Wednesday 21 October 2020

Interview with Elin McCready

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Elin McCready, an American linguistics professor at Tokyo's Aoyama Gakuin University. Married for 20 years, she has three children with her Japanese wife Midori, but registering her female identity has endangered her marriage because Japan doesn't recognize gay marriage. Hello Elin!
Elin: Hi! Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview. It’s great to get the opportunity to raise awareness about our situation and about the general situation for LGBTQ+ people in Japan.
Monika: Your story hit the international headlines more than a year ago. Has anything changed since then?
Elin: We first started getting media attention when it became clear that the Japanese government was going to take a weird line on recognizing my transition. The situation in Japan is that, if you want to change the gender marker on your official documents, you must not be married or have minor children, and you must be sterilized, in addition to having a diagnosis saying that gender marker change is appropriate from a medical professional. Since I only satisfy the last condition, I would not have been able to change gender marker if I were Japanese; but since I’m not, I changed my marker in the US, which of course changes my Japanese paperwork. But since I’m married, allowing me to change the gender marker on all my documents would mean the de facto recognition of same-sex marriage, so the government didn’t want to do it.

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