Sexual minorities give lesson at Okinawan high school

Sexual minorities give lesson at Okinawan high school

People from sexual minorities talked about diverse sexuality and ways of life to the students in the gymnasium of the Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Agricultural High School in Taba, Uruma on July 9.

July 10, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Chubu Agricultural High School in Taba, Uruma invited people from sexual minorities to deliver a special class on July 9. By meeting 22 such people, their family members and friends, the students were introduced to different ways of life and forms of sexuality.

This is the first time that an Okinawan school has invited a large number of people from same-sex relationships to hold such a study and exchange session. Based on their experiences, people aged 16 to 80 years old talked about their fear of discrimination. They said that they want people to acknowledge their existence even though it may be hard for them to understand.

A health and physical education teacher at the school, Fujino Machida, committed herself to holding the class. The school’s students all listened to the lecture in the gymnasium and took part in the question and answer session in each class.
A male in his 20s who addressed the school, said, “My heart is that of a boy, and I am attracted to males.” The man commented that there is hatred and misunderstandings towards sexual minorities. He said, “It’s the same as loving someone of the opposite sex. Fundamentally love exists in the same way.”

He introduced a friend, to whom he had confessed to be gay. He said, “If your friends come out to you, it means they trust you.” He went on to say, “If gay people come out, even though you may not be able to understand homosexuality, I want you to acknowledge the way they are.” He said, “Sexual minorities account for five percent of the population. That’s one in 20 people. This means that each class is likely to have one or two gay people.” He continued, “Some will even commit suicide because they become depressed about the difference in their sexuality.”

Sixteen-year-old Yuichiro Oshiro said, “I have never met people from sexual minorities before, but now I sense that there are more gay people than I had imagined. I enjoyed learning about this.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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