The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has launched a survey nationwide to schools on how they deal with the issue of gender identity disorder (GID) in their institutions. All schools from the elementary, junior and senior high school levels were included as participants of the survey.
Last November, MEXT began the survey in response to the request of the organization,”Seidoitsusei Shogai to Tomo ni Ikiru Hitobito no Kai.” The association represents people diagnosed with the disorder, which refers to a condition where the person does not mentally or socially identify with their physical sex. Being diagnosed with GID can cause intense stress to a student, especially when faced with situations where the gender division is apparent like the type of school uniform to wear, use of restrooms and also locker rooms. The organizations said that most schools were unable to address the needs of GID students, which are increasing. Such failure has oftentimes caused the students to leave school or even commit suicide.
21-year old Rikuto Iwasaki, a second year student from Kinki University, diagnosed with GID, recalled how her teacher turned down her request to wear pants and referred her to school rules. She said that it was “tough psychologically,” as many students are now suffering from it in school. “I hope teachers and students will better understand gender identity disorder and that (the survey) will become a springboard for changes in how schools respond to the issue.” Schools will need to answer the survey and indicate what steps they have done from April to December, to address the issue of GID in their schools. However, indicating more personal information regarding students who may have been diagnosed with the condition is voluntary.