This week read about the first openly gay minister in Greece becoming deputy minister, and the number of official gender changes increasing in Japan.

First Openly Gay Deputy Minister Appointed in Greece

Nicholas Yatromanolakis, the first openly gay minister in Greece, was named deputy minister for contemporary culture on Jan. 4, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promoted Yatromanolakis in order to improve the government’s image, Reuters reported.

Yatromanolakis wants better implementation of existing LGBT anti-discrimination laws and training in private companies and government bodies, Reuters reported. He also said he would discuss LGBT issues with other cabinet members and prioritize bringing state financial aid to those working in the arts during the pandemic.

Yatromanolakis has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard and marketing and communications experience with companies including Microsoft, Reuters reported. He joined Greece’s government in 2019.

Gay and lesbian couples are not permitted to marry, adopt together or adopt the biological children of their partners in the country, Reuters reported.



Official Gender Changes Increase in Japan


A climber poses with Mt. Fuji in the distance. Photo via PxHere.

Nine hundred forty-eight individuals in Japan changed their officially registered gender in 2019, according to a judicial survey, the Japan Times reported.

The figure represents a growing number of gender changes in the country, increasing from 868 in 2018 and 903 in 2017, according to data from Japan’s Supreme Court, the Japan Times reported.

Requirements for gender changes in Japan are still strict, however. Those who want to legally change their gender must appeal to a family court, undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be surgically sterilized, the Human Rights Watch reported.

Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation anticipates the number of registered gender changes to temporarily decrease because of the pandemic and the legal requirements involved, the Japan Times reported.

Applicants must at or above 20 years of age, unmarried, without underage children and without the functioning reproductive organs of their assigned gender after sex reassignment surgery, the Japan Times Reported. Applicants must also be diagnosed with gender identity disorder by at least two doctors.