The 3rd Kyushu Rainbow Pride

By Ioana and Pandakyushu-rainbow-pride-2016-img_0960

The 3rd edition of the annual Kyushu Rainbow Parade/Pride in Fukuoka took place on 6 November in Reisen Park. The event was launched in 2014 by students from University of Fukuoka. Local LGBTQ activist Masahisa Miura (MarriageRings 4 LGBT) has taken over the responsibility of running the Pride since 2015, officially changing its name to Kyushu Rainbow Pride.

Unlike previous years, the Pride event was extended to two days to include the very first Kyushu Queer Movie Festival on the day before the Parade. The event was organized by Rainbow Soup and was attended by around 40 people in Factory Unvelashu (Fukuoka). Four LGBTQ-related movies were screened, followed by a half-hour-long review and talk show. The Out in Japan project was also exhibited at the venue.

The largest LGBTQ event in Kyushu region, the Kyushu Pride continues to attract more and more participants year by year. According to the official statistics, over 6000 people came to the venue, and 450 people walked in the parade. In addition, over 20 LGBTQ-related organizations and LGBTQ-friendly companies sponsored and presented their booths at the venue, including Stonewall Japan.

In addition to our usual Stonewall Japan β€œline-up” (face-painting and the donation jar), Stonewall member Ashford Kerr came up with many cool new concepts and ideas for the booth, such as the Pride Banner, the Stonewall photo frame, the Genie bucket, musical chairs, etc., which brought a lot of energy to the booth.

Our booth welcomed many new friends as well as some old ones: Stonewall Japan Secretary Ioana from Nagoya, and Stonewall Kyushu South Block Leader George, as well as former Kyushu Block Leader Karmen came all the way from Kumamoto to show their support to the Pride. On top of that, many Stonewall members offered to volunteer at the booth. We are so grateful for everyone’s contribution and devotion!


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. πŸ‘πŸ‘

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 γ€œγΏγ‚“γͺ違ってみんγͺγ„γ„γ€œ

(2) Want to know everyoneγ€œ 色々γͺδΊΊγŒγ„γ‚‹γ£γ¦γ“γ¨γ‚’ηŸ₯γ‚ŠγŸγ„γ€œ

(3) Our lives are free γ€œθ‡ͺ由にθ‡ͺεˆ†γ‚‰γ—γη”ŸγγŸγ„γ€œ

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!!! πŸ™‚


やっぱ愛ダホ in 福岑 (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! : )