Japanese schools and the genderless uniform

Japanese schools are introducing new uniforms and flexible “gender-neutral” uniform codes to support LGBT students.


School authorities hope it will ease the pain of students required to wear gender-specific uniforms, traditionally, a collared jacket with pants for boys and a pleated skirt with a sailor blouse for girls.


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At several high schools in Tokyo and in the surrounding prefectures, students can choose from either skirts or slacks as well as ties or ribbons to go with blazers regardless of their gender.


Parents, teachers, prospective students and education board members discussed a neutral of uniform. Priority is to LGBT students and that girls should also be allowed to wear trousers because they are more practical and warmer during winter.


Elsewhere in Japan, it is being welcomed, with a junior high school in Fukuoka prefecture preparing to abandon collared uniforms and sailor-style blouses, replacing them with blazers instead and allowing students to choose between skirts and pants in the upcoming April 2019 school year.


Tokyo will follow in April 2020 while high schools in other cities such as Osaka and Fukuoka said they are considering what school uniforms are appropriate for LGBT students in their part of the country.


The head of an organization that supports the LGBT community, said that LGBT students force to wear gender-specific school uniforms are burdened and are afraid of coming out.


A recent survey conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Education sometime in 2014, there were 606 cases of students in Japan relating to their gender identity disorders that came to the attention of schools.


In 2015, the ministry issued a notice telling schools to support the LGBT community and gender minority students and consider the clothes they wear, hairstyles they can use, use of bathrooms as well as swimming wear and other activities that put LGBT students at high risk.


Reference: Japanese schools introduce LGBT-friendly uniforms


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