7 Things You Should Know About LGBT

Until a generation ago, homosexuality and gender dysphoria were major taboos.

Now they have become widely accepted under the name “LGBT”.

This article looks at the 7 things we need to know about the changing LGBT situation.


1. Many countries have legalized LGBT rights

Pakistan, a country where 97% of the population is Muslim, passed a transgender rights bill on the 10th of May. This decision was epoch-making considering the Islamic world’s phobia towards the sexual minority and that they have sometimes issued them with death penalties.

In Europe and the U.S. movements protesting against sexism towards the LGBT community spread in the 1970s, and in 2001 the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Ever since, many countries and regions have issued legal rights for same-sex marriages and partnerships. In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court established same-sex marriage in all 50 states throughout the country.

Then President Barack Obama said this was “a victory for America”, and the White House was lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the occasion.

American films and TV shows often include characters from minority groups of various races and creeds to maintain a certain balance; but in recent years the appearance of characters from the sexual minority have become more frequent, and they are starting to gain more recognition.


2. Did it go too far? Those who oppose the same-sex laws

On the other hand there are some who oppose this move.

In 2016, during the Obama administration, the U.S. federal government directed schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. Elevan states, including Texas and Alabama, took legal action against the decision.

In 2017 President Trump revoked the decision because of the rise in cases where sex offenders use being transgender as a disguise, and for reasons of privacy.

Also, since 2017 all single-occupancy restrooms in New York have to be labeled ‘gender-neutral’. On the idea of introducing multi-stall gender-neutral toilets, many locals have expressed anxieties about public safety, and restaurant owners anticipate that it will have negative effects on their business.

“In the supermarket there is a men’s toilet, a women’s toilet and a family toilet, but some supermarkets only have a unisex toilet,” says a lady living in New York. “Many straight women tend to avoid unisex toilets.”

One foreign visitor to New York said, “I don’t have the courage to use a multi-stalled gender-neutral bathroom.”

Another woman from New York who identifies herself as lesbian said, “It’s a difficult problem considering the needs of LGBT people but also the trouble it could cause others. Considering safety, I’m against only having gender-neutral toilets in unguarded parks.”

Some think that city authorities are imposing ‘political correctness’ on people through the restroom law. There are some LGBT Trump supporters, who agree with the current president’s ideas because they think that Obama went too far with his transgender policy.


3. Japan’s same-sex partnership bill

Compared to other developed countries, Japan is quite behind in LGBT awareness.

UN Assistant Secretary general Andrew Gilmour told Japanese businesses that, “Japan does not have protections from discrimination for LGBT people. Japan forces sterilization on transgender people as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity.”

Japan, however, has been a country that is highly tolerant of differences in sexuality since ancient times. The oldest recorded document referring to homosexuality is the Nihon Shoki (The Chronicles of Japan), and homosexuality is not prohibited in the religions and philosophies that spread in Japan – Shinto, Buddhism and Confucianism. It was only during the Meiji Period that anti-LGBT Christian values entered Japan, and the country began to embrace those taboos.

But this also started to change when Japanese businesswoman Kazuyo Katsuma announced in May that she has a same-sex partner. In 2015 the “Bill to Endorse Sexual Equality and Sexual Minorities in Shibuya ward” was established in Shibuya, Tokyo. The city began to issue “partner registrations forms”: the same-sex equivalent of a marriage registration.

Also in 2015 the chief of Setagaya ward, Tokyo, announced a prospectus “setting up the oath of [same-sex] partnership in Setagaya ward.”

This partnership system has already been established in 7 cities around Japan. And 3 more plan to join by 2020. Over 200 couples have registered through this system.

Businesses are also starting to change their views of LGBT people. “I came out the other day to my careers class,” says one Japanese university student. “I was a little worried, but I decided that I want my peers and potential workplaces to know my true self when I go in for job interviews.”

A new phenomenon of business ethics is being built around foreign-owned and other companies where every form of gender discrimination is rejected, and some businesses are setting up LGBT support programs.


4. A Major Market in Business

As LGBT values are slowly being accepted around the world the business world is expanding the market to cater to their demands. The estimated global LGBT population is 450 million and their market is said to be around USD4 trillion. The purchasing power of the gay community is known as pink money, and is gathering attention as a new potential market.

More specifically these can be bridal businesses that accept gay weddings, or travel agents that can provide LGBT-friendly travel plans.


5. The Secret of the Soul

Why are there always a certain number of people who experience gender incongruity? The ‘DNA decides gender’ idea cannot answer this question.

Many religions around the world, however, can help us find the answer. The key to understanding LGBT issues is the existence of the soul.

Humans are actually souls that have eternal life and transmigrate through various incarnations on Earth. In each reincarnation the soul experiences life in a different era, environment and gender. This switching of genders over various incarnations means that some people will find differences in their soul expectations and their physical gender, and may end up being attracted to the same sex.

