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Japan to take official steps in support of LGBT youths

in JAPAN, 08/09/2012

Following in the footsteps of the United States, where the “It Gets Better” project started two years ago in order offer support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youths thinking of suicide, a new program in Japan hopes to do the same. Fumino Sugiyama, a co-founder of the project, which loosely translates to “Connected Hearts School,” say they will launch on Monday, September 10th. That date hold special significance, as it’s the World Health Organization’s World Suicide Prevention Day.

Much like its U.S. equivalent, the “Connected Hearts School” has a goal of helping and protecting as many sexual minority youths as they can by spreading the message that it’s ok to be who they are, despite the bullying and pressure from society. While homosexuality and gay culture certainly exist and are acknowledged in Japanese society, it is very rarely as openly accepted as it is in the West. In a separate project by an American English teacher, a video titled “Being Gay in Japan” shows the interview of a male Japanese friend about the pressures of the country’s society and dealing with thoughts of suicide.

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