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Read before you write about LGBT politics in Japan

Edit (May 2): If you are using Google Translate or a similar service in order to read this, please do not trust the translation. If you think that Tokyo Rainbow Pride is the main topic of this article, that is not true. The main topic is English-language LGBT journalism.


Although this isn't intended to be an exhaustive summary of history of LGBT politics in Japan, which I cannot possibly provide given my limited knowledge, I just couldn't take anymore the shittiness of the news articles written about LGBT politics in Japan. The most typical, all-too-common article written in English never fails to make the followings clear:
  • Japan lags behind the West. There's nothing legal about gay partnerships, and people there are afraid to come out.
  • But things are changing. And such changes are welcomed with enthusiasm by all LGBTs in Japan.
And I say, THIS IS BULLSHIT. (more…)

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Social Justice and Trigger Warning

I have always struggled with handling trigger warning in my own writings and presentations when they have a description of abuse and violence.

Usually, I write my stuff, and then go back to read it to see if any part of it requires trigger warning, although whether something requires it or not cannot be objectively determined.

But as soon as I start trying to come up with a warning, I get lost. I suddenly realize I don't know how to warn people, and that I don't even know why I want to give a trigger warning. (more…)

By Masaki C. Matsumoto, ago
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Queer By Choice and Ex-gay

I have always been sick of the born-this-way rhetoric that mainstream gay activism has so proudly spread all over the U.S. I don't have anything against those who were born gay or born whatever, but feeling that one was born gay and saying so are two different things. (more…)

By Masaki C. Matsumoto, ago
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MAKE ROOM FOR ME ONLY WHEN I ASK YOU TO DO SO

My mom and I had just gotten on the train when I spotted a space on the bench seat only big enough for my mother to sit in. I said, "go on and sit down," to my mother. She sat and the three people on the seat moved along a bit (you know what people do when they want to pretend to be considerate). I smiled at them and said, "don't worry." (more…)

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I don’t have the right to consume the misfortune of people in Japan

Japan tsunami and earthquake: 30 children sit silent in classroom after parents vanish | Mail Online. Ok. I almost cried. I almost cried not because of the devastation that those people in those stories and photos are experiencing, but because they are now a target of the Western pornographic gaze. I mean, look at that picture of 'an old Asian woman standing in the rain' - how photographically well-crafted it is! Oh my god, it surely provokes some emotional, sympathetic, um, hard-on (figuratively). (more…)