Cafe Discussion

We discussed the article Live Life More Selfishly: An On-line Gay Advice Column in Japan by McLelland. We talked about the major themes of the article. The article discusses how being gay in Japan is accepted, however it is not openly talked about. Japanese culture highlights getting married and having a good job, rather than being in love. We also discussed the tone of Japanese advice columns versus American advice columns. Tao brought up the point that “American advice columns are more lively and address personal issues in a positive fashion, while Japanese advice columns do not go about addressing issues that come with being gay, and respond in ways that are emphasizing male and female relationships”.  Allie: “Compared to Japanese cultural norms, America is more open to LGBT relationships. The US has progressed in many ways because, in modern times we do not look at males for just being husbands, they have many different roles. There is a larger network for people who identify as being LGBT, and they have more people to confide in”. American culture instills a more free and non secretive environment for people who identify in this way. We cannot imagine if the US viewed LGBT in a way that is similar of Japan. There would be a very different culture surrounding everyday life.

Questions we came across while discussing the article: Do you think a Japanese gay man would utilize the resources in the United States if he were to immigrate here? Would the support of the US be enough reason for someone to immigrate to have more freedom with their identity? Allie: “Japanese ideologies might be too far engrained in people who would be likely to immigrate for these reasons. They might feel guilty about leaving their culture and going against their original norms. Moving to a new environment where they have to adjust to being gay as accepted and openly talked about is a drastic change”.

Scribe: Tao Ameden

Allie Dadoly, Lousie Nielsen

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