You may have heard of bears, but what about wolves, monkeys, and cats? Which western brand-name bag has become so popular with Japanese gay men that it’s been nicknamed the “gay backpack”? Who is the nefarious sounding “goggle man”?
All this and more can be found in our recently updated “Glossary of Gay Terminology”!
First released in May 2015 and updated to its second edition in March 2016, I’m proud to announce the latest update, which makes it even easier to understand and search the terms. Think of it as our “S” year update.
A recent survey by the Institute for General Research on LGBT found that only about 4% of respondents have come out in their workplaces, which means a whopping 96% have not.
I am the 96%.
Ryukyu Shimpo 1/4/2017
On the morning of January 4th, the city of Urasoe raised a rainbow flag, the symbol of sexual diversity, in front of city hall. At the ceremony corresponding with the first day of work in the new year, Mayor Matsumoto Tetsuzi read the “Rainbow City Urasoe Declaration”, designating the city as one that accepts sexual diversity.
Google Japan made a bold move during NHK’s annual Year-end Song Festival (紅白歌合戦), airing a commercial that featured, among others, a gay man. The Year-end Song Festival is aired every New Year’s Eve from 19:15~23:45 and is watched by millions across Japan.
On December 14, Google revealed its annual “Year in Search“, shining a light on the most popular search queries of 2016. The breakout searches were to be expected: Pokemon GO, the summer hit game that needs no introduction. Olympic, referring to both the Rio Summer Olympics and the excitement (and drama) surrounding Toyko 2020. SMAP, the “Johnny’s idol” group that will dissolve at the end of the year.
But a look at the top search queries starting with “what is…” revealed a surprising and optimistic result:
Suponichi Annex 11/26/2016
SECRET GUYZ, Japan’s first ever FtM idol group, is broadening the scope of its activities to spread understanding of sexual minorities as it cements its position as a ‘new generation idol group”. In addition to releasing their 6th single on November 30th, the group will hold a one man show on December 1st in Toyko. The group says, “Rather than raising awareness in a serious way, we want to get the word out through entertainment.”
Yodogawa Ward in Osaka City is unique in that it became the first municipality in Japan to declare support for LGBT individuals back in 2013. And according to a recent article published by the Japan Times, it appears that Yodogawa Ward is positioned as a municipal model on LGBT rights due to the various ways in which the local government has worked to create a more comfortable environment for LGBT citizens to live in and for the ward’s contributions to creating LGBT awareness in Japan.