Despite Japan’s rigid laws that have yet to legalise gay marriage or ban the discrimination of LGBTQ+ minorities in the workplace, the country’s queer scene is booming with boundary-pushing, unapologetic individuals who insist on being seen. If you live outside of Japan and have yet to visit the popping streets of Shinjuku Nichome or attend underground parties that defy cisgender norms, check out ‘Queer Japan’, a documentary that reveals what it means to be LGBTQ+ in Japan.
More than a surface level introduction to Tokyo’s best lesbian bars or fetish clubs, ‘Queer Japan’ contemplates how Japan’s attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community has changed along with the world. You’ll meet all kinds of characters who describe their journeys of self discovery and what it took to be comfortable in their own skin.
You’ll also witness parties that seem wildly intriguing, albeit somewhat intimidating. A colourful kaleidoscope of flamboyant drag queens and kink-positive performance artists, ‘Queer Japan’ offers an unusual look at a more colourful – and unexpected – side of Japan beyond its tourist brochure-ready facade.
The documentary is available in some regions on Apple TV as well as Amazon Prime Video. There are also several ‘virtual cinemas’ listed on the production’s official website where viewers in Canada, USA and even Greece can access the films for a small fee. The documentary is not available in Japan yet, but the website promises that local viewers will also be able to watch the documentary’s premiere in due time.
More from Time Out
Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.