Japan opens 'landmark' Tokyo 2020 Pride House as part of Games' diversity model

Tokyo on Sunday (Oct 11) iaugurated its first major community hub for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning) people this month, campaigners hope that it will lift awareness of discrimination and stigma as a part of a pre- Olympics project.

Pride House Tokyo is predicated on similar inclusive pop-up sites found out at past Olympics, but will offer a permanent meeting space and knowledge centre, offer refuge to those suffering harassment or discrimination and seeking to teach the general public about sexual diversity.

Amidst Japan has some protections for sexual minorities, it remains the sole G7 (Group of Seven) country that doesn't recognise same-sex unions, and lots of couples say they will struggle to rent apartments together and are even barred from hospital visits.

Pride House found out in coordination with Tokyo 2020 Olympic organisers, are solely required in Japan, activists say.

"Japan, not just in sporting circles but society as an entire - including schools and workplaces - isn't friendly to LGBTQ people, and it's hard to return out," Gon Matsunaka, who heads the project behind Pride House, told Agence France-Presse.

While the centre is being found out under a recent Olympic tradition, the project is officially named "Pride House Tokyo Legacy", and activists hope that its influence will extend beyond the Games.

The venue "will be a landmark that would change the landscape for LGBTQ people in Japanese society," Matsunaka said.

"In sport, we are all equal," IOC President Thomas Bach said during a statement released on Sunday. "We therefore welcome that Tokyo 2020 has embedded diversity and inclusion within the Olympic Games model," he said, wishing "the Pride House Tokyo success".

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