“W, in his own words: “I haven’t thought to myself about being gay recently. Maybe because of it becoming natural, in a way, or at least being gay in Tokyo. For instance, I have heard news about the ordinance that will be submitted at the local council in Tokyo for same sex couple registration. Also, I had my work experience as the editor for gay magazines and now in the arts, so that I may say I am lucky to be in a “liberal environment.”
When I did an interview with BUTT magazine about seven years ago, the editor in chief said something like this: “It’s becoming ordinary to be gay in Europe and getting boring.” I was so inspired and sympathized to what he said. Because I feel more comfortable being in an underground scene and have thought that art should be described with words like underground, cutting-edge and innovative.
In the past two years, I have lived a dual life as full-time worker and full-time student. i.e. I have been too busy doing these at the same time! I just submitted my master dissertation and am graduating this March. Through attending as many lectures as possible, contributing to classes, writing the dissertation, I could have precious experiences like meeting good friends, professors and books.
I haven’t come out to my family, so I haven’t got (a coming out) story to tell.
There’s gay scene but not gay community in Tokyo, I guess. The gay scene is in Shinjuku, bars, clubs and gay magazine offices are gathered now and then. But with rising internet sites and applications to meet people, the centeredness of Shinjuku is getting weaker. Maybe the reason that I feel that way is I was once in the scene djing at the club and the editor for the gay magazine, but not now.
(Advice I’d give my younger self) Be yourself, borrowing from DJ Danny Tenaglia’s track.”
Ryou, in his own words: “Gay only means this person has a different sexual preference. It doesn’t take away anything from who they are. I’m always looking for somebody who would end up being the same group to me not by skin color or nationality or religion, sexuality, but by lifestyle, sense of value, beliefs and stance and such.I always look pass everyone’s difference. Soon I forget they are gay, bisexual or lesbian because I don’t judge anyone.
Can’t think of (any challenges),but in the next 3 years I have to challenge myself to create my own media.
I haven’t yet (officially) told my mom and dad (I’m gay). When I applied to grad school at the Department of Cultural Anthropology five years ago, I wrote essays about the gay scene in Japan and my parents found it, and asked me about my sexuality. I pretended like it was just a subject and that me myself was straight, and they said okay. They have already noticed, and at the same time don’t want to accept it maybe.
(With regards to the gay scene in Tokyo) I’ve never felt so lame personally. There’re so-so many gay clubs, bars, events. Ni-chōme further distinguishes itself as Tokyo’s hub of gay subculture, housing the world’s highest concentration of gay bars. But that doesn’t mean the city itself is gay friendly.
In the social scene, the dominant trope in mainstream television and journalism is male homosexuality as gender crossing. In other words, male homosexuality is inextricably linked to a form of gender misalignment that results in feminine males. Homosexuality is still a taboo in Japan. Many dialogues are still taking place among queers. LGBT politics in Japan isn’t that simple, but some people are trying to change it.
(this year,Tiga ishikawa<石川大我> aimed to Become japan’s first openly gay parliament member,but he couldn’t.)
(Advice I’d give my younger self) Never try to be somebody who you are really not.”