So I finally got around to Osaka and experienced another part of it’s gay scene. I had been here one time before and only really went to one bar (I might have had a thing for a certain bartender that time around (^_-)) which was after going through two male gay bars where they pointed me in the right direction. I have noticed serious segregation between gays and lesbians here in Japan, which is part of the reason why one may feel a lack of community here. There are however organizations that try to help with this and the result of these efforts turn into things like a queer film festival.
This was the first time ever that I felt a sense of community here in Japan for queers. There were also a number of foreigners working for JET and the like at this event. I felt that I already experienced a lot of Japanese queer culture in Hiroshima so I thought I’d see what other expats were up to.
There were a couple expats from different areas of Japan like myself but mostly everyone lived around Osaka. Everyone was friendly and welcoming at the event and it was a really good way to meet people and make friends in a much less sexually charged venue. The movies shown were from all over but mostly they were in English or Japanese. Many of the Japanese movies were subtitled in English so they definitely wanted a foreign presence. The topics of the films were also a wide range from raunchy to a nice family film, every spectrum of queer was given it’s space here at the festival.
This festival actually comes in two parts and the next one is in Kyoto, October 21 – 23. You can also find more specific information on various bars and the like at Utopia Asia .
Here is the website:
Kansai queer film festival Kyoto