While Japanese schools may be ahead of the curve as far as education is concerned, they are woefully behind in terms of LGBT rights and acceptance. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that after interviewing dozens of Japanese students across the country, they found a continuous commonality of disgust and disrespect when talking about LGBT issues.
“Hateful anti-LGBT rhetoric is nearly ubiquitous in Japanese schools, driving LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students into silence, self-loathing, and in some cases, self-harm,” the HRW report said.
They said that everyone they interviewed “said that they heard anti-LGBT rhetoric in school, including LGBT people called ‘disgusting,’ the use of slur words such as ‘homo,’ and declarations that ‘these creatures should never have been born'”.
In previous Japanese history, homosexuality wasn’t as taboo as it is now. Gay lovers were even depicted in traditional Japanese art work. However, over time, Western ideas have negatively influenced how gay people are viewed.
One of the interviewees, a 20-year-old lesbian, said: “Everything I heard and was taught (about LGBT people) was bad. Even though now I am a lesbian and I know it, I still have a bad concept of it. I still think it’s my fault.”
HRW researcher Kyle Knight responded by saying: “The most important thing to combat this… is to arm the teachers with appropriate information to have LGBT topics included in the curriculum.”
Anyone have other ideas on how to combat such widespread hatefulness?