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LGBT rights in Japan
Being Gay in Japan: The Ups and Downs | PairedLife
Same-sex sexual activity was criminalised only briefly in Japan's history between and , after which a localised version of the Napoleonic Penal Code was adopted with an equal age of consent. Japan's culture and major religions do not have a history of hostility towards homosexuality. A law allowing transgender individuals to change their legal gender post- sex reassignment surgery was passed in Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is banned in certain cities, including Tokyo. Tokyo Rainbow Pride has been held annually since , with attendance increasing every year. Both parties were encouraged to treat the relationship seriously and conduct the affair honorably, and the nenja might be required to write a formal vow of fidelity. The relationship was based on the typical nenja, who loves, and the typically younger chigo , who is loved.
Is it okay to be gay in Japan?
However, by reading a lot of responses from Japanese people I have to have a better understanding of how homosexuality is viewed. As a foreigner you are more likely to encounter confusion and non-understanding, but keep in mind that these two concepts are very different from homophobia. In fact, it surprised me to learn that most of the negative stigmatism associated with being gay in Japan was adopted from Western cultures and is not traditionally a part of Japanese culture. Quite the opposite, there is more of a history of acceptance in Japan than homophobia because during the Heian period , there were several very famous and powerful samurai and shogun who had male lovers. Yet despite being openly though not flamboyantly gay , they were still accepted and respected as powerful leaders.
Being out and open about your sexuality can be met with anything from acceptance and love, to hatred, violence, and even prison terms and execution. Every country has different dynamics and social views. In some, we can "put a ring on it" and marry the ones we love. In others, we dare not speak a word of it for fear of hatred, violence, and even prison terms and execution. The situation in America is tottering at the more positive end - every year, more people come out in support of love, and more laws pass in our favor.