transsexual

Parade and stage images from Tokyo Pride Parade

This was the 7th Tokyo Pride Parade, and unlike last year’s “festival” it included a walk through Shibuya and Meiji Jingu Mae. It was odd how the police and organizers allowed traffic between the floats, but it was fun to see the startled reactions of the Saturday shoppers.

Parade supporters lined up on this pedestrian bridge to cheer the marchers. It was cool to see seniors, women, foreigners, and a mix of all types of people.

The stage show was also fun. Great people watching, and some fun music and dancing, along with a transsexual politician. I love how everything was signed for the deaf.

“New Half” Showhouse Guppy

New Half Showhouse Guppy

I spotted this sign in Shinjuku, and at first assumed it was yet another hostess bar. But, no, it’s a “new half” showhouse named Guppy.  “New half” or ニューハーフ (nyuu haafu) is a relatively recent slang for transgender and/or transsexuals, mostly male to female.

Although it’s obviously drawing on English, the slang doesn’t really make sense to me: what’s new about feeling that you are in the wrongly gendered body? And what’s half about gender change? These girls look all girl to me!

Several transsexuals are now popular TV idols, the most famous being the super-charming Haruna Ai (はるな愛). I love her official blog banner with “AI am a girl” headline. She’s on the little screen almost every night.

Haruna Ai blog