Mikine Dezaki, an English teacher in Japan, made a video where he interviews a Japanese friend about what it’s like to be gay in the country. The American keeps his friend anonymous as he describes how homosexuality is viewed in Japan, as well as shares his own experiences and feelings of frustration. Titled “Being Gay in Japan,” Dezaki also uses the video to serve as a message to the gay youth in Japan, and directs them to the Japanese It Gets Better project.
The interviewee, who appears to be a young adult in his 20s or 30s, explains that there are actually a lot of gay Japanese men, but most end up marrying straight women, keeping their true sexual preference a secret. Most of the time their wives don’t find out their husbands are gay. Speaking about his own life, the young man says that in junior high school he often had thoughts about suicide, as he felt he was the only one who was gay. While spending time in Sydney, Australia, he explains that he was able to come out to his boss there, and it was no big deal, but he feels that he could never do so in Japan. If he were to do so at his Japanese work place, he fears he would be made of, or even forced out of his job.
Dezaki says he was inspired by the original It Gets Better campaign, and the fact Japanese media hasn’t done anything productive to portray the country’s gay community. The American teacher hopes to reach the gay youth in Japan, to let them know they are not alone, and that they don’t have to suffer in silence. Dezaki is thrilled that his video has gotten such a positive response, even after showing it at the high school where he teaches. Thinking he was going to be fired, he was taken aback when the vice principal praised his class and teaching method, and even suggested he teach it to the school’s other instructors.
The 10-minute interview can be seen here, in English with subtitles in Japanese:
[Via Gay Star News]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan