LGBTQIA+ In Japan

In Japan, the Lgbtqia+ community is covered under a social cloak of everyone not recognizing the people who identify with these acronym. The main stream lgbtqia+ media in Japan are known as Yaoi, Bara, Shounen Ai, Boy’s Love,Yuri and Shojo Ai; these being just the L and the G of Lgbtqia+.  Though they are widely known and popular, there are still these hetero-normative tropes in these GuyxGuy and GirlxGirl manga and anime; being one carries all “masculine” traits and the other “feminine” traits completely disregarding the characters actual identity and representation.

Being Gay or Lesbian is a sales pitch to get a broader audience so animes/mangas use the tactic of Queerbaiting: where you get shows like Free, Haikyuu, Digimon etc. gives unanswered character sexuality where the audience assumes that-through character relationships and events- the main characters are in some romantically relationship, but the creators do not confirm. These tactic help make many shows popular because of the specific broad audience producers are aiming to. Or Queer Coding: where the villain has stereotypical LGBTQIA+ qualities making the people in the community seem negative; for example Team Rocket’s  James from Pokemon and Maximillion Pegasus  from Yu-Gi-Oh.  Other than the use of media satisfactions the LGBTQIA+ community in Japan is not talked about. As we learned in class Both charters are connected to their femininity and have the vocal patterns like vocal fry or up speak that are seen in society as female voice patterns. These characters are the comic relief bad guys who seem to show stereotypical homosexual characteristic.

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Yet Japan today, has had the time to accept the LGBTQIA+ community in a small way. 4 of 40 prefectures in Japan has accepted same sex marriages and the kick start documentary of Queer life in Japan is widely supported and will start up soon. Here is the link for more info:

Even though this is happening in Japan this also is seen in American t.v shows. From the examples I have given, the two characters are in children shows, it adds on to the Fag discourse which Pascoe explains the use of “fag” meaning the opposite of masculinity.   So once the kids hit the high school age they have these stereotypes as well as the high school environment norms to use as reasons to call someone a fag. If you fit the layout of James or Pegasus and you are an outsider you are labeled a fag as seen in the ethnography Dude, You’re a Fag. As a result of these fag discourse acceptance from the industries shows like these become popular and send the wrong message to the youth community increasing the negative views that are seen by kids in both Japan and America.

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