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  1. #1

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    Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    After 10 years of me salivating over pictures and trip reports to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, my partner and I are going in late May 2012!!

    I wonder how gay-friendly Japan, Tokyo Disney Resort and the resort area hotels are? Neither of us are "flaming" and we don't hold hands or kiss in public, but sometimes when two men much past their early 20's are traveling together, people make assumptions and judgements. Also, if we book a hotel with a single king-size bed, there would be no question to the hotel staff we're planning to sleep together.

    Anyone had any favorable or un-favorable observations they care to share?

  2. #2

    • Surfin the net with Duffy
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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    We have never had a problem, I actually feel like I can be more "disney excited" in Japan. For example I can get really excited during the parades and shows and not look like a freak. Their enthusiasm is so refreshing!!!


    Bringing the Love since January 10, 2011
    We were sent over there with the message that only we would defend Disney quality.. We learnt quickly that the Japanese culture speaks to a level of quality that is hard to comprehend. They were all unbelievably skilled and willing to do the right thing.
    Craig Russell -Walt Disney Imagineering

  3. #3

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    For the most part yes, but from what I've been told (Japanese side of the family lives there), PDA is not tolerated...gay or not.

    :P I think you'll be fine.

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    • Peaches and Dreams
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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    this is good to know. my boyfriend and i are heading there in april.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    I don't think you'll come across any negative issues at all. As long as you are clear in your hotel booking, (2people, 1King/Queen size bed), there won't be any probs. I have never seen anything to indicate 'homophobia' or negative attitudes out and about anywhere in Japan, and there were numerous TV shows/game shows with Transexual hosts. Be relaxed, not self conscious, be yourselves and have a truly wonderful vacation in a truly gorgeous country, with the most respectful people you'll ever encounter.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    I haven't been around Japan enough to know about to how much extent they can be tolerable, but from my own experience at TDR and what I've heard about the people in Japan, you shouldn't have a problem! The people are very polite, respectful, and yes, of course they will be nice espescially around the resort. Don't worry! You'll have a wonderful time there. I've never been to any other Disney parks where both guests and cast members are so wonderfully polite and nice. That's probably one reason why I enjoyed TDR so much.

    And many congrats that you'll finally going there after a long 10 years

  7. #7

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    Thanks to everyone for their input and good wishes.

    I have read a lot in the past on the logistics of getting there and getting around, but now that it's actually going to happen, I'll be doing a lot more research between now and then! I've not traveled beyond North & Central America and my partner has not been out of the U.S.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    Relax this is Japan not Uganda. Disney won't be a problem providing your respectful to the people around you. This is after all a family environment. And Tokyo has atleast one gay district that I am aware off. So its very much an open society. You will be much more likely to face difficulties in some of those strange Deep South States in your own country, compared to Japan. Just remember if you want to fit in with the locals the easiest way is to get excited when you see Mickey. And carry around with you a Duffy Bear and you'll fit right in with everyone else. Feel free to ask any more questions. But don't worry the Japanese don't publicly judge people from my experience. And I've been a few times.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    Homosexuality is still mostly underground in regular Japanese society. For a Japanese person to come out is a big deal. Of course there are areas and bars where gays circulate freely, but it's nothing like here in the US where acceptance is now the norm in many places.

    Since you're not Japanese, you are already pegged as an outsider, so don't worry about it. But it's true that any public displays of affection are unusual even among hetro couples.

    Dollars to doughnuts they give you two queen beds! King beds are a rarity in Japan.

  10. #10

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    This is good info to know for my future trip. Thank you all and OP for posting this.

  11. #11

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    Basically what Fukai said.... also IMHO there isn't as much stigma associated as in US.

    But the key point is that Public Displays of Affection (regardless of orientation) is extremely un-kosher.

    However, holding hands esp among women is not considered PDA.

  12. #12

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    I would not worry in the least bit. If checking into the hotel and getting the King bed makes you uneasy, I'd ask your partner to wait in the lobby while only you check in. Then there's no inferring or assuming anything and you're both happy.
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

  13. #13

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    Tokyo Disney Resort has taken very good care of us twice, giving us particularly nice rooms at the hotels. I think this had more to do with being an interested American traveler, but like any classy place they simply treat you well. A favorite memory will always be arriving on the "limousine" bus from Narita airport, and being welcomed by name and whisked up to our room for check-in. From my reservation alone, they had noticed enough to recognize me and received me by name! BTW, among the many details handled there in the comfort of my rooms, besides monorail tickets, and how to use to the dazzling toilet seat, was firmly educating me that tipping would be considered rude in Japan. One can avoid embarrassing all involved by not trying to insist on tipping for services. A few words of Japanese will deeply endear you to everyone you meet. Respect is a concept you will discover anew in Japan.



