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conversations with yuno: pansexuality in japan

Pansexuality - the sexual attraction, romantic love, or emotional attraction toward people regardless of their sex or gender identity. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others. (Wikipedia)



(Image from Marie Claire)

You may already know what LGBT stands for but have you heard of PANSEXUAL before? If so, do you know what Pansexual is? What it's like to live as a Pansexuality in Japan? I talked to Yuno, who is from and live in Japan. And she is pansexual. Let's talk about pansexual a little bit first. To be fair, I wasn't sure what the differences between Bisexual and Pansexual. This is a very quick intro about Pansexual but here's the video.



Conversations with Yuno

Ruru - R

Yuno - Y

R :

What's the definition of Pansexual for you?


Y :

I subconsciously separate men and women when I look at them normally, but when it comes to romantic relationship, I don't care about gender at all.



I think people who like men are tend to like men's masculine part and people who like women are tend to like women's feminine part. How about you?



Personally, I find gender in daily life like 'oh he is manly.' However, I don't find those when I'm attracted to someone. I just feel 'he/she is cool and I like him/her.' I sometimes tell people that I'm bisexual when it's troublesome to explain.




When did you realise that you are pansexual?

パンセクシャルと気づいた、自覚 したのはいつ頃ですか?


It was when I was in high school(16-17 years old). Before that, I had been considering that I was bisexual (since I was 13-14 years old.) I think that I was pansexual already at the time but didn't know the word.

パンセクシャルだと自覚したのは高2で、それまではバイセクシャルだと思ってました。(バイセクシャルだと思ったのは中2の時) 今思うと中2の時もパンセクで、その名前を知らなかっただけのようです。


Have you told anyone?



I've come out to my friends on my social media but they sometimes use "acchi kei' (means 'those people' in Japanese like 'homo' in english in this situation.) and I regret a little bit that I didn't tell them properly. I have't told to my family yet. I mentioned to my mother once but I don't know if she understood what I meant. I think I will tell them if I get marry a woman in the future.

In real life, I only know one person who is also sexual minority. I can't really talk relationships or those topics to anyone now.

友達にはSNSでカミングアウトしました。 ただ会話の中では「あっち系のひと」とか区別をする言葉が出てくるので、ちゃんとカミングアウト出来なかったんだなって後悔しています。 家族や親類には言えてません。母にはサラッとカムアウトしてしまったので本当に理解しているかわからないし、 この先同性の方と結婚することになれば、正式に言おうと思っています。


(Pansexual flag - Wikipedia)


I personally know lots of people who are LGBT in Japan. I think I am in the liberal group of people since most of my friends are in fashion or art industry and it's Tokyo. But I guess it's not the same in everywhere in Japan.



Once, I suddenly feel like 'now is the time' and gave a letter to one of my close friends to come out. And the friend just said 'cool'. That made me cry because I was so scared to be rejected. Most people in my university don't even know the word of LGBT and I don't know how to explain to them. Where to start? I came out to a friend who said 'I don't against gay people' and later she seems so awkward and made fun of it front of me. That was sad.

高校生の時 授業中にふと「カミングアウト今だ」と思い立ち、大切な友達にカミングアウトの内容を書いた手紙を渡したんです。その時友達が「いいやん」って返事をくれて、それだけなんですけど泣きました。 それまでの自分と何にも変わりはないのに、急に変な奴だと見なされて輪から排除される可能性もあるから怖い。カミングアウトするのもしないのも本人次第で、本当に賭けだと思います。



Was it hard for you to accept your sexual orientation?



It was hard and still not easy. How I attract people is different from how society define romance/relationship and it made me confused.

同性に恋をしたことに対する葛藤はかなり有りました。今でも少し悩みます。 女性に恋をしても男性に恋をしても、その人の「性」が自分の思うところから消えるのを感じていたので、世間が定義付けしている恋愛感情 (自覚するまで自然と刷り込まれていたもの) とは異なって混乱しました。

(Vogue TAIWAN)


I personally think that Japan is still very close to sexual minorities. What do you think?



I'm a student so I haven't faced to any problem at work or marriage yet but I don't think Japan is open to it. People are tying so hard to get a huge change about taboo topics including LGBT recently. It's a little bit weird... Politician are trying to do something but they don't seem they actually understand LGBT issues.

I talked and had a presentation about same sex marriage in school before I came out. Some people said 'Do you want marry a woman? haha' and some people made fun of it and they were misunderstanding that homosexual are attracted to not only same sex but also every sexuality person. I think they didn't say those things if they knew my sexual orientation. Although they made fun of it, most people have positive opinions for same sex marriage and that made me feel safe. However, most teachers seems they don't have any knowledge of LGBT and don't even think some of the students might be LGBT. It was very hard sometimes.

私はまだ同性愛による仕事や結婚に関わる問題が突きつけられる場面に立っていないので、当事者の方より不自由な度合いはかなり低いですが、自由だとはやはり思えないです。 最近はタブー視されていたものを一気に変えようとしてるせいで、逆に違和感感じるし、変えようとしてる割には例えば議員の方も理解を示していないし。

ほとんど公言していない時期に、授業の課題で同性婚を取り上げて発表したことがあるのですが、クラスメイトには「同性婚したいん?笑」とか、同性愛者が全同性にときめくと勘違いしたからかいの言葉をかけられたり。多分それらの言葉は、私がセクシャルマイノリティであると知っていれば言ってこなかったものだっと思います。でも同性婚については賛成の意見ばかりで、かなり心が強くなりました。 教育機関の先生側にも配慮がないし、授業中にされた発言で傷付いたことも何度かあります。


I know both people who didn't have problem to come out or accept their sexuality, and who is still having a hard time dealing with accepting who they are and to come out. I feel that it's good thing heterosexual people say 'oh LGBT is cool and it's normal' but unfortunately, LBGT people don't have equal rights in our society. LGBT is normal but not equal to heterosexual people. It's a same thing that even though we still have lots of women's issues, some men thinks men and women are equal in modern society.



I completely agree with you. Society should think that everyone is normal (in a good way) and should be equal. Asako Makimura (Japanese writer who is known for her LGBT articles) said that LGBT is the word, which emphasise the differences between LGBT and non LGBT.


(Another Magazine)


There are lots of celebrities came out recently, so I think young people in our generation are feeling more comfortable to open who they are. Maybe they don't think too serious about LGBT but they see those celebrities on TV and everywhere in their childhood/teenagehood, so LGBT is becoming normal for them.



AyaBambi is getting popular now in Japan. They are not famous for their sexual orientation. They became very popular because of their dance and fashion, not because of they're lesbians. As you just said, LGBT is becoming normal for young generation, and they don't care who is heterosexual, homosexual or whatever.

日本だとAyaBambiがジワジワと来てますね。彼女たちは同性カップルであることを売りにしてるわけでもないから、見る方もナチュラルに見れるし、そこ抜きにしても 踊りが上手くてお洒落で格好良いっていうスペックに憧れる。ルルさんが仰る通り、普通の事だから深くも考えないし抵抗もないという状態が、彼女たちに憧れて育つ人たちには起こるのかと思います。

Yuno // instagram

18 years old, from Osaka, Japan. Currently studying fashion in girls's university in Kyoto.

18歳で、大阪の女子校出身、今は京都の女子大でアパレルを勉強しています。 セクシャルマイノリティのコミュニティに参加したりはしていません。

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