Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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This ethnographic writing animates the communal role of language through - (queen’s language) among Ni-chōme volleyballers (amateur volleyball-loving gay men in Tokyo). This gayly effeminate speech style remains firmly entrenched in Japanese media-representations of gay male characters despite its alleged rejection by actual gay men as well as its problematic characterization as being disrespectful to women. By adopting an ethnographic approach anchored in performance studies, I address - not in media but one real, perhaps unexpected, context of use. As Ni-chōme volleyballers swing between discretion and disclosure by fashioning language(/gender), such tactical performance of - lubricates an aesthetically pro-silence erotic play in tension with Japan’s – retrospectively and arguably – family-oriented, if not homophobic, sociocultural orientation resistant to “out-and-proud” activism. Overall, this ethnographic research highlights the enduring difficulty of radical coalition among diverse populations, as I spotlight Ni-chōme volleyballers by discussing what has been in Japan in relation to the Euro-American resistance-minded queer theory.


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