bird cage (soon)
Ok, before I start this rant I'll admit. I like yaoi. A lot. I get off more on the idea of 2 guys together than a guy and a girl. I buy doujinshi, I've read and written shitty fanfic in English AND Japanese. I wrote a goddamn paper on the pseudo-gayness of Johnny's for English class once. So I understand. Really, I do. But reality MUST BE SHARED. (dramatic wind)
One of the big Otaku Myths is that of homosexuality being widely accepted in Japan. Maybe it's cause Japanese guys are so fucking metrosexual that Queer Eye'd be out of business (my Japanese friend who studied in Alabama got called a 'fag' for his clothes so much he ended up wearing Hooters t-shirts exclusively). Maybe it's all Minami Ozaki's fault for pumping out volume after volume of Kouji raping Izumi or stabbing him or them stabbing and raping each other or whatever the fuck was going on in Bronze. But this one is as wrong as the "Megumi Hayashibara and Takehito Koyasu are household names" myth. Japan is MAD homophobic, quite possibly more so than the US in a lot of ways.
A common thing for Japanese gay men is to get married, have kids, and fuck guys on the side. Oh! So liberated! Basicaly all the gay Japanese guys I met were closeted, I only found out on accident (usually when I mentioned to a gay friend that I thought they were cute). The Japanese language's only real "Japanese" word for gay male (IE not borrowed like "homo" or "gei"), okama, means transvestite, but they consider it interchangeable. Poor butches. They're stereotyped as insanely fruity on TV. I mean beyond that guy I want to beat the shit out of on Will & Grace fruity. My favorite example was the Cake Guy, who on a debating game show hosted by Downtown, spoke out passionately (in a high, femmy voice) on his right to eat frilly cake in a restaurant alone/with other men, without getting stared at. "YES!! I LOVE CAKE THAT MUCH! IS THAT SO WRONG??" he screeched. He didn't get the 1 million yen. Just laughed at.
But a lot of western yaoi fangirls are under the belief that because "Gravitation" exists, all Japanese girls think man-on-man is hot. I give you a story: this fellow ryugakusei at Kansai Gaidai ran into me in the computer lab, 3 Japanese girls in tow behind her. She told me she was gonna show them picturess from an anime convention she went to. Instinctively knowing this was gonna be comedy gold, I followed. One of the pictures she showed the girls was 2 goth-looking boys kissing. She grinned (hey, she's a Gackt fan!). The Japanese girls, however, screeched in horror, and one of them looked up at me (As I struggled not to laugh) and asked, "how do you say, 'kimochi warui,' in English?" I smiled and answered "gross." "GLOSS!!!" she cried, pointing at the picture. I sauntered away, wishing I could whistle.
The above is the normal reaction of the Japanese girl. You'll even find Johnny's and visual-kei fangirls who find gay stuff "gloss." I've discussed this quite a bit with my Japanese pen-pal who runs a V6 yaoi site, and she's basically confirmed my findings. 99% of Japanese girls think homosexuality is disgusting, and the 1% who don't are probably almost all doujinshi fangirls. Hence why I hide this particular hobby from most of my Japanese friends. THey don't need to know about my trips to Mandarake or the time I stocked up on J-kin doujinshi at a comicon.
"But shounen-ai manga is everywhere! You can buy it easily!" you might be saying. Well, yeah, but you can also get just about any kind of porn easily at a 7/11 and read it on the train. This doesn't mean it's common and ultra-popular. My aunt is convinced that all Japanese men whack off to pictures of injured women for similar reasons. Doesn't mean it's acceptable. Consider the horrified look on my Luna Sea fan friend's face when I caught her shopping for JxInoran books at a con. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE??" "...what are YOU doing here?" "I ASKED YOU FIRST!!" You'd think we were at a communist rally. A gay communist rally. Oh shit!
Basically, if you want to make yaoi fangirl Japanese friends (and they're a hoot, so totally do it), go to where the fangirls are, don't seek them out in the general population or you may just make an ass out of yourself. And don't try to read your porn in Mr. Donut, it's a lost cause, trust me on this one.