Queer Etiquette?: Advice Columns with a Difference



This chapter sheds light on how Japanese sexual minorities, mainly lesbians and gays, create community principles through advice given in four magazines: Anise and CarmiUa for lesbians and bisexuals, and Btidi and G-men for gay men. These are post-1990s commercial publications that provide a forum for the sharing of knowledge and experience in navigating sexual identities.1 The four magazines feature sodansfiitsu (advice column) sections of varying scales and quality spaces where readers seek advice for various issues—both sexual and social. Advice columns assume an imagined community where sexual minorities live, interact, exchange, and negotiate their everyday lives By building a sense of community or imagined family* they provide the individual and perhaps isolated) readers a place they could belong to and share. Moreover, the magazines address a gap in the historical trajectory of gay and lesbian media.


Sexual Minority Sexual Identity Lesbian Woman Advice Seeker Linguistic Style 
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  1. 6.
    Fushimi Noriaki, Fushimigei shinbun (Fushimi’s gay newspaper), in Gei toyū keiken (Experience of being gay), ed. Fushimi Noriaki (Tokyo: Potto Shuppan, 2004), 245.Google Scholar
  2. 12.
    Deborah A. Chirrey, “Women Like Us: Mediating and Contesting Identity in Lesbian Advice Literature,” in Language, Sexualities, and Desires: Cross-cultural Perspectives, ed. Helen Sauntson and Sakis Kyratzis (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007): 223–244.Google Scholar

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© Hideko Abe 2010

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