Half of LGBTI job seekers go through ‘uncomfortable’ interviews in Japan

Soshi Matsuoka made this film about trans women in Japan (Photo: YouTube)

About half of LGBTI students in Japan looking for their first job have had ‘uncomfortable’ experiences during interviews.

Tokyo non profit, ReBit, surveyed hundreds of LGBT people who had applied for jobs as graduates in the 10 year period leading to 2018.

The survey found 40% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people had experienced uncomfortable job interviews. But for trans people it was worse, with 80% of respondents saying they had weird interviews.

‘Assuming that job-seeking students are not LGBT could lead to harassment,’ Mika Yakushi, head of ReBit, told the Japan Times.

ReBit found that almost 80% of respondents did not come out to potential employers. The survey also revealed 70.8% of LGBTI jobseekers were worried about discrimination and harassment.

‘Company officials in charge of personnel affairs should be aware that job-hunting students include a certain percentage of sexual minorities,’ ReBit said in a statement.

Almost 100% of survey respondents said they had not consulted employment services about gender issues and wouldn’t know where to start if they wanted to.

Yakushi said tertiary institutions had a responsibility to support LGBTI students.

‘Universities need to support LGBT students’ job hunting,’ Yakushi said

The survey results comes just a week after a viral video showed the challenges trans women face in Japan everyday in the workplace. LGBTI recruitment agency, Job Rainbow, released the video to raise awareness of the country’s transphobia.

You are as you are’ Job Rainbow’s introduction to the video reads. ‘It’s easy to say’.

‘But we know. even if you want to do that, the world is obstructing it’ it goes on to say.

It concludes by saying they will make a society where you can live as you are.

Author: Shannon Power

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Why everyone should include pronouns in their email signature

Pronoun badge TigersEyeAdventureCo badge available on Etsy | Photo: TigersEyeAdventureCo

I’m cisgender, but I include pronouns in my email signature for one simple reason.

It normalizes discussions about gender. A conversation that benefits everyone.

But first and foremost it says to everyone, I won’t assume your gender.

I quickly saw the power in this change in my signature, which took all of a minute to do, when my good friend Grace received an email from me.

Moments later I got the Whatsapp:


I can assure you, ‘DJEKOS’, is not a word. But I think it covers the exclamation in her tone, and power of the act to her.

As a young trans person, this said to her that where I work is somewhere that talks about our identities and understands gender is not binary.

Don’t assume you know someone’s gender

To quote the cliche, assuming ‘makes an ass out of you and me’. And a concept, I understand because it shares parallels with unconscious homophobia too.

At college, I used to teach sessions with my LGBT group on ‘hetereosexism.’

It is prejudice against LGB people on the assumption that being straight is the normal sexual orientation.

I’d go and buy a stack of newspapers, and we’d get everyone to cut out and stick on one card all the straight relationships in adverts and stories. And on the other the queer ones.

Of course, one was very empty. The exercise allowed me to open up a discussion about what being gay is, and looks like.

I’d explain: Don’t assume that under my Blink-182 t-shirt is a straight lad from the audio production course – gays like pop punk too.

By making the outward gesture of including your pronouns when you introduce yourself, the impact is the same.

Sparkle holographic punks respect pronouns badge by Doodlepeople available on Etsy | Photo: Doodlepeople

Sparkle holographic ‘Punks Respect Pronouns’ badge by Doodlepeople available on Etsy | Photo: Doodlepeople

A simple and effective way to say: I recognize and respect your identity

‘Including your pronouns in your email signature is an important move towards Inclusivity,’ Gina Battye tells me.

She says that adding pronouns to your email signature is a simple yet effective way to signal to others that you recognize and respect everyone’s identity.

‘It shows you care about their preferences and it is a simple solution to accidental misgendering.’

If you are reading this and looking for a reason why you should get others in your organization to take on board it’s simple: including pronouns in introductions and email signatures often leads to discussions within organizations.

Something Battye, an LGBT+ Identity Coach who helps Fortune 500 companies with trans training, says leads to powerful cultural change:

‘It opens up the conversation around pronouns paving the way for trans, non-binary and gender fluid people. And when cis individuals include their pronouns, it helps to normalize the practice and reinforces the importance of not assuming pronouns.’

Patrick Reardon-Morgan from the Philharmonia Orchestra has just started including pronouns in his signature and is encouraging his colleagues to do the same:

‘It’s frustrating, but most of society has little understanding about gender identity and expression. People can react with hostility when you challenge their deeply held view of what sex and gender are.

‘But if we don’t challenge this, the world will remain deeply hostile to trans, non-binary and intersex people.

‘That’s why I’m working with my colleagues on gender issues and encouraging them to add pronouns to their emails. It’s time for cisgender people to abandon the idea that they are nature’s default setting. We’re not.’

Pronouns badge by Abprallen | Photo: Abprallen

Pronouns badge by Abprallen | Photo: Abprallen

They aren’t ‘preffered pronouns’

Last week, Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes asked people who put their ‘preffered pronouns’ in their Twitter bio because you are ‘just oh-so super “woke”’ to: ‘GET OFF OF MY TIMELINE.’

Grimes was dragged by various users in the LGBT Twittersphere for this delightful tweet.

Darren Grimes pronouns tweet

So just for clarity. Let’s be clear on the questions around the phrase ‘preffered pronouns.’

Some trans-inclusive guides use this phrase. But here at Gay Star News, it’s our house style just to say – pronouns. To suggest they are preferred suggests they could be something different.

And if that’s who you are, that’s who you are. If they are your pronouns, they should be respected.

Want to know what someone’s pronouns are? Thankfully a really easy way to find out.

Just ask: ‘What pronouns do you use?’

Some trans and non-binary people might ask you to use the gender-neutral pronouns they/them/their.

Everyone’s gender identity and gender expression are on a spectrum. Understanding this is a key part of being a trans ally and should be part and parcel of including pronouns in your signature.

Challenging prejudices and stereotypes about gender is something we should all do. Adding pronouns to your signature is just one simple and effective action in that conversation.

Kind regards,

Jamie Wareham

Production Manager – Video and Digital Pride
(Pronouns: He/His)
Gay Star News Ltd

More, easy steps towards being trans-inclusive on Gay Star News:

Making your workplace trans inclusive is not hard. This is how to do it

A handy guide to make sport inclusive for gender diverse people

Author: Jamie Wareham

The post Why everyone should include pronouns in their email signature appeared first on Gay Star News.