Rainbow Parade Kumamoto, an event which aims to create understanding of sexual minorities, was held on November 12 in downtown Kumamoto City. About 200 people marched magnificently in the spirit of wishing to live as their true selves.
While many LGBT individuals still hesitate to come out due to the threat of discrimination and prejudice, and holding such parades in the region is uncommon, an action committee consisting of LGBT individuals and their supporters created the first of such events to be held in Kumamoto.
Participants waved rainbow-colored flags, the symbol of sexual minorities, as they proceeded from Karashima Park to Shirakawa Park. While some participants obscured their faces with masks, many were left uncovered. One 22 year old female participant from northern Kumamoto who identified herself as bisexual said, “My parents have a prejudice (towards sexual minorities), so I can’t discuss it with them. I participated in the parade with pride. I want them to know of the existence of sexual minorities.”
A transgender woman in her fifties and living in Kumamoto said that while she has a daughter, she cannot repress her true self. Participating dressed in woman’s clothing, she said delightedly “Being able to walk around like this is a wonderful feeling. This is a day I’ll never forget.”
34 year old Kawaguchi Kouzou, who identifies as gay and is the chairman of the action committee, stated, “Holding a parade (for the awareness of sexual minorities) in Kumamoto is unprecedented. We want everyone to know that there are sexual minorities among them.”
Source – 性的少数者、自分らしく生きよう 熊本市でパレード