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Yokohama Diversity Parade Recap

On Saturday, October 15th, Stonewall Japan marched alongside TELL Japan in the Yokohama Diversity Parade (横浜ダイバーシティパレード). This year marked the first ever parade in Yokohama that featured a march (hoorah for progress!), and the turnout was fantastic to boot.

The march started at 象の鼻パーク Zou no Hana Park, took us down the city towards Chinatown, and back up alongside the always-beautiful 山下公園 Yamashita Park. The weather was nothing like the crisp autumn day we were expecting; it was perfect with blue skies in every direction.

Our group was even accompanied by the (unofficial) diversity-lover Kaonashi from Spirited Away.


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*Stretches out hands*


As the LGBTQIA+ movement gains further momentum in Japan, we’re truly excited to see this parade grow in size and impact over the coming years.

We would like give a shout-out to TELL Japan for their never-ending support and for allowing us to march with them. TELL is an organisation that provides counselling and mental health support services for Japan’s international community, and was marching on Saturday to raise awareness for the high rate of queer teenage suicides in Japan (and across the globe).

** If you or someone you know needs support, don’t hesitate to contact TELL’s support hotline here.


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Shikoku Stonewall Tour 2nd Stop: Tokushima

This just in! The Tokushima Stonewall event was a success! All hands were on deck for coordinating this event—and that’s what made it special.

The group gathered at 1pm. We leisurely enjoyed a chicken-eating festival. Next, we took a boat ride through interesting parts of the Tokushima city. The breeze and low bridges made things fun. As mid-day began, our group familiarized itself with the Awa-odori dance of Tokushima and its museum. Then, as the sun settled we gathered for our main event, the Mystery Dinner. We had a high number of participants in attendance for this part of our day. Without knowing what foods would be served in our course menu, we indulged. The first restaurant was Mexican-style, second was Mediterranean food (I think), and the third restaurant was a calm, antique-type café that served deserts and espressos—all of the restaurants were LGBT friendly, too. I think the best part of the event was the conversations we had with each other. Many of us had our own unique and well-traveled experiences to share. We look forward to enjoying our next event in Ehime-ken!


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Shikoku Stonewall Tour 1st Stop: Kochi prefecture

For four consecutive months we are having a Stonewall event in each prefecture. In July we had our first stop, Kochi-prefecture. Stonewall contacted some enthusiastic JETs residing in Kochi and the rest was history (hey that rhymes!). On that day, we combined bowling, fine dining at a great burger restaurant, and the exploration of Hirome Ichiba (famous open food market). As the night winded down we visited a friendly gar bar in the area. The owner was nice, friendly, and supplied us with food, plus a nice environment to hang out. The weekend’s success tasted as good as the takaki (seared tuna well-known in kochi)😗.

Thank you to Casey, Erin, and Rowan for making such a fun Stonewall Kochi event possible! ANYone is welcome to our next event; whether you are part of the LGBT community or a noble ally, please come!


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Bowling!
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Kochi’s Hirome Ichiba! A bustling open food market with delicious ice cream and Kochi’s famous product takaki (seared tuna).

Purikura time~
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Stonewall LGBT+ Weekend in Atami!

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※日本語は下にあります。スクロールしてください。

Want to spend a weekend with new LGBT+ friends?
Can you speak conversational English + Japanese?
Stonewall is hosting a bilingual weekend in Atami, so come
and join us for discussions, koyo, onsen, ryokan and more! Come with friends, by yourself, it’s sure to be a nice weekend.

Date: November 5-6th (Saturday – Sunday)
Place: Atami、Shizuoka
Price: TBA (about 10,000円 for 1 night stay + dinner on Sat evening)

Basic Rules:
1.Participants must understand the concept of a safe space, this is an absolute judgment free event.
2. Everyone must respect the different levels of English and Japanese language capabilities of other participants.
3. Participants must be a self-identified LGBTQ member or ally (Important note: Most discussion topics (coming out, career as an LGBT, same-sex marriage) may not be directly relevant to allies and we ask for strict discretion of LGBT participants from everyone.)

