MemberMatthew McMullen

Currently, I am a post-doc research fellow at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture in Nagoya, Japan, where I assist with editing for the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. I also serve as a network editor for H-Buddhism and an associate editor for the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism. I completed a PhD in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley in 2016 and have spent time at Columbia University, Waseda University, University of Virginia, Taisho University, and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. My research primarily focuses on Japanese esoteric Buddhism, but my interests extend to Buddhist thought and practice in general.

DepositSport Participation of LGBT and Their Allies in Nagoya: Frequency, gender division, and an alternative arena

This paper attempts to address the problems and possibilities in the current situation of LGBT people’s sport participation in Japan, with a special focus on transgender athletes. By analysing qualitative data collected at a LGBT pride parade, we aim to investigate the frequency of sport participation by transgender athletes as well as their preferred and obligatory gender on participating in competitive sport events. Also, the recognition rate of Gay Games was measured in search of an alternative sporting arena for Japanese LGBT people. Results show that gender preference and experience of competitive sports differ among transgender people; however, some do seem to feel anxious or hesitant when participating. The community seems to expect respect and recognition towards gender/sexual diversity and personal preferences as well as inherent physical differences from sport events, but the ideal method to achieve this in terms of competitive sport does not appear to be unified. The majority of the respondents, especially those who participate in competitive sports and are interested in the Olympics, seemed attracted by the quality of the Gay Games despite its low recognition rate, which may signify a possible alternative temporary solution for the current sporting environment.