Q&A: “do people in japan know about asexuality or intersex , graysexuals , aromantics…?”
i was wondering, do people in japan know about asexuality or intersex , graysexuals , aromantics…? they know about lgbt but what about these? is there any kind of awareness to it? ( i discovered that im ace flux and still questioning whether demisexual or graysexual, but also that im biromantic seemingly and was wondering if it would be a problem there? are people accepting or aware of them or just lgbt?)
it’s hard to make a broad generalization about an entire country of people, but generally speaking, i’d say that awareness of intersex people, the ace spectrum and the aro spectrum– and indeed, LGBT everything– is behind where it is in, say, the US. at the same time, Japan is a very diverse place. within the same country, even among the same demographic of people, awareness can vary greatly.
everything i’m saying and about to say is entirely my own personal opinion and thus obviously biased, but i honestly feel like awareness of LGBT anything is absolutely abysmal outside of major cities / social hubs. in addition to a general lack of awareness, i feel like the LGBT community in Japan is general is far more underground and harder to access even for LGBT people themselves compared to in many other countries, but things are changing for the better. actually, i know for a fact that awareness and education has come a long way in recent years compared to where it was even 10 years ago, so despite my negativity, i try to be optimistic about the future.
that said, asexuality is pretty much unheard of outside of LGBT spaces and even within LGBT spaces, 95% of the time i still have to explain what asexuality even is when i’m among native Japanese people. aromanticism is a relatively new concept even within the Japanese ace community, so i think it’s safe to say that there is little-to-no awareness of it outside of ace spaces as of yet. awareness of intersex people in general seems to be extremely poor in Japan, not that it’s all that much better anywhere else either. actually, i barely if ever see any effort to include intersex people in the LGBT community at all. again, similar could be said of other countries as well.
having said all that, awareness and acceptance are two very different things. awareness may be abysmal, but that doesn’t mean that people are less likely to be accepting of you. in general, i find that people are happy to listen if you’re up to trying to explain things to them, since they are unlikely to know without you explaining it to them. they may not understand even if you do put a lot of effort into explaining, but even if they don’t, the chances of a an outright negative reaction…. well, each person you speak to will react differently, of course. Japan is no different from anywhere else in that regard.
tl;dr: whatever your experience in your home country, expect Japan to be similar except with even less awareness (which imho translates to even less predisposition to negativity as a foreigner) in addition to having to navigate a pain-in-the-ass language barrier and cultural differences.