LGBTQ and Japan
Varun Khanna was a part of many events in Japan on gender and sexuality. He is the vice president of Stonewall Japan.
The British Council in Tokyo invited Varun to give a lecture on the LGBT discourse in Japan where he spoke about the different paradoxes. The Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Tokyo invited him to network with forty other organisations and he gave a speech on Japan’s emancipatory struggle and challenges because of tolerance and invisibility. He met documentary filmmaker Chris Belloni who came from the Netherlands and collaborated on a video message for Japan.
In Osaka, Varun organised and chaired a panel on the LGBTQ discourse of Japan in collaboration with Semester at Sea at the Dawn Center – Osaka Prefectural Center for Youth and Gender Equality. His guest panellist was Kanako Otsuji, who is an openly lesbian politician, foremost LGBT advocate and former member of the upper house of Japan’s parliament and of Osaka Assembly. Other panellists included Loren Fykes who is the executive director of Fruits in Suits, Louis Williams who is the president of Stonewall Japan, Paul Sully Sari Chan who is the Founder of Frenz-Frenzy Rainbow Haven, Sumito Sakabe who is the founder of Tsunagary Cafe, Shirin from TELL Japan. The event was a full house and many issues in politics, entertainment, community, academia, civil society, education were discussed. Varun says, “this seminar opens the possibility of more such dialogues in the future, making an important contribution to the movement here.”