In recent years we have witnessed the rise of “onee talent” Matsuko Deluxe to the status of household name and the breakout success of unconventional television series What Did You Eat Yesterday? (TV Tokyo), which depicts the everyday life of a gay couple,and Osan’s Love(TV Asahi), which depicts a love triangle between three men. Furthermore, the popularity of international reality shows RuPaul’s Drag Raceand Queer Eye(Netflix) reveals that sexual minorities, who once lived in the shadows, have gradually become more accepted. This trend can be seen at Waseda University, which, in 2017, established the GS Center, a support center for gender and sexuality.
How do sexual minorities, who have experienced this apparent change in how they are perceived —from“special” to “normal” —view this trend? To find out, we met with Waseda alumnus Bourbonne —drag queen, producer of Campy! bar in Shinjuku Ni-chome, and general moderator of the sexual minority festival Tokyo Rainbow Pride —and Noritaka Moriyama, queerstudies specialist and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Please join us for this special, which is the culmination of numerous discussions in the editing room and extensive research on sexual minorities.
Bourbonne is a drag queen performer and writer. Born in 1971 in Gifu Prefecture, Bourbonne enrolled in Waseda University’s school of humanities in 1990, where he launched an online communications network for the gay community. As a drag queen, he has participated in events and parades across Japan as well as film campaigns. He is chief editor of the gay magazine Badi and his writing has appeared and been serialized in women’s magazines, film magazines, and weekly magazines. Bourbonne currently makes media and event appearances, in addition to producing Campy! bar, a “mix bar” in Ni-chome featuring cross dressing bartenders, and being part of the cross-dressing performance group Campy! Girls, which participates in club events and various media platforms around Japan. Bourbonne also frequently gives lectures on LGBT and sexuality.
Noritaka Moriyama is an Associate Professor at Waseda University’s Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences. His fields are sociology and queer studies. Published works include The Gay Community and Sociology (unofficial English title; published by Keisoshobo) and An Introduction to Queer Studies: Understanding the LGBT Community (unofficial English title; published by Chikuma Shinsho). He also composes choral music.
Interviewer and Writer: Yuta Hagiwara
Yuta Hagiwara was born in 1983. He is a producer, playwright, writer, and leader of Kamome Machine. He began his theatrical activities as a student at Waseda University. He has won several awards, including the 13th AAF Drama Award from the Aichi Arts Revitalization Initiative, the 2016 Toga Theatre Contest top producer award, and the top award at the Asakusa Kid Hongyo Reading Impressions Contest. He has appeared in Kamome Machine works as well as plays by Natsuko Tezuka. http://www.kamomemachine.com/
Photography: Hajime Kato
Editors: Masaru Yokota, Fumino Uratani (Camp)
Design: Shinpei Nakaya, PRMO