VICELAND – GAYCATION Episode 1: Japan
GAYCATION follows Ellen and Ian as they set off to explore LGBT cultures around the world. From Japan to Brazil to Jamaica to the USA, the two meet some fascinating people during their travels and hear their stories.
In the first episode of the series, Ellen and Ian head to Japan, where same-sex marriage is still not legal and same-sex couples often bear a social stigma. However, certain cities have begun to recognize same-sex partnerships and the LGBT community continues to thrive in the country’s vibrant culture and nightlife. Ellen and Ian find out what it’s really like to identify as LGBT in Japan and meet some of the people struggling to find their voice in a country that refuses to give them equal rights under the law.
so, episode 1 of GAYCATION can be watched in full (44mins) on YouTube. if you’re interested in what it’s like for the L and the G in Japan (make no mistake, that’s all this video really focuses on despite the above description), then definitely check out this episode.
i went into the episode really skeptical and felt like my skepticism was justified a bit in the beginning. so many people have gone to ni-chome in Tokyo and made some video or blog post saying “THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE GAY IN JAPAN OMG SO AWESOME LOLOLWUT” that at first i felt like this episode might end up being more of the same BS, but thankfully that ended up not being the case.
unlike any other video that i’ve seen to date about being gay in Japan, this episode of GAYCATION actually touches upon some of the issues that gay people in Japan actually face. it shows more of the reality of being gay in Japan and doesn’t just focus on the superficial shit that foreign visitors to Japan Tokyo often get an uninformed glimpse of. although there’s a lot more to be said than what was shown in this 44min episode, i’m really glad this episode exists.
finally a more complete picture of what it’s like to be a gay Japanese person in Japan.