By: Akito Tsubokura and Jemma Nanami Kamphuis

Hi, this is Jemma Nanami Kamphuis and Akito Tsubokura from 5-6. We have been working as a team on raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues since our Junior high school years in school. We have actively started projects and activities to do so such as making booths every year in our school culture festival, and creating the pants for female/LGBT students as the school uniform. For our project this year, we set up a booth at our school festival, as well as created a video where we interviewed foreign members of the LGBTQ+ community.




To go into detail, for our booths over the past few years, we made booths which were mainly targeted towards young students. However, this year we decided to make a booth targeted specifically towards parents. In our booth, we had posters where students wrote about their struggles and feelings towards LGBTQ+. We asked some parents what they felt about the poster, and they said, “It was very easy to understand their struggles, and it made me think about ways that I could fix this.” Overall, we had a lot of positive feedback from our visitors, so we hope that it was a great opportunity for our visitors to understand a little more about LGBTQ+ people/community.



Next, we will be talking about our ongoing video making, where we interviewed foreign members of the LGBTQ community currently living in Japan. At our school, our goal is to be able to contribute to a peaceful and prosperous international community, and in order to achieve this, there is a need to understand diversity. Even though we do touch on some of these topics in classes like social studies, we have not had the opportunity to really face any of these in person. So, this is why we decided to record an interview session, as well as edit and share it with the students in our school. Our aim for this activity is to have the students understand what people in the LGBTQ+ community have been through, as well as for them to think about how we talked about raising awareness in the video.




Overall,  we feel that it was a great achievement, one where we have learned lots, but also a great opportunity for the students in our school to learn lots as well. Therefore, we hope that both parents and students in our school can understand more about LGBTQ+ and diminish such microaggressions.