuyuki Minami said under clear frustrated at the news conference following the verdict:
“The court offered no mention at all on the substantive question of whether or not outing is an unlawful act,”
To demonstrate how serious this is to the #LGBT community, we can look at one of the private support center called Shakaiteki Hosetsu. From March 2012 to 2018, the private support center received over hundred documented calls to its 24-hour hotline service from people who were being outed. (With many unanswered calls due to resource limitation, the actual cases are believed to increase more than twenty times.)
Breaking down the calls, many of those calls said they were outed after disclosing to someone they trusted or were bad-mouthed by friends for making “a sick display of affection.” Some people were calling to seek advice about whether or not to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“There is a big possibility of civil or even criminal charges being brought,” said Shinya Maezono, a lawyer who runs Saitama-based website lgbt.legaladvice.jp, providing advice to LGBT community.
Maezono explained the root cause comes from the unwillingness to accept sexual diversity within the country. He believes that the community should get a good understand about sexual minorities, providing a LGBT friendly and respectful environment for individuals to come out.
Secretary general of the Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation, Yuichi Kamiya, said that most sexual minorities have experienced some form of discrimination before. Kamiya is hoping the society can be conscious about this issue and the government can implement new protection policies before it becomes a complete disaster.
Source: The Japan Times