Osaka stops putting rainbow marks on public toilets after complaints from LGBT communities

And hopefully learns a lesson in understanding in the process.

Osaka has been considered something of a pioneer in LGBT rights in Japan. Back in 2013, Yodogawa Ward was the first government body in the country to officially declare support for LGBT communities. While merely a symbolic gesture at first, it has spread into a larger movement of sensitivity that now includes all wards in Osaka.

Sweeping regulations have been made in efforts to accommodate all lifestyles in municipal affairs such as filling out applications that require gender and training staff to be open to a wider range of needs from all citizens.

Among all these changes, the city had decided to affix a rainbow flag marker and message that LGBT people were welcome to use their Kamutoteki Toilets or “multipurpose restrooms.” These are single-person restrooms designed to accommodate men, women, people with babies, people in wheelchairs… pretty much anyone who would need to use a toilet or change a diaper.

Wikipedia

By the beginning of this year, these rainbow signs could be seen on about 240 restrooms in public spaces around Osaka. However on 20 April, Osaka announced that the signs would no longer be used after they had received complaints from LGBT groups.

At first I thought I could see why: although their hearts seemed to be in the right place, there was something weird and tone-deaf about declaring a toilet available to a group of people it had already been available to. It would be like McDonald’s starting a campaign with the slogan: “LGBT can eat our Big Macs!”

But it turned out I was wrong. According to city officials, LGBT groups complained that by placing the rainbow marks on certain toilets, members of those communities would feel as if they were being identified as such by their choice of restrooms.

Osaka city was at first confused by the complaint, saying that the restrooms were for everyone so no one person would be identified as LGBT simply by using one. Indeed, when we see someone walk out of a bathroom that has a wheelchair sign on it, we don’t start applauding their miraculous ability to walk.

Knowing my luck, I’d be the one guy seen coming out of a rainbow bathroom and spotted by some vengeful bigot who then secretly sabotages my life. Even if I did know, I’d have no idea why, because I’m sure every time I’ve used one of these restrooms I’ve mistook the rainbow as just a normal decorative pattern.

▼ Given the panicked nature of some restroom visits,
easy to see signage is crucial

I mean really, why doesn’t the LGBT rights movement adopt a more distinctive symbol… like a lion or something. Lions are pretty cool.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make with my ignorance is that I have no place dictating what LGBT people should or shouldn’t do, nor am I one to judge what they need or don’t need. I even failed to correctly identify their issue because I have the privilege of not living in constant fear that my particular sexual orientation or mind-body dichotomy may lead to my discrimination, harassment, or even death.

This is a privilege shared for the most part with the decision-makers in Osaka City Hall. So while their rainbow signs were hung with good intentions and their sensitivity manuals were a step in the right direction, they’re merely scratching the surface of a deeper problem they they really have little knowledge or ability to fix.

Real change won’t come until the voices of Japanese LGBT people are heard in the government. This starts with breaking down the social stigmas and prejudices, bit by bit if need be, so that they can have the proper opportunities to get into positions of power, such as the government, and then start to make to significant changes to society the right way.

Now about the lion thing….

Source: Sankei News West, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia/CCO Public Domain (Edited by SoraNews24)

【コラム】結婚式のご祝儀で「5万円」入れるのはやめてください、本当に迷惑だから

結婚式──。それを「人生の晴れ舞台」と取るか、それとも「試練のスタート」と取るかは人それぞれだが、当人たちにとってビッグイベントであることには変わりない。最近では式を挙げないいわゆる “地味婚” も多いそうだが、やはり多くの人に祝福されるのは嬉しいものだ。

それはさておき、今回は私(P.K.サンジュン)が7年前に挙式した際に感じた「ご祝儀にまつわる話」を聞いていただきたい。お願いだからご祝儀に5万円を入れるのはやめてください、3万円でいいんです本当に。

・相場は3万円

一般的に結婚式のご祝儀は「3万円」が相場とされている。とても年の離れた後輩や学生は1万円、また夫婦で出席する際は2人で「5万円」なんてこともあるが、参列者が社会人であれば3万円を包む人が多いのではなかろうか?

私の結婚式には150人ほど(そのうち私側は100人くらい)の人が来てくれたが、親戚などを除き友人たちの多くは3万円を包んでくれた。学生は1万円、もしくは2万円なんてこともあったが、それはそれでいい。来てくれただけで十分である。

だがしかし、およそ100人のうち2人だけ「5万円」を包んできた友人がいた。確かに彼らとは仲が良いし気持ちはありがたい。……ありがたいのだが、それでも「5万円はマジで迷惑だからやめてくれ」と言わせてもらおう。

・5万円が迷惑な理由

理由は単純明快で「彼らの結婚式のときに5万円包まなければならないから」その一点に尽きる。もらったものをそのまま返すだけじゃん? ……とお思いの人もいるだろうが、話はそうシンプルではないのだ。

そもそも「結婚式貧乏」「ご祝儀貧乏」という言葉があるように、結婚式は出席するだけでもそれなりにお金がかかる。交通費や2次会の料金を含めたらなかなか痛い金額が飛んでいくし、それが2カ月連続、もしくは月に2回なんてことがあるとマジな貧乏になってしまう。

ただでさえ金がかかるのに、通常であれば3万円のところ5万円包むのは痛い……痛すぎる。しかも5万円もらったときは、いやらしい話「何百万円単位」でお金が動いているので、2万円差のありがたみがそこまで感じられないのだ。というか、バタバタでそこまでの余裕がない。

・3万円でいいじゃないか

つまり結婚式は、する側にとっては非日常であり「2万円の差」をそこまで感じないのだが、人の結婚式は日常生活の中で起こるイベントなので2万円の差がメチャメチャ痛いのである。同じ2万円ではあるものの、感じ方が全然違う──。

というわけで、もし結婚式でいくら包もうか迷ったら、個人的には「3万円」を推奨したい。5万円はいらない、後々のことを考えると本当に迷惑ですから。

執筆:P.K.サンジュン
Photo:RocketNews24.

Kis-My-Ft2, Ohara Sakurako, and More Perform on Buzz Rhythm 02 for April 20

This week’s guests were Ohara Sakurako, Kis-My-Ft2, MAN WITH A MISSION, Mrs.GREEN APPLE, and Yamazaru.

Ohara Sakurako – Nakitai Kurai

Kis-My-Ft2 – ZERO

MAN WITH A MISSION – Take Me Under

Mrs.GREEN APPLE – WanteD! WanteD!

Yamazaru – Mangetsu

Watch here

 

Next week:

Nogizaka46

sumika

Nishino Kana

THE RAMPAGE

A9

The post Kis-My-Ft2, Ohara Sakurako, and More Perform on Buzz Rhythm 02 for April 20 appeared first on ARAMA! JAPAN.

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