Intercultural Communication Center (ICC)Waseda University


ICC Event Participant’s Report: TMDU English Discussion Café

M.L. (Student Staff Leader)

Hi everyone, I’m M.L., one of the new student staff leaders (SSL) at the ICC. For this semester, ICC held a collaboration event with Tokyo Medical and Dental University and the theme was about LGBT. Before participating in this discussion café, actually I took a lesson called sex and gender in my graduate school and just finished my presentation last week. I’m quite interested in LGBT issues and I’m quite surprised about being picked to participate in this event. Most of participants from Tokyo Medical and Dental University are phd students from school of public health who are knowledgeable and have practical experience in fighting with people’s prejudice towards LGBT issues. I have learned a lot of things through talking with them and I’m impressed with their great insights. Here are some hot issues debated by us.

LGBT groups are in a harsh situation
In the beginning of this event, we saw a video introducing the reality of sexual minorities and how LGBT people suffer from the discrimination and prejudices. Heterosexuality often thinks LGBT issues are not of their business, especially female heterosexuality, but actually, in the traditional patriarchal society, both women and LGBT group are vulnerable groups. However, compared with the female, gay men are expelled by the traditional value of family and their situation is harsher than the female. In our discussion group, we took the situation that gay men had as the example and talked about traditional ideal masculine figure.

It is glad to see there is a trend of deconstructing the traditional ideal masculine identity and feminine identity in East Asian society recently, LGBT issue is still under a harsh environment. There are still lots of barricades waiting for people to push over when it comes to the core value of family.

Family pressure that LGBT had
The ideal masculine figure under the cultural background of Confucian theories stresses the importance of filial piety and succession.
This cultural background and the impact from the Western Christian value causes homosexuality being excluded from the family and regarded unable to build a family even without children. This kind of sexism was the backbone of gay oppression within a sexist society. Unfortunately, it still exists in our society.

Last year, my favorite LGBT movie is Call me by your name. The reason why this movie fascinates me so much is because this movie did not stress how much family pressure gay couple had suffered rather than depicting how pure and how beautiful their love is. That movie told a story which happened in 1980s. And their love wins respect from ones’ parents, which encourages the audience to focus more on the love that these two young men had and forget those unimportant conditions our society added to us.

Next year, we still have this kind of discussion café in ICC. Look forward to listening to your opinions.

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Tokyo Medical and Dental University 


Wed, 09 Jan 2019

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