‘Terrace House’ Finally Welcomes Japanese LGBTQ to the Show

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Warning: Contains spoilers for “Terrace House: Opening New Doors.”

Terrace House,” a popular reality show from Japan, is opening its doors to a member of the LGBTQ community.

Currently available to global viewers via Netflix, the program follows the lives of six single strangers, three men, and three women, who are given the opportunity to get to know each other while living under the same roof.

 

With cameras that record activity in the house at all hours of the day, the concept is similar to Big Brother but with significant differences that make it unique.

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In Terrace House, the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes keep their day jobs and are allowed to go about their daily lives as they please.

As it is completely unscripted, the show can take unexpected twists and turns brought about by the colorful characters.

Recently,  21-year-old Shunsuke Ikezoe, an aspiring makeup artist from Tokyo entered the house as a new housemate following the departure of Uemura Shohei in episode 31.

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According to Japan Times, Ikezoe, who is openly questioning his sexuality and is leaning towards identifying as bisexual, joined the show. 

“If I lived in an environment with men and women, I thought I would be able to find something out about myself,” Ikezoe says during a recent interview. “That’s the main reason (why I joined the show).”

 

His addition to the program, which has generated an overwhelmingly positive response from viewers, is now viewed by many as a form of opening its doors to the LGBTQ community.

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“I’ll start enjoying (the show) from now on,” commented user @hnka02 on the Instagram announcement of his arrival. “I’m also bisexual, and I truly respect that you can say (you’re bi) with such courage,” wrote another user.

Ikezoe’s co-stars also gave him a warm welcome, with one male housemate even sharing a bath with him, treating him like one of the guys.

Another recent addition, 19-year-old fashion student Maya Kisanuki, also casually mentions that she’s open to the possibility of being with a woman.

While the positive response may indicate an open-mindedness among Japan’s youth,  LGBTQ acceptance in the real world remains a challenge in the country.

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A survey from 2015 revealed that over 70% of Japanese people aged 20-40 years old supported same-sex marriage. However, it also found that 72% of the respondents expressed that they felt “reluctant to accept the fact their child is gay.”

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