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nl/minato_ LGBT "LGBT Dialogue on Coming Out"


From spring 2017, SHIBAURA HOUSE launches a platform for a study called “nl/minato”. SHIBAURA HOUSE make “nl” refers to the Netherlands while “minato” refers to Minato-ku and its surrounding Minato area. From spring 2017, SHIBAURA HOUSE will run a platform for a study called “nl/minato”. “nl” stands for the Netherlands and “minato” stands for the Minato area with Minato-ku at its center. In this project, we aim to create a place for study with citizen participation, where SHIBAURA HOUSE collaborates with various organizations, with the support of the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Themes are LGBT, gender and media. These are high on the agenda of the Dutch government, but also urgent issues that must be addressed in Japan. We hope to deepen our understandings through dialogue by looking at innovative Dutch examples as well as the situations and tasks ahead in Japan and the Minato area.

Inviting the oldest-running LGBT group
To kick-off nl/minato, we will have events that runs for two days with Koen van Dijk, the executive director of COC Netherlands. COC was established in 1946, and it is the oldest still existing LGBT organizations in the world. In the Netherlands, with its headquarter in Amsterdam, it operates in various regions tackling local issues, and actively engage with the government and society in an effort to establish laws securing LGBT rights. Internationally, it organizes programs with countries such as Africa and Asia to work on improving the LGBT rights. COC holds the special consultative status and works in various contexts.

◎nl/minato Outline
Multifaceted-study program covering three themes: LGBT, gender and media.
Duration: March - December 2017 (LGBT: March - May, Gender: June - August, Media: September - November)
Venue: SHIBAURA HOUSE/The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands/Minato-ku and its surrounding area Organizers: SHIBAURA HOUSE | Supported by The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Event: nl/minato_ LGBT Dialogue on Coming Out
March 11 (Sat.), the event will make comparisons between Japan and the Netherlands on the current LGBT situations, and share the knowledge and information that works as a foundation. There will be a series of dialogues on “coming out”. Koen van Dijk, the guest from the Netherlands, will not only talk about his personal story, but also introduces different cases. These stories will help us understand the social issues surrounding coming out in the Netherlands, a multi-cultural country. This will be followed by a dialogue with Jun Nakajima, the advisor for nl/minato LGBT.
Several guests will also talk about their experience of coming out and the changes as well as issues that came with it, both as a LGBT and receiver of disclosure in educational context, workplace or at home. The dialogue between guests and/with audience will help us deepen the understanding. We designed this program with people who did not have much opportunities in knowing LGBT before, in mind. We want to think about LGBT together in the familiar context such as home and workplace, whether you identify yourself as LGBT or not.

Date: March 11 (Sat.) 17:00-21:30 (16:30 Door opens)
Capacity: 70 (Booking required)
Admission: Free
Language: Japanese, English (with Japanese consecutive interpretation)
Booking: Please make the booking by sending an e-mail to info@nlminato.org, with the following information: your name, e-mail, phone.

Greeting and program introduction 

《Basic Study》Basic knowledge and Situation on LGBT in Japan 
Presenter: nl/minato research team Easy-to-understand explanation on LGBT related words and their definitions as well as the legal system in Japan. Sharing basic knowledge builds the foundation for the following lectures and dialogues. 

《Lecture》”I” and “society” surrounding coming out
Presenter: Koen van Dijk (COC) 
Koen van Dijk will talk not only about his personal experience of coming out, but also the motivation and process surrounding the establishment of COC. The Netherlands is viewed as a country with advanced LGBT systems. However, in reality, challenging issues do exist that are often rooted in immigrants and religions. This is a lecture about “I” and “society” by the long-time leading figure in the field of LGBT.


《Dialogue 1》Society seen through coming out stories
Guest: Eriko Ikeda, Atsushi Kawada
We hear a story of how the relationship with the surroundings changed, through an experience of coming out as LGBT and through receiving a disclosure. The individual and the family as well as colleagues at the company, the experience of coming out brings a new perspective towards society.

《Basic Study》Education and environment constructing gender identity.
Presenter: nl/minato research team Presentation on the research about the processes and environments that form gender identity. What are the gender-related expectations of parents and teachers towards children? Nl/minato research team investigated how school textbooks deal with male and female genders. 

