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Who is Kuki Yokoyama?

Japanese Soccer Player Comes out as Transgender

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama, a forward for the Washington Spirit, has come out as transgender. “I’m coming out now,” Yokoyama said in an interview with former teammate Yuki Nagasato on her YouTube channel. “In the future, I want to quit soccer and live as a man.”

Kumi Yokoyama Age  

Kumi Yokoyama was born on 13th August 1993 in Japan a place known as Tama. She is a 27-year-old forward for the Washington Spirit.

Kumi Yokoyama Comes out as Transgender

Kumi Yokoyama in a video talk with a former teammate Yuki Nagasato’s YouTube channel said “I’m coming out now.” “In the future, I want to quit soccer and live as a man,” she added. The revelation was praised in the U.S. where they play in the National Women’s Soccer League but an identity not legally recognized in Japan.

Kumi Yokoyama said she felt more comfortable with their own gender identity while living in the United States, where teammates and friends are more open to gender and sexual diversity.

Yokoyama described feeling like they were under a great deal of pressure to conform and stay in the closet while living in their home country. “I would not have come out in Japan,” they said.

Now they intend to be out and live their truth moving forward, while also helping to raise awareness for queer and trans people back home. “More people in Japan are becoming familiar with the word LGBTQ and it’s seen more [in the media], but I think awareness won’t grow unless people like myself come out and raise our voices,” Yokoyama said.

Kumi Yokoyama Receives Praise From the President of the U.S Joe Biden

After the revelation, Yokoyama’s revelation was praised by President Joe Biden. “To Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama – two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I’m so proud of your courage. Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today,” Biden tweeted. Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out as gay. According to the Advocate, Nassib made history as the first active NFL player to come out as gay while signed to a team.

Yokoyama also obtained support from their teammates who tweeted, “Thank you for showing the world it’s ok to embrace who you are!”

Japan Lacks Legal Protection for Queer People

While support for LGBTQ+ people is growing in Japan, queer people there still lack legal protection and face discrimination, leading many to stay closeted. To be recognized legally in Japan, trans people are required to have their reproductive organs removed, something human rights groups have rebuked as abusive and harmful.

Yokoyama also thanked their girlfriend for encouraging them to come out. “When my girlfriend said there was no reason for me to stay closeted, it really hit me,” they said. “Coming out wasn’t something I was enthusiastic about, but if I think about my life going forward, it would be harder to live closeted, so I found the courage to come out.”

Yokoyama said they weren’t enthusiastic about coming out but it was a choice made while thinking about the future and that it would be harder to live closeted.

They thanked their teammates, friends, and girlfriend for their support and courage.

Kuki Yokoyama Played for Japan at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in Japan

Yokoyama played for Japan at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and moved from Japanese club AC Nagano Parceiro to the Washington Spirit.

“More people in Japan are becoming familiar with the word LGBTQ and it’s seen more (in the media), but I think awareness won’t grow unless people like myself come out and raise our voices,” Yokoyama said.

 

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