“Following similar movements across Europe and the Americas, the National Diet has prohibited heterosexuality in Japan.”
‘The Other Side’ , created last year by students of the Aichi Prefectural Showa High School Film Studies Club begins with this shocking news clip. Set in a world where homosexuals are the majority, a male and female high school student find themselves falling for each other. In order to hide their secret, they assign each other same-sex aliases and allow their love to grow as they communicate through messages on LINE, and so on…until people around them begin to suspect their relationship.
Last Autumn, The Other Side was granted an excellence award at the Eiga World Cup (ＮＰＯ法人映画甲子園), which recognizes works created by high school students. The script was written by Film Studies Club member Katsuya (18), who at the time was a 2nd year high school student. “By including scenes where students said ‘Heteros are disgusting’, I wanted to convey the difficulty of living as a sexual minority.”
Katsuya identifies as gay.
When he was in elementary school, he found himself more comfortable making fiends with girls. When he was a first year middle school student, he and his classmates visited a friend’s house and watched an adult film. But he didn’t find it appealing at all.
His confidence in his sexuality faltered when he was a first year high school student. He fell in love with an older male student.
He wanted to talk to someone, but feared being rejected. After a month of struggling with the news, he finally came out to a female friend on LINE. After that, he became more frank about his sexuality to his classmates.
One female student we spoke with said she identified as bisexual after Katsuya suggested she look up information on LGBT. The film’s director Nishiwaka Kei (18) said, I have come to think more deeply not only about LGBT but about all minorities.”
Katsuya believes that understanding of LGBT is progressing steadily. However, when it comes to being open with his mother, he says “I don’t want to cause her any trouble”. A barrier still exists.
This month, Katsuya will enter a university in Aichi Prefecture. He says he would like to join Nagoya Aozorabu, an LGBT organization in Nagoya City. His dream is to become a middle school English teacher. “I want to become able to teach the importance of overcoming race and sexuality and treating everyone with kindness.
The Other Side can be viewed here
Source – （いま子どもたちは）カミングアウト：７ 少数者の生きづらさ、映画に
Image: The Other Side