    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."
    - - Walt Disney

  14. #14

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    Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    Our own trip to Japan is still many years off, but this thread gives me hope and I'm glad the conversation is out there. WDWLakeland? Please take pictures and have those observations about your trip when you get back so we can get an understanding.

    And bon voyage!

    Peace,
    Roo
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  15. #15

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    Thumbs up Re: Is TDR and Japan Gay-friendly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    ...And Tokyo has atleast one gay district that I am aware off. So its very much an open society. You will be much more likely to face difficulties in some of those strange Deep South States in your own country, compared to Japan. Just remember if you want to fit in with the locals the easiest way is to get excited when you see Mickey. And carry around with you a Duffy Bear and you'll fit right in with everyone else. Feel free to ask any more questions. But don't worry the Japanese don't publicly judge people from my experience. And I've been a few times.
    Yeah, and that gay district has plenty of married men who frequent it regularly. The pressure to marry and be "normal" in Japan could not be overstated enough. While ambiguous sexual ACTS are seen as flirtatious, curious, or even exciting...the Western concept of some kind of "identity" connected to sexuality is completely absent here. In effect, this also means that any kind of social/political movement is a non-starter, since "there are no 'gay' people in Japan," as I have been told on more than one occassion. As far as people getting in your face and being rude to you, probably not. As far as kids laughing or older people silently judging from afar, it's possible, so try not to notice. As far as people saying, "Oh you two are so sweet! Here in Japan we just love all forms of love!" FaAaAaAaAaT chance!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    Homosexuality is still mostly virtually completely underground in regular Japanese society. For a Japanese person to come out is a BIG deal. Of course there are areas and bars where gays circulate somewhat freely, but it's nothing like here in the US where acceptance is now the norm in many places.

    Since you're not Japanese, you are already pegged as an outsider, so don't worry about it. But it's true that any public displays of affection are unusual even among hetro couples.

    Dollars to doughnuts they give you two queen beds! King beds are a rarity in Japan.
    I emphasized a few of Fukai's far more realistic points, to make them far more realistic.^^ Japan is NOT an "open" society in just about every conceivable meaning of the word. Come to Japan because you love and respect Japan, not because you expect Japan to respect your love. That's been my experience anyway. No matter how it is presented, at the end of the day, at the end of their 20s, everyone is expected to "straighten up and fly right." And straight is "right," and "not right" is, indeed, WRONG. If you were Japanese, you should expect to be uncomfortable at least several times a day, but it's true, the "gaijin (foreigner) card" does have its priveleges. I also won't be surprised if you get two beds...not just cos kings are rare, but as a "hint" about "appropriate" behavior. If this happens, I'd advise you to accept it. If you try to insist, probably whomever you're speaking with will suddenly and inexplicably be "unable" to understand English.^^ They will expect you to be too embarrassed to explain that you only need one...as you "should" be.

    Quote Originally Posted by nish221 View Post
    Basically what Fukai said.... also IMHO there isn't as much stigma associated as in US...
    Nish is right about the damnation of public affection, other than hand-holding, which is fairly common - but NOT for men! If you do it, expect looks of disdain. If around high school kids, expect loud laughs and pointing. Japanese guests are not subtle about how amusing they find foreigners' heights, weights, or "ridiculous" customs. My advice is avoid physical contact in the parks. You'll have a much better time.

    The stigma in Japan is overwhelmingly stronger and still far more internalized within "the gay community" (as much as one could argue it exists) than in the US, and very few in or out of the community seem interested in changing this in any way. Most of the people talking about how easy and comfortable it is for gay people in Japan probably haven't actually tried being gay here. But for tourists at the Resort, as long as you don't advertise, no one will even notice or care. It will not occur to most that any sane person would accept such an aberration, so it won't even blip on their radar. People will just see you as "good friends." They may even ask where your girlfriends are or if you're married. In which case, perhaps a lie, is better than the embarrassed discomfort that will come if you explain the truth. In some ways I think this kind of presumption is far worse, actually, but probably not when you're just here to go to a Disney park.

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