Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

McLelland, M. J. (2006). Japan's original 'gay boom'. In M. Allen & R. Sakamoto (Eds.), Popular Culture, Globalization and Japan (pp. 159-173). New York: Routledge.


In recent years, the internationalization of gay, lesbian and transgender identities and cultures has been the focus of at times heated debate in both popular and academic contexts.! Some have taken the development of lesbian and gay media, particularly literature and film, as well as characteristically Western modes of activism and visibility such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organizations, film festivals and parades in societies as diverse as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, to be evidence of a 'global queering' (Altman 2001: 86-100). As Dennis Altman points out, 'globalization has helped create an international gay/lesbian identity, which is by no means confined to the western world' (2001: 86). This interpretation, drawing on globalization studies paradigms, understands the emergence of ostensibly Western 'lesbian' and 'gay' identities and modes of consumption beyond the boundaries of the Western world as part of a process of 'sexual Westernization'. Assuming the centrality of Western approaches and paradigms, this model posits globalization as a process through which 'the Rest' variously imitates, appropriates and resists 'the West'.