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First Mainstream LGBT Magazine Launched in Japan

SNA (Tokyo) — The first LGBT magazine by a major publisher is launched in Japan, signaling the beginning of a new era of gender relations.


Loren Fykes, Executive Director, Fruits in Suits Japan

This magazine was publishedthe idea started earlier this year. Michael and some of the board members of Fruits in Suits and some other people in the community acted as consultants to get them started and then the magazine began selling on March 23. So it just startedfirst issue.

Hiroyuki Fukushima, Editor-in-Chief, Oriijin

Now in Japan the word “LGBT” often appears in newspapers, magazines, and TV. However, many people don’t really know what it means. There are many things they don’t know. Those who are interested research on the internet, but for those who aren’t, they don’t understand “LGBT. They are like, “No, thank you!” But we want our magazine to reach a wider audience and teach them about LGBT and about diversity. We want them to have true information about reality. So this publisher has taken up the task and is trying to gather readers.

Some Japanese understand about LGBT, others don’t. I’d say it’s really about half-and-half in Japan, but we want those who don’t know to be informed. We hope that in three or four years understanding will spread and Japan will become an LGBT-friendly country.

Again, it is really the general public we are aiming at, not just our current allies and supporters. We want to reach those people who don’t currently get it. We want to show them LGBT live in the real world. How do LGBT people live their lives on a daily basis? This magazine is for publishing that kind of information. The mass media uses terms like homosexual or lesbian, but it just ends with such words. They don’t relate it to the people living all around us. LGBT people themselves have to decide to “come out.” It’s okay if they choose not to, but wider understanding is needed. They are often invisible, but when they are “seen” then understanding can begin. The biggest misunderstanding is simply ignorance.

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