Tokyo Pride 2017 with a Toddler


As a parent, my mind is consumed by thoughts of what kind of a person my child will grow into. I realize it is, to some unknown extent, beyond my control, but in the meantime I will do everything in my power to show her the richness of diversity; that society divides us all into groups, but no one group is any better than another (maybe a tad idealistic–nazis are pretty scummy; we’ll get into the nuances later).

To that end, we attended Tokyo Rainbow Pride today in Yoyogi Park. I look forward to attending pride events because of the communal sense of acceptance and support for each other as humans. My toddler does not yet understand the LGBTQ labels, but she knows when people on a train point and snicker at a transgender woman in her dress and makeup. In taking her to the event today, I hope she came away with a sense that humans are not all the same, and that that is something to be celebrated.

Impressions of Pride in Tokyo:

1. Much less people than I expected. 😦 I’ve been to the Thai festival, Jamaican festival, etc. at Yoyogi Park and it always took 15 minutes just to get out of Harajuku station. I left the stroller at home today and packed my 14 kilo (32 lb) sidekick in the carrier to try to ease this burden, but it ended up being an unnecessary precaution.

2. The wait time between floats was long, making it difficult to build and maintain the electric atmosphere I’ve felt at other pride events. It was just all very calm.

3. If not for TimeoutTokyo I wouldn’t have known about the event at all! The previous events I’ve attended at Yoyogi Park, as well as pride events in other cities, were all so well advertised you couldn’t avoid it.

4. There was no official representation from the US and I only saw one person carrying a pride flag identifying themselves as Californian. Israel, Canada, Malta, Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland were all there though.

Shout out to the woman from Texas who handed down her child’s rainbow poncho to us. She stopped to chat and said she had hoped to find someone to pass it along to. If it survives monsoon season in India, I promise to pay it forward!


2 thoughts on “Tokyo Pride 2017 with a Toddler

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  1. I was there too and my impressions are much the same as yours. Shame it was so badly publicised. I couldn’t find any info. about the parade, and went to the event area of the park to ask on Saturday – even they gave me info. that proved to be wrong! I loved that it was all so good natured though and that everyone seemed to be having such a good time. I also liked that there were lots of kids walking with the parade.

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  2. I agree. It was definitely not easy to find info about the parade in English, and even the Japanese was confusing. I got the impression that a lot of it was passed down through word of mouth by people with friends working as staff for the event, etc. It almost makes me a little sad to be moving in India as I’d love to organize something put together by Americans for next year’s parade.


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