LGBT students may be ready to come out, but are Japan's schools ready to accept them?

The Japan Times
Mami Maruko
Original Article:

When university student Osamu Inoue, 19, came out openly in high school two years ago and admitted he was gay, he had hoped that at least his school would have adopted a more positive attitude toward sexual minorities.

That wasn’t the case, however.

“Nothing was done at the school to mend the situation in which sexual minorities were being discriminated against,” said Inoue (not his real name).
It is still difficult to talk freely about one’s sexuality, especially to teachers and other adults, he said.

Japan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sexual minorities, collectively known as LGBT, often face bullying at schools, feel out of place and are even suicidal, in part because society has limited awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding them, experts say.

According to an Internet survey conducted between October and December 2013 on 609 members of the LGBT community by a citizens’ group in Tokyo, almost 70 percent of the respondents said they had been the target of some form of violence or persecution — be it physical, sexual or verbal — or were neglected or felt left out of a group.

The respondents ranged in age from 10 to 35 and attended schools in the Kanto region, centering on Tokyo.

Acts of violence were especially conspicuous toward males with gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person feels their emotional and psychological gender identity to be opposite to their biological sex. Among those males, 82 percent said had been the target of bullying or other violence.

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