Application Process:

a. If you’d like to join us, please fill in this survey…
https://goo.gl/forms/4Xq8PIQo2Fx8X4YV2

b. The deadline for sign-ups are October 9th.

c. All participants must pay the full amount by October 16th.

d. On the morning of November 5th, a group of people from each of Tokyo, Yokohama, Shizuoka and Nagoya regions will arrange to meet up, and head towards Atami.

e. Participants from other regions need to arrange their own travel arrangements.

f. We will all stay at a LGBTQ-friendly place (hopefully a ryokan) with an onsen and have dinner!

g. There will be discussions and group activities throughout the day such as seeing the koyo, and sightseeing (but it’s not mandatory).

h. After check-out on the morning of November 6th, participants should feel free to stay in Atami, make another trip or go home.

Things to note:

Language – The working language will be English; however, important public announcements are also made in Japanese. Conversational level of both languages would be preferable for the purposes of discussion, but not required.

Age – Participants must be at least 20. If you are 18 or 19, however, please contact us and we may be able to accommodate.

Onsen – We understand that some people may not be interested in visiting an onsen or feel they are not suitable for them, so this is an optional activity. An alternate activity is arranged for those who do not wish to go to an onsen.

For any questions or more details, please contact Yuki Shirato at [write.yuki@gmail.com] or Louis Williams at [stonewallsig@ajet.net].

We’re looking forward to meeting you!
Stonewall Japan

 

ストーンウォール日本と熱海!

日程: 11月5日(土)~6日(日)
場所: 熱海
料金: 10,000円程度(1泊1食)

ルール:
1.セーフスペースのコンセプトを遵守
2.  英語での会話に参加(会話レベルは不問)
3.  LGBTQかアライ(ただし、ディスカッションは主にLGBTQメンバー対象。また、LGBTQメンバーのプライバシーを全参加者が遵守)

参加方法:
a. ここで、10月9日までに、基本情報をエントリー!
https://goo.gl/forms/4Xq8PIQo2Fx8X4YV2

b. 10月16日までに全額を振り込み。

c.  11月5日の出発前に再度ご連絡します(東京、名古屋などから集団出発、または個人で交通手配)。

言語:主に英語(ただしレベルは不問)。重要なアナウンスメントは日本語でもあります。

注意事項:
1. 基本的に20歳以上のみ。18、19歳の場合は、個別に連絡ください。

2.温泉は、任意参加。

質問があれば、write.yuki@gmail.comか stonewallsig@ajet.net までEメールください。

たくさんの参加をお待ちしています!
ストーンウォール日本

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Kitakyushu Rainbow Pride @ Katsuyama Park

Hooray!!! The very first Kitakyushu Pride has successfully ended! Thanks to all the great efforts of the organizers, students of University of Kitakyushu, dozens of NPOs and others. 👏👏

More than 100 participants from different regions in Japan (from Hokkaido to Kyushu) gathered at Katsuyama Park not only to show their pride and support of LGBTQIA+ community but also to send warm and heartfelt messages to those who were suffering from the recent Kumamoto earthquakes.

Participants were divided into three sections:

(1) All for different and all are good 〜みんな違ってみんないい〜

(2) Want to know everyone〜 色々な人がいるってことを知りたい〜

(3) Our lives are free 〜自由に自分らしく生きたい〜

We set off from Katsuyama Park at 2 p.m. and marched around the commercial center of Kokura City for about an hour. Along the way, we’d been waving and greeting to passengers, sending the message of rainbow love. :))

Back to the main venue, we had a group of spectacular performers: drag queens, a famous queer flute player, an openly gay American-Japanese musician, a local queer boyband, … You name it, we’ve got it! Their excellent performances brought loads of positive energy to the pride and springtime!

Hope more to come next year!!! 🙂

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やっぱ愛ダホ in 福岡 (IDAHO in Fukuoka) was held on a bright Saturday, May 21, 2016, @ Kego Park, Fukuoka park to send the ‘rainbow of love’ to everyone present.

Here are some highlights/interesting segments from the event:

– Rainbow Tunes – a billboard featuring information about some queer musicians and queer-related music – from k.d. Lang’s Constant Craving to MIKA’s Celebrate (It is a perfect way to queer up your playlist. Meanwhile, by spotlighting some out musicians it sent a message that you can be queer and successful).

