在 驕 傲 月，
我 們 一 瞥 一 道 道 散 落 在 亞 洲 不 同 角 落 的 彩 虹，
邀 請 了 來 自 日 本、新 加 坡、台 灣、香 港 的 酷 兒 分 享 TA 們 的 13 件 事，
回 首 生 命 中 的 滂 沱 大 雨，
幻 想 彩 虹 彼 端 的 烏 托 邦。
On Pride Month, let us take a peek at rainbows scattered across Asia.
Inspirational queer faces from Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Reminiscing their rainy days in life, and imagining a world over the rainbow.
“I’m most confident in myself when I listen to Beyoncé.” Kan, most known for starring in the long-running reality series “Queer Eye”, shares his struggles claming his rainbow back in Japan.
After studying in Canada and London, Kan experienced a reverse culture shock when he moved back to Japan. Suffering anxiety in the collective culture of Japan, it felt as if he had lost the rainbow he once embraced while studying abroad. “There’s nothing wrong with yourself. Then, what’s wrong? The society.” Instead of concealing himself to fit into the Japanese norm, Kan learned to embrace his rainbow in his homeland. He uses his fame to help legalizing same-sex marriage in Japan and hopes to marry his boyfriend in Japan one day.
Raised in the country area of Japan, he knew he was different from the others since he was five. “I was often called okama which means faggot in Japanese,” he recalled. These harsh remarks led to his ultimate goal then: to study abroad. There might be happiness waiting for him somewhere, over the rainbow.
His wish was granted. Kan found his own pride while studying in Canada, “I made a gay best friend in Canada in 2013, and finally found out I could be myself, being whoever I wanted to be,” he said. Kan was savoring his new life and identity, multicolored. He attended graduate school in London afterwards, and met the love of his life, Tom.
Life was not always rainbows and butterflies. Though there was more freedom to express who he was, he missed the place where he was born and raised in. Kan experienced a reverse culture shock when he moved back to Japan. Trying hard to readjust himself in the collective culture of Japan, he shuffled his feet back into the closet again. The once multicolored wardrobe he had was replaced by monotone shirts, catered to the minimalistic aesthetics of Japan.
A stark contrast to his colored days, and his lover was miles apart. Life was wearing him down, he started having severe anxiety. It felt as if he had lost the rainbow he once embraced, the taste of it was fading. Kan thought about leaving Japan, a place where people expected others to act a certain way, yet he had friends and family that he treasured dearly, and a career that he was passionate about.
Here is our rainbow dialogue with Kan.
HF：HOKK Fabrica | K：Kan
How do you recall your experience being LGBT+ at school when you were younger?
It was very difficult. I was often called “Okama” which means faggot in Japanese. I always thought my life would never be easy.
What are you afraid of?
When I was young, I couldn’t accept myself and was afraid of being gay. But I’m not afraid of anything now as I accepted my sexuality and know being gay is simply a part of myself.
What issues and causes are you passionate about and why?
I’m particularly passionate for legalizing same sex marriage in Japan. Because I would like to marry my boyfriend in Japan.
How do you want to influence the future?
If I could be a role model to someone, that would be amazing.
What is your advice for people who want to embrace their rainbow?
You should embrace your rainbow because there’s nothing wrong with yourself. Then, what’s wrong? The society. We need to fix it!
What is the meaning of “love” to you?
It took me a long time to finally understand how love really works. I realized that I need to love myself to love others.