Friday, June 22, 2007

LGBT: A Step Towards Acceptance

Running for office in Japan (a nation with conservative values), Kanako Otsuji is the first openly gay woman to run for political office with the goal of creating a more diverse atmosphere that is welcoming to individuals of various minorities (including those of sexual orientation). This is truly a remarkable moment both in the history of Japan and the LGBT struggle for equal rights. If she wins, Kanako may be opening doors for individuals within the LGBT community that were once closed to those who did not fit the mainstream, heterosexual classification.

The atmosphere in Japan in regards to the view placed upon those of the LGBT community is not unique in that it is unfortunately common throughout the world. The topic of gay rights is a controversial one as it pits individuals who believe in equality for all mankind versus those who align with a strong moral code that does not condone this lifestyle. Every one is entitled to their own opinion but the reality is, whether or not one supports gay rights is a personal stance, but regardless, those of the LGBT community deserve to be respected as any human being does.

The conservative mentality against advancement of those who are proud members of the LGBT community is unfortunately dominant in most of the world today. In many nations (including a great deal of those in Asia) align with a strong conservative stance in regards to how it views those of the LGBT community. This dominant stance has made it very difficult for those of this community to be open about this aspect of their identity and those who are open risk being bombarded with an onslaught of criticism and derogatory remarks. To judge an individual on any characteristic (including sexual orientation) is deplorable and demeaning, but sadly, most people just don't get it.

The fact that there are individuals of the LGBT community, such as Kanako, who are stepping up to the spotlight as proud, vocal members of this community is truly remarkable in that they are paving the road for others in this community as well. To be openly gay and running for political office in a conservative country (such as Japan in the article) cannot be the easiest of tasks. But regardless, just the very fact that she is running for office and setting the tone is hands down, an admirable task.

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