Q&A: what’s it like being a QPOC living in Japan?
Hey! Since you’re living in Japan and are a Lgbt Person of colour, do you get discriminated or something like that? (Cuz You’re not white (asian) or because you’re lgbt+?) I want to move to Japan (or south korea) and I’m also a poc and Trans*, so I wanna know how it is to live there as a Lgbt+ Person of colour. (Sry for my english haha it’s not my first language~)
ahhh, this is a complicated question with complicated answers, but the short of it is “yes” regarding discrimination / prejudice based on race and “yes and no” regarding discrimination / prejudice based on sexuality / gender.
you might be interested in checking out my #black in japan tag and / or #LGBTQIA in Japan page for more information, but generally speaking…
life for me in Japan may or may not be anything like what life for you in Japan would be like if you were live here. as with anywhere, there are so many factors involved in the experiences that one might have here, not the least of which is where in Japan you live, what your sexuality / gender is, how out / open with people you are and what nationality and race you are. a black American’s experience with race/nationality in Japan is not going to be the same as an afro-latinx Brazilian’s experience with race/nationality in Japan nor would it be the same as an aboriginal Australian’s experience with race/nationality in Japan, for example. to use myself as an example, even my experience with being queer has differed between the three areas of Japan that i’ve lived in to-date.
in short, “your mileage may very” and “every situation is different” are common sayings among (some) foreigners here because it’s all too true and something that one should try to keep in mind when reading anything or being given advice about anything regarding what life in Japan is like. for me personally, life in Japan has not be “particularly bad” (whatever that even means because i don’t even know)– thus why i came back to Japan after having left once!– but like anywhere else, it’s no cake walk either. there’s no escaping racism, discrimination, et al no matter where you go, as far as i’m concerned, but as for how life in Japan would compare to life for you in your home country, for example, well….
your mileage will vary.
from what little i know / hear about South Korea, the situation in Seoul is very similar to what it is in Tokyo, for example, but once you leave major cities for more rural areas, things may be tougher in South Korea than it is in Japan both as a trans person and as someone who isn’t white…. but again, every situation is different.
on a somewhat random note, here. have a random link to a great post that my friend @gaijinnomonogatari posted recently about being black in Japan.