Details of the Initiative
We have jointly organized “Nijikko,” seasonal networking events for children under 16 who may be LGBT and their parents and guardians, for five years since 2018. The about 10-member staff consists of people from different LGBT organizations, and my undergraduate and master course students sometimes help them.
In the playroom with a sandbox, Tarzan rope, and a number of toys, children from kindergarten to junior high school feel free to play in their own ways with the staff. Older children including junior high school students sometimes gather in another room (Photo 3), where there are a lot of books related to diverse genders and sexualities, to talk with the staff. Meanwhile, parents and guardians share their everyday questions, troubles, and even funny stories in another room with a row of chairs.
By creating actual and genuine relationships, we aim to provide an opportunity for people to realize that they are not alone and to reduce a sense of isolation, as well as to create a place where people respect differences, finding that people are different even if they have the same issues. Even when people have similar problems, they do not necessarily go in the same direction.