A Japanese school board has allowed a child who is biologically a boy to register as a girl in what transgender activists hailed as a breakthrough.
The seven-year-old was diagnosed a year ago with gender identity disorder and has been admitted to school as a girl, said Yukihiro Okano, deputy superintendent of education in Hyogo.
"The child is very small now. We will deal with the case at various phases of growth to meet the person's needs," Okano told a news conference.
The parents of the student had asked the school to admit the student as a girl, because their child has always behaved as a female.
The school has not seen any trouble related to the student, Okano added.
The case is groundbreaking in Japan, where it can be difficult to get public understanding on the issue, said Ran Yamamoto, who heads an organization supporting people with gender identity disorder.
"The local community and her parents appear to have been very considerate of the needs of the child. That is very fortunate," Yamamoto said.
The student should receive continued counseling, she added.
"It would be wonderful if those concerned could create a situation in which the person would be able to express her true self," she said.
In July 2004, Japan introduced a new law for transsexuals that has allowed hundreds of people to register under a different sex after they have had sex- change operations.
The law was meant to end embarrassment and discrimination against Japanese who have changed sex. Under old laws, they had to present birth records that showed them to be of a different gender when they tried to get jobs or housing. (AFP)
1. The student the article talks about ...
a. was born a boy.
b. was born a girl.
c. acts like a boy.
2. What has the school decided to do?
a. Treat the student like a girl.
b. Diagnose the student with a disorder.
c. Try to help the public understand the issue.
3. According to Yamamoto ...
a. the student is causing trouble.
b. the student is lucky to have the community's support.
c. the student's parents should be very concerned.
4. What problems did transgender people have in Japan in the past?
a. They couldn't get birth documents.
b. They couldn't have surgery to change their sex.
c. Their birth documents still showed their original sex.