Toward a colorful society: “Pink Dot” LGBTQ+ event held in Naha

Toward a colorful society: “Pink Dot” LGBTQ+ event held in Naha

Attendees wish upon their balloons for an inclusive society, at the 2019 Pink Dot Okinawa event held in Izumizaki, Naha City, on Sep 1 (Photographed by John Matsumoto.)

September 2, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

Pink Dot Okinawa advocates a society in which everyone, including LGBTQ+ people, are able to live comfortably in their own skin. The 2019 Pink Dot Okinawa event was held on September 1, at the Ryukyu Shimpo public open space, located on the ground floor. The theme this year was “same-sex marriage,” under which businesses and civil organizations set up 21 booths. Attendees also enjoyed festive onstage performances. The event attracted about 3,000 people, many of whom dressed in pink shirts and hats, all expectant of a diverse society.

The seventh annual event was supported and sponsored by 124 businesses and organizations. Activist Jennifer Lu, who won gay couples their equal marriage rights in Taiwan, made an appearance for the special talk session. Lu explained that in Taiwan, campaigners sought equal marriage rights from the beginning, not settling on a partnership scheme. Lu commented: “It’s critical that we actively communicate with the people around us, to raise awareness of the existence of sexual minorities.”

In Japan, a group of gay couples are currently suing the government, arguing that the government’s denial of equal marriage rights is unconstitutional, and breaches the freedom to marry. Makiko Terahara, one of the lawyers bringing the suit, took the stage with two male plaintiffs. One of the plaintiffs, “Tadashi”, 50, travelled from Tokyo. Tadashi said, “We can’t change our sexual orientation or gender identity. I hope this event will help people get to know what people of the sexual minority are like.”

Event goers flew 200 pink and white environmentally friendly balloons to wrap up the event.

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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