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Japanese transgender couple… Japan LGBT community

Japanese transgender couple promise and reality of country’s LGBT community

Step by seemingly immeasurable step, Japan is beginning to acknowledge its country’s sexual minorities, an act at once both radical and surprisingly belated. And no one seems to represent those conflicted cultural strains more emblematically than 26-year-old Kazuki Osawa and his partner Shoi Osawa, a childhood friend. What makes this relationship so different is that Kazuki was born a girl and given the birth name Yumiko Higuchi.

“As a teenager, it gradually dawned on me that I was not normal. And the idea that I would have to live the rest of my life pretending to be the person I’m not, in conformity with others, tore me apart,” said Osawa.

But in a country known for its relative stability, any act of non-conformity is considered subversive. And nothing appears quite as subversive as declaring oneself a member of the LGBT community. So much so that TV shows routinely humiliate the LGBT community by depicting men as swishy eccentrics and lesbians and tool-toting, hyper-aggressive women. It’s a message that goes unchallenged in a nation unaccustomed to challenging well-established societal boundaries. And to drive that point home, the message is pervasive, not only in the lack of any meaningful civil protections for the LGBT community but that fact that bullying and intimidation are understood to be a consequence for going against the grain.

“In Japan, once you’re branded abnormal, it’s almost impossible to start over again,” he said, noting the nation’s conformist culture often makes sexual minorities balk at coming out for fear of discrimination.

But things are changing. According to JapanTimes.co.jp, an increasing number of companies and municipalities are open to greater diversity and [becoming] more tolerant toward members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. Thursday, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo (which has one of the highest concentrations of Japanese LGBT members), unveiled its as yet unapproved proposal to issue certificates declaring relationships of its same-sex couples being “equivalent to marriage,” an unprecedented move that, if realized, is expected to make life significantly easier for LGBT ward residents. (Many believe it will be approved. No vocal opposition has been mounted or is expected.)

But while this may seem like a historic first step, the realities are far less encouraging, the paper notes: “Equality Forum, a Philadelphia-based nongovernmental organization seeking to enhance the civil rights of LGBT ranks, reported in 2012 that a record 484, or 96.8 percent, of the top 500 companies ranked by Fortune magazine included sexual orientation in their employment nondiscrimination policies. In contrast, a 2014 survey on corporate social responsibility conducted by Japanese business magazine Toyo Keizai showed that 114, or just 18.7 out of 607 major listed companies in Japan, make efforts to protect their LGBT employees.”

Meanwhile, Kazuki and Shoi are taking the route many same-sex couples take who cannot have their relationships recognized by the state. They are adopting a child. As a result, they can register with the koseki family registry unit. This allows them to be treated as immediate family if one of them should be hospitalized. (The koseki family registry is required by Japanese law. All households are legally bound to report births, acknowledgements of paternity, adoptions, disruptions of adoptions, deaths, marriages and divorces of Japanese citizens to their local authority.)

“Some people dismiss same-sex marriage as meaningless because we wouldn’t be able to make babies,” Shoi said. “But a lot of opposite-sex couples in Japan opt not to have kids and are still allowed to marry. It’s unfair that we’re not.”

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=56466

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Chinese face first ever gay workplace discrimination lawsuit

In what is believed to be the first of its kind, ChinaPost.com.tw is reporting that a man, known pseudonymously as Mu Yi, has filed a 50,000 yuan (US$8,000) gay discrimination lawsuit against a former employer after a video he was in went viral revealing his sexual orientation. “We’re very optimistic,” Liu Xiaohu, a lawyer for the plaintiff, told Agency France Presse (AFP), adding that the case “will definitely have an impact” on views of gay rights in China.

Mu, who is gay, was filmed by police in October arguing with another gay man on a Shenzhen street. The video went viral soon after it was posted online, with some users making their own videos playing on a speech made by the other participant in the dispute, who was wearing a “little red hat.” A week later, Mu was fired from his job as a designer.

Currently, there are no workplace protections for the Chinese LGBT community. Furthermore, despite growing acceptance in the larger metropolitan cities, this still deeply conservative nation frowns upon homosexuality.

