In 2022, Pride Center Osaka , the second permanent LGBTQ community center in Japan and the first in western Japan, launched. This makes Osaka the first city to have two community centers.
Pride Center Osaka is an LGBTQ center with the mission of "Remedy for all," creating a place where everyone can be themselves and seek help when they need it, and expanding this to the entire city. People of any gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation can feel safe here, and LGBTQ people and their families and friends can ask for advice and help when they need it. Particular emphasis is now being placed on "helping to restore the physical, mental, and social health of LGBTQ people who have been hurt by the pandemic.
Nijiiro Diversity, an organization that has been involved in LGBTQ rights advocacy and awareness-raising for corporations, has secured corporate sponsorship to open the center, and the Queer Women's Resource Center (QWRC), an organization that has been involved in LGBTQ support for many years, will operate the center. The project has been promoted mainly by queer women.
The center is located in a building in Tenmabashi, overlooking the Okawa River with its beautiful rows of cherry blossom trees, and a projector is used to project messages to the outside.
The center is equipped with books and picture books, and all-gender toilets where you can change into your own clothes and children can play.
There is another community center in Osaka called "dista" (meaning "drop-in station"). This is the oldest center in Japan dedicated to HIV prevention and awareness, and has been located in the gay town of Doyama since the late 1990s.
It has been well known to the gay community in Osaka by distributing condoms, free papers and leaflets to gay bars in Osaka, and by holding talk events, art exhibitions, and social gatherings in the center.
MASH Osaka was the first organization in Japan to combine HIV testing with club parties in the 2000s, and has also held large-scale outdoor festivals in Ogimachi Park to raise awareness of HIV prevention and support for HIV-positive people. The excitement of the finale, which featured a large number of drag queens, is still talked about today.
In recent years, they have focused on the U=U campaign, creating posters modeled after gay people in Osaka and holding club parties.
Just as there are two community centers in Tokyo, an LGBTQ center called Pride House Tokyo Legacy and an HIV prevention and awareness center called akta, there are now two centers in Osaka. This is a testament to the power of the LGBTQ community in the city of Osaka.