Segregation, Exclusion and LGBT People in Disaster Impacted Areas: Experiences from the Higashinihon Dai - Shinsai (Great East-Japan Disaster)

Citation:

Yamashita, Azusa, Christopher Gomez, and Kelly Dombroski. 2017. “Segregation, Exclusion and LGBT People in Disaster Impacted Areas: Experiences from the Higashinihon Dai - Shinsai (Great East-Japan Disaster).” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 24 (1): 64–71.

Authors: Azusa Yamashita, Christopher Gomez, Kelly Dombroski

Abstract:

English Abstract:
The Great East-Japan Disaster, which began with the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, prompted discussions throughout the Japanese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on the vulnerabilities that LGBT people face during disaster because of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This short essay shares some of the post-disaster experiences, challenges and discussions of the LGBT community in Japan. Reports coming out of the LGBT community have stressed that pre-disaster discrimination and fears of discrimination and repression among LGBT people have hampered their recovery. There is a real fear of being discriminated against and having their family and friends discriminated against. This situation has led to the isolation and vulnerability of LGBT individuals. Despite the majority being reluctant to come out publically, the disaster forced numerous individuals to reveal their gender identity, particularly when confronted with life in shelters, the lack of supply of medication and so on. In turn, this has resulted in instances of discrimination and bullying. These accounts reveal that the main aims of disaster policies and disaster ethics – based on addressing the greatest good of the majority – largely fail to cater for LGBT people, who are not only victims of the disaster but can also be valuable contributors in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) process.

Spanish Abstract:
El Gran Desastre del Este de Japón, que comenzó con el terremoto y tsunami de marzo de 2011, desató discusiones en toda la comunidad lesbiana, gay, bisexual y transgénero (LGBT) sobre las vulnerabilidades que las personas LGBT enfrentan durante un desastre debido a su orientación sexual, identidad de género y expresión de género. Este breve ensayo comparte algunas de las experiencias, desafíos y discusiones post-desastre de la comunidad LGBT en Japón. Informes que surgen de la comunidad LGBT han enfatizado que la discriminación pre-desastre y los miedos a ésta y de la represión entre las personas LGBT han obstaculizado su recuperación. Hay un miedo real a ser discriminadxs, ellxs o sus familias y amigxs. Esta situación ha llevado a individuos LGBT al aislamiento y la vulnerabilidad. A pesar de que la mayoría son reacios a salir públicamente, el desastre forzó a numerosos individuos a revelar su identidad de género, particularmente cuando enfrentan la vida en los refugios, la falta de medicamentos y así sucesivamente. A su vez, esto resultó en instancias de discriminación y bullying. Estos relatos revelan que los objetivos principales de las políticas y éticas de desastre – basados en abordar el mayor beneficio de la mayoría – no tienen en cuenta a las personas LGBT, quienes no sólo son víctimas del desastre sino que pueden también ser valiosas contribuyentes en el proceso de Reducción del Riesgo de Desastre (RRD).

Chinese Abstract:
2011年三月,随着地震与海啸而来的东日本大灾难,刺激了全日本的男女同性恋、双性恋与跨性别(LGBT)社群对于LGBT人们因为性向、性别身份认同与性别表现,在灾难中所经历的脆弱性之探讨。此一简要文章,分享日本有关LGBT社群的若干灾后经验,挑战与探讨。来自LGBT社群的研究报告,强调灾害前对LGBT人们的歧视,以及LGBT人们对歧视与压迫的恐惧,伤害了他们的復原。对于自身受到歧视,及其亲友遭受歧视,存在着真实的恐惧。此一境况导致LGBT个人的孤立和脆弱性。尽管大多数人不情愿公开出柜,但灾难却迫使无数的个人揭露自身的性别身份认同,特别是当经历生活在避难所以及缺乏医药供给等,而此般境况回头导致了歧视和霸凌事件。这些说法揭露了灾难政策和灾难伦理的主要目标 – – 以应对大多数人的最大利益为根据 – – 多半无法照料LGBT人们,而他们不仅是灾难的受害者,亦可能同时是灾难风险降低(DRR)过程中宝贵的贡献者

Keywords: vulnerability, Inequalities, disaster management, LGBT, Great East Japan Disaster, social exclusion

Topics: Civil Society, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, LGBTQ, Security Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2017

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