Spiritual research at Happy Science has uncovered that many souls who are frequently born as males develop a male identity, and those frequently born as females develop a female identity. Other souls may alternate between male and female incarnations.

In many instances, before birth souls choose their physical gender according to what they want to learn and accomplish in that lifetime. Through experiencing different genders the soul is able to accumulate wisdom and polish itself.

The aforementioned Japanese university student was delighted when she discovered this spiritual teaching.

It was so painful to have the mind of a male in a female’s body, but I couldn’t tell my family and friends, and I could feel no hope for the future. I felt uncomfortable when girls got together, and I stopped going to school. But after learning that my actual identity is a soul, I was convinced that the soul inside me was a male, and for the first time I felt comfortable with myself. Through this spiritual view of life I discovered another female part of my soul too. Now I’m not obsessed about gender any more, and I finally learned to accept myself.


6. Choosing Our Gender For Soul Training

While there are many cases where we choose our gender before we are born, there are some cases where people are born of a certain gender to repay karmic debts from a past life.

Master Ryuho Okawa, founder and CEO of Happy Science, conducted a spiritual reading of a woman suffering from gender dysphoria. It turned out that two incarnations ago, the woman had been a famous samurai (male) of a radical faction during the Meiji Restoration.

One incarnation ago she was born as a woman to balance out the radical samurai’s karma. She was born as a woman again this time because she had decided that it was more advantageous, but her feeling of confusion about her gender still remains.

Even if a person is born into a gender that does not match the soul’s characteristics, they are still able to experience soul training.

A young woman from New York who identifies herself as lesbian says that knowledge of the soul and reincarnation made her think about her own past life.

Maybe in my past life I was a Sister at a convent who couldn’t marry and devoted her life to God. The female environment made her fall in love with a woman, but she had to suppress that for her faith. I feel like that might be showing itself now. There is definitely a reason why some people are LGBT, so I ask those people who are suffering to not blame themselves for it.

The truth about souls and reincarnation reveals that there is nothing strange about diversity in sexual orientation. What is important is for LGBT people to not just acknowledge the difference in soul and body gender identities, but to also come to accept it as material for polishing and training the soul.


7. Gender Choice for Our Life Mission

Spiritual research at Happy Science has revealed that Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margret Thatcher was born as a woman despite her past incarnation as a male German leader, in order to raise the status of women in society.

The choice in gender often has a large part to do with the person’s mission in life. The Japanese university student told the Liberty magazine the following:

There are many LGBTs who change their bodies or engage in activism for their rights in order to overcome their suffering. I understand that those things may be important; but just changing your body won’t change your past.

I used to always just look at my own suffering. But then I began to think that there must be a reason why I was born with this sexual orientation I began to realize how much I was being given by those around me. Now I feel really happy about my life, past and present. From now on I want to spread the spiritual truth to those who are suffering the same thing I went through, and help them become positive and happy.

It is indeed important to adjust laws and policies to protect the rights and well being of minorities. But it is equally important for all people to think about why they chose the gender that they are: what did they want to learn from it; and what is their life mission? This awareness is important for value diversity to become accepted in society.





An Ideal Society that Respects Diversity

The Liberty Magazine interviewed a lesbian LGBT activist Yuma Nakao, who works to raise mutual awareness between the straight and LGBT community.

LGBT Awareness Speaker

Yuma Nakao

–Are there things that make you feel uncomfortable living as an LGBT person?

Since I could remember I’ve never thought of myself as a woman. But my gender in the registry is “female”, so whenever I have to present my medical insurance at hospital, they seek an explanation of why my name and appearance don’t match (N.B. Yuma is a male name), or they just give me ‘the look’.

I’ve changed my name in the registry, but I know some people who haven’t changed their name, and they don’t like their name being called out [at hospitals]. That’s why many transgender people don’t go to hospital despite feeling ill.


–You speak about LGBT issues at educational institutions such as elementary schools.

Yes. Parents influence children: 6 year olds, for example, know derogatory ways of referring to transgender people. If the parents are prejudiced, the children will have similar discriminatory opinions. But children are very pure, so once we teach them that LGBT people are not uncommon, they naturally accept that, and grow to become more tolerant towards diversity.

Children often mistake cross-dressing TV stars for LGBT people, so in my talks I talk a lot about the differences between the media and school reality, as well as the LGBT situation overseas.


–What made you decide to come out and appear in public to speak?

I had a strong desire for people to know more about LGBT issues. I wanted the people from a young age to be aware that LGBT people are not invisible non-entities that no one talks about: they are people living right nearby. I also wanted children who were confused about their sexuality to know that they are not alone.

There are many difficulties living as an LGBT person, but I don’t really want to talk about it because I don’t want people to feel pity for us. LGBT or not, we all have a right to become happy. So the first step to changing our society is to remove the ignorance that gives rise to discrimination, and raise the awareness that LGBT people are always close by.

My ideal society is one where I won’t even have to give talks because everyone is able to live and be themselves.

7 Things You Should Know About LGBT
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