Criss-Cross

So, homosexuality is somewhat of an anomaly in Japan.

Person A: I heard there are a lot in America.
Person B: Really?
Person A: Yeah, they even have parades and stuff.
Pirate: Hey Chan-san, are there a lot of gay people in America?
Me: Uh, kind of depends where you are.
Pirate: How about Seattle?
Me: Yeah, there are some there.
Pirate: Did you know any?
Me: Yeah…
Everyone: ZOMFGWTFBBQ!!!111
Pirate: What are they like!?
Me: …

At first I just chalked it off to Japan being more rigid than America, but a recent turn of events has caused me to rethink this stance. Namely Matsuko Deluxe. This guy (yes, guy) appears on television quite frequently and has quite a bit of popularity. And after paying a bit more attention, I realized there are actually quite a few celebrities like him. It seemed kind of odd to me that Japanese people could be so afraid of/fascinated by homosexuality and not even bat an eye at people making a living by dressing and acting like the opposite gender. To validate my finding I decided to consult Seven. Seven is a custodian (more or less) that I talk to quite frequently during breaks from work.

Me: So I’ve recently realized something.
Seven: Yeah?
Me: People in Japan aren’t really used to the idea of homosexuality right?
Seven: Yes.
Me: But you guys are totally okay with transvestites?
Seven: Yeah.
Me: Doesn’t that seem kind of odd to you?
Seven: Not really.
Me: So if I told you I have a friend who was a transvestite you wouldn’t care at all?
Seven: I guess it would be a little weird, I mean I’ve only ever seen them on TV.
Me: But if I told you I have a gay frien…
Seven: ZOMFG Really?!

This kind of also explains why my Japanese teacher was so eager for me to cross dress for a skit but so shocked when she mistook me for being gay -_-;;

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6 Responses to Criss-Cross

  1. Aaron says:

    I imagine that Japan’s stance on transvestism and homosexuality is similar to Thailand’s ladyboys. Generally accepted for men to dress and act as women but homosexuality is still a big taboo.

    • Cchan says:

      Yeah, I think you’re right. The wikipedia article also categorizes effeminate gay men as being ladyboys, so I’m wondering if homosexuality is accepted as long as a guy acts the part of a woman. And if that’s true, it just seems like splitting hairs to me. I mean, it’s only OK for a guy to like guys if he dresses and acts like a woman?

      I don’t get it :3

  2. watanal says:

    hhahhahhahah PERFECT!!!!

  3. David says:

    To the Japanese or in many Asian countries, transvestite is just an “act” just like doing “magic” on stage. It is a showmanship and not really a life style. Furthermore, if a transvestite is with a man, the appearance is still hetrosexual, a man and a “woman”. There are a few theater in Thailand that have transverstites imitating famous female celebraties. Tourist flock to these theaters and watch these shows.

    • Cchan says:

      Yeah, Japan has something like that, Takarazuka. Though it features women cross dressing as men and they perform (for the most part) more traditional plays. I understand what you’re saying, and can understand it being perceived as showmanship in skits and the such, but when someone creates a celebrity persona based on the concept of cross dressing, it seems like it becomes a lifestyle choice to me.

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