One of the most commonly asked questions I have gotten in panels and after lectures is some version of “What is it like to actually be gay in Japan?” It’s always been a hard question to field for any number of reasons.
This kind of question always sounds simple, but because human behavior is complex, the answer needs to be nuanced and complex as well. (As people might realize, if they ask themselves the question honestly about…anywhere, really. Even countries where gay marriage is legal, there are places are not 100% safe for gay people. And discrimination continues no matter what the law says. We see that to be true in every place, if we’re looking with open eyes.)
You know I answer a lot of questions like this on Quora and here, where I have the space, the time and the resources to give apparently simple, but actually complex questions, the time and nuance they require for a full answer.
Yesterday one of my Quora answers was published on Slate.com: How Does Japan Treat Gay People?
I’m confident that I was able to provide a balanced perspective on media and political representation. There are other areas I touched upon as well, including the difference in perception by straight people and gay people of straight people’s “reactions” and the gap between being a fan of same-sex content entertainment and actually supporting LGBTQ people.
Please read and share this article with fan groups you know of, because it’s a question that a lot of folks ask…and now there’s at least one shot at an answer you can point to. ^_^