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JCMU strives to be open, flexible, and supportive for students of all gender identities and sexual orientations. 

Supporting LGBTQIA+ JCMU Students

Gender-inclusive Housing

JCMU follows a gender-inclusive housing model for those staying in our on-campus residence hall apartments. Students will be paired with roommates based on their indicated preferences and comforts, regardless of gender identity. You can read more about what this means in the Residence Hall Housing section of the JCMU Student Handbook.

All Gender Bathrooms

JCMU has public gender-inclusive bathrooms labeled as ‘All Gender Restrooms’ in both our academic and residence hall buildings.

Commitment to Training & Accountability

JCMU's staff and instructors participate in ongoing trainings in how to best support our students, including our LGBTQIA+ students. Together with Michigan State University, we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive community in which students, faculty, and staff can work and live together in an atmosphere free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.

Should you feel that a classmate, instructor, and/or staff member is being discriminatory on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, we highly encourage you to report it directly to our Resident Director and/or file a report to the MSU Office of Institutional Equity.

Life in Japan

While the experience of life in Japan is improving for many LGBTQIA+ people, you may still notice differences compared to life in the United States. Many lesbian and gay people are still hesitant to come out to family, friends, and co-workers. Public gender-inclusive bathrooms remain uncommon in Japan and awareness of other gender identities or non-binary experiences remains low.

Most of our students that self-identify as LGBTQIA+ report that people in Japan are respectful even if they don’t fully understand your identity or orientation. However, some students have also reported being misgendered and/or hearing derogatory remarks about LGBTQIA+ people when exploring parts of the country. While there does not appear to be increased risk to the personal safety of LGBTQIA+ people in Japan compared to the U.S., it is important to have a balanced perspective of possible experiences.

Alumni Testimonials

If you are interested in reading about what LGBTQIA+ alumni have said about their time in Japan, read some of the stories linked below:

Are you a JCMU alum that identifies as LGBTQIA+ and interested in writing about your own experiences? Then contact us at jcmu(at)msu.edu.