For their part, the employer, who was not identified in the report, maintains that Mu’s firing was not linked to his sexual orientation, and says it dismissed him for reasons including his “poor service attitude” and improper attire.

In a study in 2010 by Tom Mountford entitled, “China: The Legal Position and Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in the People’s Republic of China,” he noted that: “the Chinese government has remained largely silent on the issue of homosexuality. That silence has had two main effects. First, it has stalled any further developments in removing legal discrimination against LGBT people in China. Secondly, it means that the legal status and position of LGBT people is unclear, with varying official treatment across different parts of China.”

The ‘Little Red Hat’ case is expected to be decided in the next three months and could have enormous repercussions.

Gay rights bubbling up as issue in Trans-Pacific Partnership talks

As negotiations on a global trade pact among 12 Pacific Rim nations heat up, a number of opponents are raising alarm bells over human rights. Known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), critics argue that the failure to address member nation Brunei’s barbaric laws against homosexuality is yet another reason to halt, if not downright derail, what has become a centerpiece of President Obama’s economic agenda for 2015.

“A country that has laws that are anathema to American values doesn’t deserve to be in our trade negotiations,” California Democratic Rep. John Garamendi said in an interview. “We need to send a clear message.” Brunei, a tiny, oil-rich nation on the northwest coast of Borneo recently made headlines when Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah authorized legislation that permits the stoning to death of gay people.

Critics, like Jerame Davis, executive director of Pride at Work – a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender labor organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO labor union – said Obama had “set a clear precedent” for using trade to advance gay rights in Gambia and should do the same in Brunei. “Brunei’s law is actually worse because it imposes the death penalty, whereas Gambia ONLY imposes life in prison – as if that’s an ONLY,” he said. “And let’s be clear: Brunei enacted this law while they were in TPP negotiations.”

But others are taking a different tack, counter-arguing that engagement is always better than isolation. “This is always difficult territory for trade people, none of whom want to be accused of being opposed to human rights,” said Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, a pro-trade group. He said the best way to get Brunei officials to change their law was to engage with them and integrate the country into the Western trading system, not to isolate them. “Our experience has been that sticks don’t work very well, while carrots sometimes succeed,” Reinsch said. “Kicking them out of TPP might make us feel better, but it will diminish the trade agreement and also not achieve the objective of changing their anti-gay policy. In other words, it’s lose-lose.”

The pact also has its fair share of environmental, labor and intellectual opponents who argue that, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), TPP would weaken intellectual property laws, depress wages in a race to the bottom, and gut progress on climate change. Furthermore, Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin noted that it’s appropriate for the executive branch and Congress to mix trade and human rights. “Let me just remind you that it was U.S. leadership in trade that helped change the apartheid government of South Africa,” Cardin said.

Participating nations include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Vietnam, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=55976

Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild, Movie Trailer

Another Gay Movie was about getting laid for the first time. In true gay fashion, Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! is about who can get laid.

Another Gay Sequel finds our heroes Andy, Nico, Jarod and Griff reuniting at a gay resort in sunny Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break. They participate in a contest called ‘Gays Gone Wild!’ to determine who can attain the most “buttlove” over the course of the vacation.

Between Wet Package contests, Evil Gay Fratboys, and genital crabs, it’s a bumpy road to booty victory. But this time around, love proves to be the biggest conflict.

Production of Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! Will take place in Ft. Lauderdale during the month of December 2007 and is set for a summer 2008 theatrical release.

Plot Keywords: Gay Interest, Homosexual, Sequel, Gay, Teenager, Homosexuality, Teacher, Drag Queen, Student,  Shower Scene, Defecation Scene, Party, Cheerleader,  Butch , Lesbian, Gay Teenager, Internet, Homosexuality, Coming Out, High School, Video Store, Graduation, Gay Father, Dyke, Gay Bar, Father, Erection, Dildo, Gay Friend, College, Sexual Fantasy, Baseball, Parody, Bisexual, Flatulence, Gerbil, Tongue In Cheek, Teacher Student Relationship, Defloration, Vomit Scene, Gay, Homosexual, Teen, High School Student, Gay Interest, Coming Of Age.

Date: 2008-12-13 10:15:22
Duration: 00:02:00