“QUEER JAPAN”— The Diversity of the LGBTQ Community

“Queer Japan”

The Diversity of the LGBTQ Community

Amos Lassen

Graham Kolbein’s “Queer Japan”  gives us a look at how traditional Japanese society is slowly embracing the queer community and it shares the stories of  a few of the more outrageous and larger than life characters in the community.  

The documentary begins with Kolbein’s investigation of Tokyo which now has an LGBTQ district with more bars/clubs/stores than any other major city. It is also more diverse than most too with not just an impressive number of lesbian bars, which are closing everywhere else around the globe.  There are also some specialized venues that cater for people on the extreme ends of the queer spectrum.

Some of what you will see here includes a scene with a self-identifying female performance artist with a major rubber fetish who constructed a giant rubber pig from which rubber clad piglets came out and sucked on her breasts in the most surreal manner. Gengorh Tagame, the famous manga artist gives a fascinating interview explaining how he explored his own love of sado-masochism by starting “G Men”, one of the first ‘hentai’ anime and manga pornographic explicit gay magazines in Japan.  He combines that with “My Brother’s Husband”, an all-ages manga series  that teaches young kids about being gay.

Tagame co-founded “G men” with the publisher of “Badi”, a more generic gay magazine that began in 1994 but hasceased being published this year, while “GMen” keeps getting stronger.

From Kyoto, we see an interview  with Simone Fukayuko, a very famous drag queen who totally ignored  the  four muscle near naked men behind her who were touching each other up.  Her legendary party “Diamonds Are Forever” that has been growing stronger and has the most diverse crowd.

We see that the queer scene in Japan is wonderfully healthy even with several negative aspects.  Aya  Kamikaya is the sole elected transgender politician and sponsored the law which was amended to insist that any person who wish to officially register another gender must have their reproductive organs removed first. Japan has also seen the resurgence of a racist  Far Right movement that has the LGBTQ community in its sights too.

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