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Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2016: Japan Shows LGBTQ Support But Bullying of LGBT Students Continues


Tokyo’s Rainbow Pride fair on Sunday made history with a record crowd of 70,000 attending it. It also signalled a faster transition in Japan, where high conservatism still reigns, bullying of LGBTQ students still gets internationally condemned.

Tokyo’s streets were brimming with bright colours as the sixth annual Rainbow Pride fair parade moved in the city. The Pride parade was in support of LGBTQ visibility and announced a greater traction since the inaugural 2012 parade.

The Mashable report makes a special mention of the colourful procession of rainbow flag-waving supporters in downtown Tokyo. The crowd marched the 3km parade route for Tokyo Rainbow Pride through the Shibuya Station crossing.

Though marginal gains were being made in the equal treatment of same-sex lovers, LGBTQ issues continued to be pushed underground in Japan’s conservative community.

A path-breaking defiance happened in November 2015 when two women made history and obtained a government certificate recognising the same-sex union. But the certificate is yet to have any legal basis as spousal rights for hospital visitations are restricted and not enforced by law.

Meanwhile, Japan’s record in treating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in Japanese schools came in for scathing criticism by Human Rights Watch (HRW), which slammed the bullying of those sectors.

In the report, “The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Down” HRW blamed the Japanese government for being a mute witness to the nation’s “bullying epidemic.”

It regretted the hateful anti-LGBT rhetoric that is rampant in Japanese schools, which is driving LGBT students into silence and to “self-harm.”

The HRW report noted that hateful comments from peers and teachers engender greater struggle for sexual and gender minority children in Japan. They are suffering the pain of indignation and disgust.

According to researcher Kyle Knight, bullying is a form of pressure to conform. Another grave issue was bathroom access to transgender kids. Transgenders get bullied both ways–if they use bathroom meant for the sex assigned at birth and get bullied further if the bathroom of the sex they have identified with is used, reports Chicago Go Pride.

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