BARAZOKU

What to identify as...

I’m getting jaded by the term gay. 

But I flatout dislike the term queer in terms of self-identification.

Same-Gender-Loving is too clinical for me.

Same with MSM.

I would LOVE to call myself a member of the Tribe of Roses (barazoku) but I’m not Japanese. :(

I was all set to go with androphile, and I’m still kind of attached to the term, but I found out that the terms has been kind of co-opted by anti-femme gays who want to remove femininity from homosexuality. Which is impossible.

Argh…what to do!

Please consider that tumblr user ga/yma/nga views yaoi and bara as things that ’recently begun to exist in the same space’ in recent years because ’BL fans and artists alike have found opportunities to cross over to the rougher, “macho” world of gei komi.’

And this completely ignores the fact that the majority of yaoi is written by cishet women for cishet women and features a disgusting frequency of fetishization of gay men, particularly by inserting the heteronormative concept of the ‘seme’ and the 'uke’ (the strong, masculine (but still bishounen) top and the weaker, effeminate bottom) while bara is primarily written by gay men for gay men.

On top of this their faq continues by describing bara as an 'antiquated slur against gay men’ that was 'audaciously reappropriated in the title of the magazine Barazoku’ while refusing to comment that Barazoku was the first commercially circulated gay magazine in Japan and was first published/promoted by someone with a history supporting the oppressed homosexual community of the time, who although heterosexual, had assistance from two gay men from the beginning of the publication. In fact, those two gay men did most of the work, especially for the first issue of the magazine (as explained in the origins section).

They also seem to imply that the Japanese board owners who popularized the term 'bara’ had no idea that it had origins as a slur. Who if they didn’t know about the slur, were basing it on a publication by gay men for gay men.

They claim yaoi and bara are different genres in their faq, but don’t actually explain the difference between the two in their respective summaries, really.

Additionally their explanation for why it was a slur comes from exactly one manga artist, which is a tiny, tiny sample size. They’re also referencing an interview from 2012 that they only quoted about three lines from so. What the hell else did he say?

Disclaimer: I understand Wikipedia is a potentially unreliable source but it’s a lot better than saying “I totally talked to this guy and this is what he told me”.