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Japan Striker Kumi Yokoyama Has Come Out As A Trans Man In Emotional Video

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Japan Striker Kumi Yokoyama Has Come Out As A Trans Man In Emotional Video

Japan and Washington Spirit forward Kumi Yokoyama has come out as a transgender man in a powerful video posted online.

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Yokoyama represented Japan at the 2019 World Cup and has been encouraged to tell their story after living in the United States.

The 28-year-old spoke to former Japan international Yuki Nagasato on YouTube and discussed their decision in full.

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"I've dated several women over the years but I had to stay closeted in Japan," Yokoyama said per ESPN.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

"In Japan I'd always be asked if I had a boyfriend, but here [in the United States] I'm asked if I have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

"When my girlfriend said there was no reason for me to stay closeted, it really hit me. 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."

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Yokoyama is prepared to have more surgery when their playing career is over, having had some at the age of 20.

They also revealed OL Reign midfielder Quinn had an impact on their decision, after seeing the Canadian wear a "Protect Trans Kids" sweater prior to a game last year.


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"[Quinn] wore a [sweatshirt] that said 'Protect Trans Kids' before a game, and I realised that it was what taking action looks like," Yokoyama continued.

"To be able to accept people you have no relationship with, that's the kind of person I would like to become and I hope we can create that society."

US President Joe Biden tweeted a message of support for Yokoyama, as well as Carl Nassib, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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His message read: "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."

Nassib made history earlier this week by becoming the first active NFL star to come out as gay.

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His Las Vegas Raiders jersey became the NFL's top-selling jersey within 24 hours of his announcement.

Featured Image Credit: Yuki Nagasato/YouTube & PA Images

Topics: Football, Japan

Daniel Marland
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