– IDAHO Rainbow Photo Booth – a place where you can capture some your sweet moments with the beautiful rainbow background

– “Yes to Sexual Diversity” message booth – a place to share thoughts on LGBTQIA+ community for a more inclusive world

– Billboard on local LGBTQIA+ organizations/networks

– Pray for Rainbow booth – a charity project in supporting queer people suffering from Kumamoto earthquakes

Looking forward to your visit next year! : )

 

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A man places a photo during a candlelight vigil to mourn victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, in Tokyo, Japan. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Vigils Across Japan for Orlando Shooting Victims

In the wake of the recent tragedies in Orlando, we thank everybody in the community who has come together and shown your support with us at this difficult time.  For more information about the vigils in Tokyo and Osaka on Saturday 18th June that we are in collaboration in organising, please visit our events page.

Thank you.

 

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REUTERS / Issei Kato

Japan Today /

Japan Times / Daisuke Kikuchi

BuzzFeed / Kazuki Watanabe

Huff Post / Kenji Ando

Asahi Shinbun / 高浜行人

 

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Tokyo Rainbow Weekend 2016


This was the biggest Tokyo Rainbow Pride event ever. Organizers estimate that 70,000 people showed up, and Stonewall Japan is proud to be part of that. In addition to official Tokyo Rainbow Pride events, Stonewall Japan leadership and members organized get-togethers throughout Rainbow Weekend. Tokyo Rainbow Pride continues to grow exponentially every year – much like our membership – so we love going and meeting our members at Japan’s biggest Pride Festival!

Stonewall Japan and LGBT+ Meet-up members at the picnic in Yoyogi Park

Stonewall Japan + LGBT Meet-up Picnic
On Saturday we teamed up with Tokyo LGBTQIAP+ and Supporters, Meetup group to hold a joint picnic in Yoyogi park, just a short walk away from the main festivities. Thankfully we brought a bunch of tarp to accommodate an overwhelming amount of people – it was amazing to meet so many new and old members and welcome them to our community. Personally I couldn’t believe the varied amount of people within the LGBTQIA community I had met. So many different backgrounds! It’s especially strange because of the homogeneity of Japanese society – but the foreigner community (queer or otherwise) is incredibly diverse and I’m so proud to get to know so many people within it!

We all brought various food and headed over to the main festival site periodically, which was also absolutely incredible! The weather really turned it out for us, so we could chill out and ease into what was sure to be a a big Saturday night and Sunday!

Stonewall Japan 2chome Bar Crawl
For those of us keen on hitting up the ~~scene~~ for the evening, we organised a little bar crawl throughout Shinjuku ni-chome! There was also a speakers panel in the area held by some of our prominent members with some great, thought provoking speaking points (referring to our diverse community, intersectionality is really important to Stonewall!). Most of us found our way to Arty Farty for probably one of my favourite nights out anywhere in Japan. The music was on point and the place was wall to wall with positive vibes – what more could you want from Pride?

And that was Saturday (and the wee hours of Sunday)! I also recommend the Thai place in ni-chome – always perfect and refreshing to get you through the night! As my final Stonewall event to plan for a while, I’m really proud of how everything went and I’m already looking forward to next year! Lots of love to all my new friends courtesy of TRP!

Tokyo Rainbow Pride – Stonewall Booth
volunteers at Stonewall Japan boothIf you were at Tokyo Rainbow Pride, did you see a few people with rainbow face paint? OK, more than a few? Maybe a lot of people with rainbow face paint? That was us! Stonewall Japan raised money to support our mission by offering face painting in exchange for donations.

Stonewall Japan leadership members and volunteers showed up bright and early to set up our booth. We were right at the bottom of the bridge to Yoyogi Park. Throughout the day, volunteers handed out flyers, painted faces, collected donations, and explained Stonewall Japan’s mission to provide an “affirming, open, safe zone for LGBTQIA people living in Japan.”

A big “thank you!” to everyone who volunteered, stopped by, or hung out at our booth. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Stonewall Japan in Tokyo Rainbow Pride ParadeTokyo Rainbow Pride – Parade
This was Tokyo Rainbow Pride’s biggest year ever. 5,000 people marched in the parade – including Stonewall Japan members. Over thirty Stonewallers marched together with Float #6, in what was a very cheerful walk through the streets of Shibuya and Harajuku.

Beyond Rainbow Weekend 2016…
Rainbow Weekend 2016 was a very exciting opportunity for us to connect with LGBT+ friends and family from all across Japan. We’re sorry if we didn’t get a chance to see you. Please keep in touch, and we’ll see you next year!

Authors: Leslie and Rhys
Videography: Panda
Photography: Rhys and C.Takiguchi (Sho)