《Dialogue 2》To study x to share
Guest: Koen van Dijk / Jun Nakajima Some people who have no relation to LGBT people tend to think that LGBT issues are nothing to do with them. However, if we seek a society that is open to diversity, it is important to realize that we are in actual fact also people concerned. We further develop the theme in a dialogue style, and look at the perspectives of both the Netherlands and Japan. 


《Discussion》Group discussion with audience Audience and guests will discuss together the various themes and perspectives introduced during the day.


03/11(Sat) 17:00 〜 21:30
nl/minato_ LGBT ''Dialogue on Coming Out''


COC Netherlands is the Dutch national LGBT organization and an international organization with consultative status at the United Nations. COC Netherlands has been advocating the rights of lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) from 1946 on. This makes COC the oldest still existing LGBT organizations in the world. COC strives for the decriminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity and for equal rights, emancipation and social acceptance of LGBT’s in the Netherlands and all over the world. COC is one of the few LGBT organizations that has a special consultative status with the United Nations.

Koen Van Dijk
Koen van Dijk is the executive director of COC Nederland since 2009 and studied cultural anthropology at the University of Amsterdam in the mid-eighties. He started his professional career in the arts and culture realm, managing the theatre collective Mug met de gouden tand (1992-1997) and then the Utrecht based Festival a/d Werf (2001). In 2001, van Dijk brought his experience as a manager of non-profit organizations to the human rights field as head of internal organization at Press Now, an Amsterdam based NGO that supports free and independent media in Eastern Europe. Van Dijk joined COC Nederland in 2007, first as the manager of the national program. Koen van Dijk restructured the organization, together with manager of international program and introduced transparency and effective planning and control to the financial department and bringing clarity to the strategy. The board of COC asked van Dijk to accept the role of executive director in 2009.

Bram Langen
Bram Langen is international program manager at COC Netherlands. Bram started supporting LGBTI+ organizations and movements in 2007. His experience runs from South America and the Caribbean, to Africa and the Netherlands. Since 2013, he has provided organizational advise to with COC Netherlands. Currently, he mostly intensively collaborates with LGBTI+ movements in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Langen is a facilitator, creating the ideal opportunities for people to connect, learn, build, grow and strengthen their personal and organizational aims. He has a passion for experimenting with new methodologies to create and change and has a wide and deep experience in Theory of Change, documenting lessons learned, capturing stories of change.  He has a masters degree in Human Geography/Cartography, and a masters and post-doctoral degree in International Development Studies.

Jun Nakajima
Born in Fukuoka in 1989. Studied Chinese and graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. During the student days, Nakajima studied the issues surrounding minorities in both Japan and abroad through  sociology seminars. In 2008, Nakajima participated in IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and transphobia) , which triggered a desire to work actively in the field of sexual diversity. From 2010,   as a member of Rebit, the student organization with the official recognition by Waseda University (currently run as NPO), worked as a lecturer and event organizer for high school and universities in Kanto region. Now, a member of LGBT Families and Friends (NPO). Nakajima has been giving lectures in government sectors, schools and companies, with “diversity in life and sexuality” as the theme. Believing in that the sexuality is important component in forming “I”. Nakajima is especially keen on sending messages to children.

Eriko Ikeda
Born March 14, 1989. Graduated Toyo Eiwa University. August 2015, Ikeda had her marriage to her FtM partner registered. Currently a part-time English teacher in high school, and starting work at an NPO After School from April. She is in seeking to create a place for children where they can be themselves. Her participation in a gender and sexuality circle at her university brought her to become actively involved in the LGBT field doing what she can, such as the work at NPO Peer Friends. Twitter: @avoeri314

Atsushi Kawada
Born in Tokyo, 1961. Atsushi Kawada is a graduate of Waseda University School of Political Science and Economics, and currently lives in Minato-ku. Kawada holds a managerial position in a major IT company in Tokyo, and as a LGBT person he engages in activities that give support and understanding towards LGBT people from both within and outside of the company, in an effort to achieve acceptance of diversity in the workplace and society. In 2015 he came out publicly when he was given an award at the company. Now Kawada also works as the president of LGBT Tomonkai, one of the organizations run by Waseda University graduates.



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