On April 2014, an interesting article was placed in the Sankei Newspaper in Japan. The article reads as follows “The scale of the LGBT market which is the amount of money used by LGBTs is equivalent to that of the alcohol market and is around 6trillion yen. Also, LGBTs tends to have high incomes and are unable to have children which is said to result in spending more money on their hobbies and that the LGBT market is gaining strong interests from bridal, hotel and travel industry.
Based on this information, the Mita Campus interviewed Ayumu Horikawa, who set up a synthetic support business and is a LGBT himself.
“The bias that LGBT couples have high incomes is not true”
Mr. Horikawa believes that LGBTs are either high earners or low earners and that bipolarization is prominent among them. Also, the idea that LGBTs tend to spend more money on their hobbies because they cannot have children is lacking in consideration. In reality, there are many LGBT couples who wants to have children but are unable to have one, and thinking that being childless leads to the desire of purchasing is too simplistic of an idea.
“the aforesaid opinion is vexatious” Mr. Horikawa raises his voice.
In reality, there are many unknown and unclear facts about the scale of the LGBT market, and the current survey only cover 70,000 people. Moreover, in order to study the LGBT market in detail, coming out is necessary, but like Mr. Sakurai from glitter points out, there is a complicating structure for coming out for sexual minorities Firstly, it is to come out to yourself (acknowledging it yourself). Secondly, it is coming out to your family and friends, and thirdly to society. This includes taking part in social activities such as glitter. However, Mr. Sakurai emphasizes that there should not be a social attitude to consider coming out as right. In this way, not all sexual minorities are coming out and coming out itself is not being socially recommended or encouraged either. Due to these circumstances, the actual market scale of LGBTs cannot be measured.
The appropriate approach to the market of LGBT is not clear. There is still a stereotype that an individual who identifies as LGBT isn’t ordinary in Japan. Therefore, Japanese companies tend to misunderstand that they should give LGBT some special treatments and try to make service and goods for only LGBT. When being worst, it leads to trouble. For example, Gay couple reserved a room that is equipped with double bed in a hotel where prepares the plan for LGBT. But the employees selfishly felt that for the couple to use a double bed was strange and changed it to twin bed. This made the couple angry. There is not enough consideration of LGBT in this hotel, and visitor’s trust was consequently lost. You would find out that the pioneering in the market of LGBT is difficult. To produce goods and service which are even needed by everyone and don’t require coming-out so-cold “universal design” is more important than to do goods and service for only LGBT. When such goods and service are made, it isn’t necessary to do coming-out and the expansion of bridal business such as glitter shows the possibility of the market of LGBT.
Written by Takumi Ishikawa, Fumina Kayano, Arito Otomo,
George Wiltsher, Ayano Sikita Gengo Miura Tatuya Morimoto Kyoko Yoshioka
Edited by Tatsuki Yokosawa