In Japan, queer youth are turning to manga to fill in the blanks about sexual orientation and identity. But is that a good thing? In the UK the Union of University and College staff UCU declared that no white, able-bodied men will be allowed to participate in an equality conference. Members will have to declare if they are gay, disabled, female or from an ethnic minority when applying to attend. From Japan, researcher Kyle Knight explored how LGBT youth are filling the gap in school curriculums with comic books —the only place to learn about sexual orientation and gender identity. And Australian families spoke out about the ongoing struggles trans kids face, especially at school.
In recent years, the demand for gay comics has grown so that now they commonly appear in many Boys Love BL magazines. In a talk show interview last year Gengoroh Tagame revealed that surprisingly, almost half of his readership consisted of women. The market for BL manga in Japan in undeniably larger than that of gay manga, but what are the differences? For some reason, most people lump all art depicting love between two men into the same category, but they are fundamentally different. Gay manga depict situations in which the reader would like to actually participate whereas BL manga is purely voyeuristic.
Japanese LGBTQ Kids Learning About Gay Life From Comics
Yaoi can also be used by Western fans as a label for anime or manga-based slash fiction. Mizoguchi traces the tales back to the tanbi romances of Mori Mari. Akiko Mizoguchi describes its application to male-male stories as "misleading", but notes "it was the most commonly used term in the early s.