Inside Change with Mameta Endo
What is the driving force in what led you to Change.org?
A friend of mine was a petition starter who asked the Japanese government to make more LGBT-inclusive curriculum. We worked together to change the sentence, “In puberty, everyone is attracted to the opposite sex, sooner or later,” which had been widely used in many textbooks. The government rejected our proposal, saying “LGBT topics are too difficult for people,” which enraged the public, many of whom then took to social media to express their anger. Textbook companies noticed the issue and they started to make LGBT inclusive textbooks. We won at some points! I decided to join the Change family because I realized the power of petitions.
What is your favorite part of your work?
I like to support grassroots activists because they show us the true power that everyone has. One of my favorite campaign is #KuToo, which is calling for women to not have to wear heels in their workplace. One woman started the campaign and empowered other women to discuss this and other topics. #KuToo even changed a policy of Japan Airlines. It’s a really empowering story for many people.
What advice can you give to folks who want to show up as an ally?
First, please respect the pronouns. It’s really important to avoid misgendering someone. Also, please challenge the gender-divided society together. A friend of mine avoids marking unnecessary gender-check boxes. Instead, she asks the person in charge, “why does this matter?” We have campaigns that call for the removal of gender-check boxes in CVs and voting ID. We need more cisgender people who stand together with trans people.
What’s a cause or social issue that you’re passionate about?
I am organizing LGBTQ youth support groups. I know many trans kids age 6-7, who can happily go to schools as who they are. Some kids are bullied at schools, but there are more people who stand with them than before. I want to see a world that these trans kids can fulfill their dreams.
If you could go back in time and visit your 10 year old self, what advice would you give yourself?
Wear what you want. Expressing yourself is a great thing. There are millions of people who enjoy their life, even if they don’t fit in with the social norm. Go ahead!
What’s the last concert you went to?
A concert of BUMP OF CHICKEN, a famous rock band in Japan. I used to be a guitarist in a band, which copied BUMP OF CHICKEN, NIRVANA and so on.
How do you relax?
Watching food porn on YouTube forever. Especially Korean ones!