View Full Version : what's life like for GAYjins?
2004-03-18, 05:59 PM
i'm a gay guy who will be going to japan in a couple of months (working for NOVA, of all places :S ). i've been wondering what the social situation is like for gay gaijins in japan. are there many other gayjin around? i'm not really into any sort of 'scene', but it'd be nice to be able to meet like-minded people.
2004-03-18, 06:05 PM
It must be fate!
I logged in and bang!...saw ur post appear.
nice to meet you.
Ok, nichome in shinjuku is the gay scene of Tokyo. It's a tiny area but there are many many many places crammed into it, from bars to saunas to restaurants to the odd beat.
Depends what kinda a place you like, but when I do go there, I head to Advocates Bar. It's small and has its drinking areas inside and on the footpath, is frequented by gaijins and jguys alike, and........everynight from 6pm to 9pm it is \1000 all the beer u can drink, for 3 damn crazy hours. Its fun.
If it's saunas ur into, be aware that some (many) have 'japanese only' system (I found this out the hard way). '24' is a huge sauna...i think 5 floors, and very gaijin friendly.
With that said, many other places have their own gay scene, whether it be one small bar or a smaller area like in Sakuragicho in Yokohama. But they tend to get a shock when a gaijin walks in the door.
2004-03-18, 06:24 PM
Oh, and check out www.jguyusguy.com
2004-03-18, 09:18 PM
thanks mikey. i have no idea where i'll be located yet, hopefully not out in the sticks.
what's the general attitude toward homosexuality over there? will i have to be a closet homo to get along with workmates/colleagues?
2004-03-19, 11:05 AM
While I can't speak from personal experience my two closest friends here are gay (one a gaijin, the other his jboyfriend).
The jguy is very closeted, as in no one at work or his family knows.
The gaijin does not tell any japanese people he knows (including language exchange partners) but most of his gaijin co-workers do know, as well as his gaijin friends.
I don't think its a matter of being closeted so much as a matter of wondering if your sexuality really affects other people? And he's not sure how some people here would take it.
They also told me that the gay scene here is much different and sleazier than in North America. They generally don't go to gay clubs here.
And, btw, they met in some chatroom here, perhaps the site that Mikey suggested.
2004-03-19, 11:44 AM
I made some pretty big mistakes when I first came here by thinking that a fair few of my japanese friends were gay when they weren't (or so they claim). The thing is, they were more camp than some of the guys I knew from Australia who really were gay. One of the guys had an email address of "tulip"or something. I mean, really... what kind of straight guy calls himself tulip? And they would never talk about girls, and if I said something about a girl being cute, I'd get no response. So I made the assumptions, which were wrong.
So while I'm no expert, I'd imagine that it might be better not to tell a lot of people about your preference, but so long as you don't actually say any dead give-aways, you can probably blend in pretty well compared to other countries and not worry too much about it. At least you don't have to worry about rednecks here getting violent to prove how they aren't gay.
2004-03-19, 12:07 PM
2004-03-19, 01:07 PM
whats the attitude like..? Hmmm...difficult question. I have quite a few Japanese friends here, my best friend being a straight guy. I told him after about 4 months of being his friend. His reaction: 'I am surprised...not shocked...you are my first gay friend.'......this was last year and nothing has changed in our friendship.
My femmale friends, well I usually get drunk at karaoke and tell them..ha ha! For them, it is interesting and they liek the idea of having a gay friend, perhaps especially a gaijin.
In the workplace, I would probably keep it quiet, especially amongst your Japanese co-workers. As for gaijin co-workers, these days most westerners accept sexual diversity. Those rednecks who don't are very unlikely to be living in japan...they couldnt make it outta their trailer park let alone their country.
When u arrive, just feel the vibe. And its true what the other posters said (Bluedog, I think)...the guys here are much more effiminate than western guys...dont let that fool u into thinking they are gay. But man, it is a damn good smorgasbord here....yum yum!
Take your number!
2004-03-19, 03:05 PM
My good friend (and fellow Gaijin English teacher) is a lesbian, so maybe it's like apples and oranges, but she says that the gay/lesbian scene in Japan is active, yet not as loud and in-your-face as in the west. This being Japan, that should not be such a big surprise...she is still "in the closet" at work, as it makes life easier for her. However, she has told her good friends, both Japanese and foreign, about her preferences.
I think it depends on where you are and who you are living/working with. In general, though, I imagine that you'd need to be a bit more prudent.
PS, Like some of the other posters mentioned...there do seem to be a LARGE amount of gay/extremely effeminate men on Japanese TV!! Coincidence or...???
2004-03-19, 05:30 PM
thanks a lot you guys. i can't wait to go!
i've gotten fairly good at testing the waters and knowing who i can/can't come out to. i guess i'll just have to use common sense around people i'm not very acquainted with.