Gay clubs coming out for good times

By Aya Tatsuguchi, Special to the Mainichi Shimbun, Saturday 4 December 1999

Clubs for sexual minorities such as gays and lesbians are increasing throughout the nation's university campuses.

And though there is a growing trend toward same-sex relationships, homosexual students felt there were limited opportunities for them to get together outside of school.

In response, a group of gay and lesbian students from Tokyo universities started organizing S-cool! Boyz & Girlz nights—events held at a nightclub in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, where mostly university student sexual minorities could get together and have a good time.

Events for homosexual student clubs were becoming stereotypical, focusing on nights out at restaurants, or on the booze, says one of the organizers of the gay nights. Some groups started to have discussion meetings, but we felt they were too formal. We wanted an event that had a perfect balance.

S-cool! Boyz & Girlz nights are the brainchild of gay clubs from Keio University, Sophia University and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, with the support of clubs at another 10 universities. The nights have been held four times since their inception in November last year. All proceeds from the nights are devoted to furthering awareness of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. About 400 people turned up to the last gathering, which was held in July.

Most university gay clubs have few chances to get together with students from other universities. However, S-cool! Boyz & Girlz nights provide them with a chance to do so. With organizers collecting lists of attendees and a volleyball competition slated for the future, the nights aim to promote networking between members of the individual groups.

S-cool! Boyz & Girlz nights are open to anyone who'd like to attend. Many attendees say that even though they're not openly gay, the nights have been worthwhile for providing them with a chance to meet people of similar inclination.

For minorities, simply being able to get together provides an enormous amount of reassurance. Knowing you're not alone gives you a bit of a chance to affirm the choice you've made is right, a S-cool! Boyz & Girlz organizer says. Anyway, we just want people to have a good time.

For more information about S-cool! Boyz & Girlz nights, refer to: