NYAF '10: Gay for You? Yaoi and Yuri Manga for GBLTQ Readers

Reading and Recommending Boys Love/Girls Love Manga for Queer Readers

Leyla Aker and Erica Friedman
Leyla Aker and Erica Friedman. © Deb Aoki

As part of the New York Anime Festival 2010, Robin Brenner gathered a group of gay, lesbian and straight manga experts and readers to talk about yaoi and yuri manga from a queer point of view. "Gay for You? Yaoi and Yuri Manga for GBLTQ (gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender and queer) Readers" attracted a fair amount of fans, and generated some lively discussion.

Here's a transcript of the panel, and the list of 20 .

NOTE: here's a brief vocabulary primer:

  • Yaoi – Stories about boys/ men loving other boys/men that are primarily created by and for female readers. Also known as "boys love" or "BL" manga.
  • Yuri – Stories about girls loving other girls. "Yuri" means "lily" in Japanese.
  • Bara – Stories about men loving other men, primarily created by and for gay male readers. "Bara" means "rose" in Japanese.

INTRODUCTIONS AND EXPLANATIONS: WHAT IS YAOI AND YURI?

Robin Brenner: I'd like to start things off by letting our panelists introduce themselves.

Erica Friedman: I'm the founder of Yuricon / ALC publishing. I'm here because basically, I'm the English language expert on yuri. I'm also a lesbian, so that helps too. I'm here to explain that whatever you think yuri is, it isn’t.

Leyla Aker: I'm editorial director at VIZ Media, but I'm mostly here in a civilian capacity as a yaoi fangirl. I'm also going to be Erica's straight-woman.

(laughs).

Alex Woolfson: I have a blog called Yaoi911.com, which has yaoi manga reviews. I also create yaoi comics. I consider myself to be more of a casual reader of yaoi than an expert, but I hope that I can share my perspective as a gay man too.

Scott Robins: I'm a newly-minted librarian. I worked in children's publishing for the last eight years.

I'm kind of a new reader to yaoi, so I'm the voice of reason (laughs). I'm also gay, so that also helps.

Chris Butcher: I run a blog called Comics212.net. I've written a bunch about yaoi, and bara and gay issues in yaoi manga in Japan, which has put me at odds with some of you! (laughs, gestures toward the other panelists) We're going to talk a lot about yaoi, issues of gender, and who gets to read what and why.

I think it's great that people read whatever they want to read, regardless of whether they are gay or straight; regardless of whether these books are intended for them. So I hope that when I say any criticism along those lines, realize that it's not aimed at you, the reader. It's more about how the work is marketed, and how it's presented. That's just my little disclaimer in case I say something awful! (applause)

Robin Brenner: I want to give you a brief history of why I'm standing up here. I was asked at library conference to speak about yaoi and yuri manga for queer readers. I'm using "queer" as an all-inclusive term, not as offensive term, just to be clear.

The question raised was how do you talk about this manga that's mostly geared toward a straight female audience? We were asked to talk about it, and I didn't think I knew enough about queer readers in the United States of this subgenre.

So Snow Wildsmith and I did a survey. We were trying to figure out what queer readers liked about (yaoi and yuri manga), what did they not like about it, reasons why they might read it, and we asked, 'Does it bother you that you're not the intended audience?'

This was in 2008. I've written about the results of this survey as a chapter in a book called Mangatopia: Essays on manga and Anime in the Modern World. This will be coming out soon from Libraries Unlimited. So if you're interested in the statistics and all of the information we gathered, that's where that will be published. Anyway, that's where the germ of this panel came from.

I wanted to talk to people about what Chris mentioned: What happens when you're outside the intended audience? Does it make it better or worse? How do readers really feel about it?

And what can you get out of different kinds of books? Chris, I think you're correct. Everyone reads what they read for different reasons, none of them are bad. Our intention here is only to discuss how the appeal works.

So to start off, I wanted Erica and Leyla to explain where these subgenres come from in Japan, how they're created and how they are marketed there.

Leyla Aker: In any general discussion of manga, I find it helps to give some context about the creation process in Japan. In Japan, manga comes out in the form of weekly or monthly or quarterly omnibus magazines. Each magazine has a very, very defined identity, even within their genres.

Generally speaking, you can split them into 4 major genres: there's shonen, which is aimed at boys; shojo, which is aimed at girls; josei, which is aimed at adult women and seinen, which is primarily aimed at adult men.

We have two more genres that we are discussing today. One is yaoi, which is called boys love or BL in Japan. The word "yaoi" isn't actually used there. And we have yuri, which Erica will be discussing.

The BL genre in Japan right now is represented by a couple of major companies. There's about three major magazines there: Be-Boy and Be-Boy Gold, which are published by Libre; Reijin, which is published by Takeshobo; and Ciel by Kadokawa Shoten.

Each one of these magazines has very, very defined identity, as far as what kind of stories and art they are providing to their audience. The audience or all of these are straight women who are technically age 18 and above, but the reality is that these series also have a substantial teen audience.

It's created by adult women for older teens and young adults. That's who it's made for.

When BL comes to the U.S., it comes some cognitive dissonance among the readers here, because people see two guys having sex, so people think it's gay... but it's not.

Now, irrespective of how the genre is received in the United States, in Japan, it's created to be read by straight women, primarily. That, as a conceptual basis, is how it comes to us from Japan. Now, what it does here is a different thing.

Erica Friedman: As complicated as the BL issue is, the yuri issue is about 800% more complicated. It's just as old as BL as a genre. It started in late 1960s — what you have is a parallel path.

Erica Friedman: With yuri, it ending up doing what it always does: it goes to the guys and it turns into a "lesbo thing." That's how it's been for a long time. So even though there is a tremendous body of work by lesbian women for lesbian women, you have guys saying, "No, no! It's lesbian porn!" (laughs) Okay, for you, it's porn.

Then there's the doujinshi world, which is basically small press-published comics that are primarily porn.

In the mid-1990s there were some lesbian women drawing for themselves. There was a niche-y niche called "bian" or short for "lesbian" — guys say they want the "lesbo" stuff, so the women called work for themselves "bian."

In 2000, I started Yuricon, and in 2001, I started making connections in Japan. In 2005, we did a Yuricon event in Japan, where we sat down with the editors of a new magazine in Japan called Yuri Hime (Yuri Princess). While yuri is still primarily conceived as lesbian porn for guys, there is actually more material done by women who have been working in self-published space for their own audience for the past 15 years, and are now starting to be published, and finding their own audience.

Unlike BL, there is no one established genre, which confuses people. Yuri is what you think it is: Anything that has elements of women wanting each other. Yuri gets baked in as one of the many fetishes in a manga.

Then you have this stuff by women for women, and you have this stuff where it's by men for men. It's complicated because there's no one way to define this.

Now, when you look at the stuff that Yuri Hime is putting out, it's all yuri. Even though it's been in existence for 40 years, it finally has a name, so (these creators) are now calling it yuri for themselves.

That's pretty cool.

There are only four or five (yuri) magazines, so it doesn't have the same body of literature as BL does. It really took off as a genre when the BL sales started flattening out. So the publishers said, 'Hey we need money. What about lesbians?' (laughs).

This doesn't get said too often, but nothing we ever say or do here will ever make a difference in Japan. You can buy stuff and you should because that's what will make a difference, but Japan doesn't care about you.

Leyla Aker: I will say that on the BL side, the Japanese publishers are becoming increasingly aware of their foreign audiences. Be-Boy just started publishing a complete translated edition of their magazine in France. They know that there's a big audience for BL out there, so the wheels are spinning back there on how to take advantage of this situation.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND YAOI OR YURI MANGA TO GBLT READERS?

Robin Brenner: Would you consider BL and yuri as GBLT comics? Would you recommend this to someone who is looking for that kind of content?

Erica Friedman: Yes and no. It depends on the situation and it depends on the person. I can say now that in 2010, yes, there are lesbians writing lesbian content for lesbians.

Alex Woolfson: I'd give a unqualified yes to that question. I have a friend who is a schoolteacher, and in terms of learning math, there are very specific gender differences between boys and girls; that girls learn math one way and boys learn math another way. What they don't tell you is that only 60% of girls learn that way and 40% learn the same way as boys do, and vice-versa. I think it's the same with manga, in terms of gay comics.

When I first was looking for gay comics for gay men, most of it was very sexually oriented in nature. Very sexualized, certain parts of the anatomy were drawn as big as your forearms (laughs).

Chris Butcher: And what's wrong with that? (laughs)

Alex Woolfson: Oh, nothing's wrong with that! (laughs) It's just that it was not what I was looking for.

When I'm giving recommendations to my gay male friends, there are those of us out there who really want the romance and then the hot stuff.

We don't just want 'Wham bam thank you Sam!' (laughs) I think for those who are looking for a more romantic, sweeter take, in particularly for young gay men who are just coming out, they tend to find yaoi particularly appealing, because it's not as hardcore, but it can be. They can find something satisfying in reading yaoi.

Scott Robins: I'd add an unqualified yes here as well. There aren't a lot of gay comics, whether they're for gay men, teens or adults.

There's a really fabulous documentary called The Celludoid Closet, it's based on a book that looks at gay representation in films. A woman in this film said when she was young and she watched these old movies, if there was even a hint of a gay relationship in a movie, she would be drawn to it. Bad representation is better than no representation at all.

I think that while there are some problematic things with yaoi in terms of that the relationships are not all that realistic, at least it's something. It's something that young gay men can see themselves in.

Chris Butcher: I have been reading manga before shojo was commercially available. You read shojo and you hear about yaoi, and you're maybe 16 and you're just coming out, and it's the most mind-fuck thing that you can possibly hear about! (laughs) There's this whole industry of comics in Japan with this stuff!

Then TokyoPop says "We got FAKE, but don't tell the straights." (laughs) It blows your mind! Then you get your hands on it and it's all, "Aww." Then you grow up and you've got the internet and you find all kinds of things that are more interesting to you than the promise of yaoi!

But for a lot of people, especially in public libraries or in stores, yaoi is undeniably queer. I think we can all agree on that. Whether it's gay for gay people or gay for straight people, yaoi is gender queer in a lot of situations, it's definitely queer. It's definitely queer positive, even in the horrible, tragic, 1940's film type stuff where the plot is 'We're doomed lovers because of our love,' and they die at the end of the story. The end. (laughs)

So could I recommend yaoi? Yeah, definitely. But it's like saying I recommend comics, but i don't recommend shitty comics. (laughs) It's definitely out there. I think that it's great that there is so much of it out there now. I'm glad this panel is happening, so we can recommend the really good stuff.

Robin Brenner: One of my favorite responses that I got from the survey was from a young gay man who said he liked reading yaoi because it made him think that one day he'd get a cute boyfriend too. (everyone goes 'Aww.')

Yaoi is a genre, and it's about romance. Romances are a very different thing than any other genre, and they have their tropes and conventions. This is something that is lacking in comics in general nowadays.

There aren't many romance comics for anybody.

This is something that people are looking for, so it shows that there's a lack of that kind of thing out there, and people are finding it in (yaoi and yuri manga). If we had more romance comics, or would there still be a place for yaoi and yuri manga, or is it just that people are so desperate to find this kind of representation?

Chris Butcher: That gets into the general "Why manga?" question. There's something amazing and unique about manga that people respond to. Even if there were a 100 romance books on the stands, shojo and BL manga would still find an audience, there would still be a demand for it.

Scott Robins: In just my reading of yaoi, I notice that there's a lot of high tension and desperation, and there's something really interesting about that. I don't think you see that in a lot of other romance comics. It's shown in an especially visual way in these stories; you see the tension in their faces and in their actions.

I think that's what makes it appealing.

Alex Woolfson: Absolutely. I think you'll always have straight women creating guy-guy action for other women. I create the work that I create because I create it for women. I like writing for women. I also like creating for gay men too. I like the stuff that women write for other women.

I think women write gay porn well! No matter what, it will always have a place and it will be popular. As more work is out there, the more of the best stuff will rise to the top.

Leyla Aker: To go back to what Chris said about (yaoi) being fundamentally queer, I think one of the reasons why yaoi appeals to people is its dislocation. You're talking about stories women for women about the opposite gender relationships. It's a complete removal of the context from reality.

Even if we had a substantial body of work in this country that portrays straight relationships for straight readers for that audience... and people have tried this! Aurora Publishing, which went out of business in the past year, was primarily launched to publish straight romances for presumably, the same people who read BL. Harlequin manga launched their line of straight romances. Regardless of what you think the quality of these stories were like, there wasn't a market for them. It was available, but it wasn't fulfilling that same need that BL seems to be providing.

I don't have an absolute answer to that question; there's a ton of academic papers that go into that, but I do think it has something to do with the kind of gender deracination that happens.

When you take these relationships that don't have connection to reality, it allows the authors to spin out all these scenarios that would otherwise be impossible. If you tried to re-position these exact same stories as "realistic gay relationships," or as a "straight relationship," it would fundamentally alter the nature of them.

Erica Friedman: It's well known in Japan that many female BL artists are actually gay. There's some sense within that community like, we know what it's like to be gay.

Chris, you made a good point — almost all romance manga is fantasy. So when you draw it out of the normal circumstances, you've basically put this out there as a fantasy, idyllic middle school, high school world, where all women lounge around in lingerie and eat bon-bons all the time. (laughs)

In fact, in Maria Watches Over Us, the author said 'People have described my story as light yuri, but I think of it as a fantasy.

One way that the reader knows that this is is fantasy story, is because no one has cell phones.' It's a story set in modern times, but her comment was, 'I know that they're high school girls without cell phones — it's a fantasy, get over it.' (laughs)

There's a fundamental queerness about it, but it doesn't mean that it's necessarily a lesbian or gay story. You're taking it out of normal reality, and you're doing something with it to make it a fantasy romance.

I don't think you can stop people from doing this. I got into this because i wrote fanfic for Sailor Moon. Fan-fiction is the breeding ground. I wrote what I wanted to read. If you're doing any kind of fan work, fanart, fan-fiction or cosplay — you're queering that you've done. You fantasized it and did something different with it. That's human nature. I don't think it has anything to do with yaoi or yuri.

LOVING THE 'CRACK' OF FANTASY ROMANCE VS. CRAVING MORE REALISM

Robin Brenner: We found in our survey there are deal breakers, like when you're reading a yaoi story, then something happens and you think, 'Oh, god no.' (laughs)

One thing that's interesting about yaoi and yuri manga is that it's almost always fantasy, it's outside of reality. However, a lot of the titles we recommend in our list are closer to reality. For example, is a title that most people found to be universally appealing.

When we say realism, do we mean we want stories that address actual issues of what it means to be gay in Japan? Things like coming out, identity issues – all of that is rarely addressed.

Hence the name of this panel, "Gay for You" — the character is not just gay for that person, but they're dealing with the fact that they're gay in a context. That can get complicated.

So what you think about the tension about the titles you like because they are more realistic: are they still romantic enough when they don't have as much fantasy? Do you think we can expect to see more of this kind of 'realistic' stories about the gay experience in these genres?

Leyla Aker: I would pull back that question to 'What do people look for in manga?' For myself and many of us on this panel, the works we really like are the ones that have more sophisticated, narrative storylines. The honest truth is, that's not what most people want.

Leyla Aker: I could recommend Satosumi Takaguchi's work (Shout Out Loud, Can't Win With You), which gets close to depicting what gay relationships are like, but that's not what sells. What sells is manga by Asami Tojo (Thunderbolt Boys Excite) — the most insane crack — that's what sells. That's not just yaoi or BL, that's manga, period.

Alex Woolfson: The stuff I write, people say how realistic it is, and there's a part of me that wants that realism.

But one thing that's refreshing for me about BL is the escape; having a story about a gay relationship that's not just about being gay. It's not about coming out, or gay bashing, or dealing with parents: it's just about the love between two guys.

When you grow up gay, there's not a day that you're not a gay person, or that you don't have to deal with people's attitudes about gay people. I tend to like the more realistic stuff because it tends to be better written, but as a reader, I like BL because it does provide an escape from all of that.

Chris Butcher: In general, I don't respond to "cracktastic" stuff. It's not my fantasy. The stuff that really seems to turn the crank of hardcore yaoi fans, it's not my thing.

I tried to read Under Grand Hotel, and that stuff is awful! (laughs) I can see exactly why it's some people's favorite book; in fact how it could be many, many people's favorite book.

It's certainly not poorly done or poorly drawn — it's just not for my fantasy.

So when I do gravitate to yaoi, I look for the stuff that speaks to me and my life. So when I look over my recommendations, I can see how people might think, 'Oh, he likes the most boring stuff!' (laughs) But I always try to remember, 'but at least there's porn in it!' (laughs) but it's just dirty in a different kind of way!

As a gay man coming to yaoi, I look at it and think 'this isn't my fantasy, but the stuff that speaks to me is the stories that get closer and closer to a depiction of an mature adult relationship that involves love and romance and also sex. It could be me or someone I know.

When you go outside of that and get into bara, which is gay comics for gay men in Japan, when you get into that kind of fantasy stuff, it goes off the deep end, and it's fantastic! That's for me! Yeah! I think the really extreme fantasy stuff just speaks to someone's taste as an individual. As gay guy, it's not for me, but Alex seems to like the more romantic stories, so yeah, it's really a matter of taste.

Erica Friedman: I identify yuri as lesbian content without lesbian identity. You'll typically have two girls looking at each other, they kiss, and then end of story! There are no lesbians in that story. There are two 14-year old girls who have no context, or lesbian identity.

I'm constantly searching for stories where a woman says "I'm always hitting on women." There's like two of them out there. Yuri to me is identified by the lack of lesbian identity.

You're starting to see more josei yuri stories out there, slowly.

There are artists out there who are going to their editors saying "I want to do stories about adult lesbians, and the publishers say "No, no!" So there's a big issue there.

There are stories like Gunjo, which is a horribly dysfunctional story, but I adore it with every fiber of my being. It's about a woman who asks the lesbian who loves her to kill her abusive husband. This happens all before the story begins. The story opens after the murder has occurred, and the two women go on the run together. It's still a horrible fantasy. Reality? What's reality? I don't know anymore.

Scott Robins: I tend to like realistic stories in the non-manga graphic novels that I read. And then i was introduced to Love Pistols! (laughs) It really… touched me!

This whole animal sex thing — I thought, 'This really is interesting!!' It really straddles the line between sexy and funny.

It's hilarious! The two characters get all hot and heavy, then the one character turns into this cute fuzzy animal! I'm reading it and thinking, 'That's ridiculous and it's really funny and it's really cute!' (laughs)

WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL YAOI/YURI MANGA AND HAVE YOU FOUND IT?

Robin Brenner: What would be your ideal yaoi or yuri manga — and have you seen titles that are close?

Chris Butcher: . I thought was about as close to what I wanted in a perfect yaoi manga. It could use more sex, but the characters are so well-defined. It's clearly fantasy, but there's a sharp realism there.

I like Ichigenmei for almost the same reasons. It's about two guys who go to law school. It starts off like they almost have no chemistry. I think, 'why am I reading this?' but it's so compelling! Then it turns into smut in the second part, and it takes off!

Scott Robins: When was doing research on yaoi when I was working on my library degree, I came across NY NY — it's not translated. It's a more realistic story about gay men living in New York City. I would really enjoy reading stories like that.

Alex Woolfson: I have yet to find my ideal yaoi. I recommend (by Hinako Takanaga). But I haven't quite found the perfect thing.

One of the challenges with yaoi is that I find the art beautiful, but not sexy. The tall, thin, feminine-looking guy isn't what does it for me. I don't like the bearish stuff either. I like the Goldilocks kind of guy! I want the unicorn!

This is what inspires me to create: you create what you don't see out there, you create what you want to see.

I want to see the smart writing of Hinako Takanaga with the artwork of (bara manga artist) (Gengoro) Tagame — that kind of solid, naturalistic artwork, without the hardcore fetish S&M — coupled with smart, funny, sweet writing; if I could find that kind of stuff, I'd never leave the house. (laughs)

Leyla Aker: I can't answer this question. The perfect title for me is whatever I'm in love with at the moment. Generally, the things I like fall into two categories: Tomoko Yamashita (Black Winged Love), est em (Age Called Blue, ). These are all works that are produced by independent, smaller, magazines, so they're not quite so stereotype-bound in their execution; the creators get more latitude. These books can do that because there's no standard imposed on them.

Leyla Aker: On the other hand, some days, I want the crack! So I read stuff like Ayano Yamane (The Finder Series) and Love Pistols.

Erica Friedman: I'm like that as well. On one side, I like the really trope-y stuff. Because yuri is so boundless, I'd have to say the one title that takes all of these tropes and does the right way is Aoi Hana by Takako Shimura. It's not licensed in English, but I hope someone will take a chance on this.

Fumi comes out to her friend and says "I've always been in love with you, and I mean it in that way." How heartbreakingly hard must it be to be 16 and say this. Fumi thinks of herself as a crybaby, but she's an incredibly strong character.

I love Gunjo too. It's very sexy and violent. The other one I really love isn't really yuri, but it's Hayate X Blade. It takes the high school girls trope, and pairs them up with swords. It's comedy and it's funny. Shizuru Hayashiya is a woman who has been writing yuri stuff for years, and she's just awesome.

Q & A: IS MISOGYNY INHERENT IN YAOI MANGA FANDOM?

Attendee 1: I've noticed there's a trend of misogyny in yaoi fandom. It kind of bothers me when people just say they read it just for the men. I'm a feminist — I like yuri, I like het, I don't care. But I worry about what kind of message is being sent, in the works and in the fandom.

Chris Butcher: I run a store in Toronto called The Beguiling, and we have a huge manga selection and a wall of yaoi.

Our customer base for this material is about 90% women. The other 10% are confident gay men and really shy gay kids.

I've encountered a little bit of that; I do hear girls who say things along those lines. But on the flip side, there's a famous comics artist Joe Matt — he is so revolted by the sight of another man's penis, he will edit them out of porn flicks on VHS until only the scenes of women are in them.

I understand what you're saying, and I think it's very real — but no one can tell fandom what to do. I think it's something that fandom has to police on its own; fans have to speak up and say that they're not cool with this, much better than they currently do. It's a valid issue — no one likes to feel excluded from their own fandom.

Alex Woolfson: That bugs me too, when the women characters in yaoi are drawn as unappealing or stupid — that turns me off; that takes me outside of the story. There are yaoi that have strong female characters. You can't control the fandom, but I do notice that the people who come to my site want positive representation of female characters as well as positive representations of gay men.

Q & A: DO GAY COMICS ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ABOUT BEING GAY?

Attendee 2: I'm not a fan of romance comics — I want to see adventure comics where the protagonist just happens to be gay; where the romance is a secondary element.

Scott Robins: From what I know, yaoi is what it is. If you want to see something like that, talk with creators, and get them to create stuff like that.

I would love to see that too; I would love to see a gay hero with a sword kicking ass. But I think that yaoi, it's so entrenched in its romance and its conventions, I don't see how it would break free.

Leyla Aker: The one thing that's more difficult for us to apprehend as a foreign language audience is that things we consider to be tropes in manga, doesn't mean the same thing as it does to the creators and readers in Japan.

So when we're referring to misogyny in these works, a creator would be shocked to hear that. A creator wouldn't see (a mean, dumb or unsympathetic female character) as misogyny — they see it as a villain being a villain. It's because it's a gay couple, and she's there to try to break them up. It's not because she's a woman — it's because she's the antagonist.

It's the same deal with having gay characters in adventure stories. The problem there is with the gay. You have to be very, very careful, because our idea of homosexual identity as an identity category doesn't fly in that country.

It isn't the same in Japan. It's not that they wouldn't do it; it's just a concept that would be hard for them to understand.

Would it be possible sometime in the future? Sure, who knows? But given how the creative process works in Japan? Not now.

Erica Friedman: In the case of yuri, it's a little different. Let's take My Hime Otome, you have characters doing the stuff — and they just happen to be gay. With yuri, it's different because it's not a fixed audience the way BL is, the audience for yuri is anyone who buys yuri. You've got men, women and lesbians who have different requirements, and there are different artists doing different things for these different audiences. As the GLTB community becomes more viable, I'm looking forward to a day when GLTB creators start writing BL the way gay women are writing yuri.

Alex Woolfson: I've always wanted this since i was a gay teen — you might not find this in Japan at this time, but you might see this from independent creators in the next 10 years or so.

Q & A: HOW IS YAOI/YURI MANGA RECEIVED BY THE GLBT COMMUNITY IN JAPAN?

Attendee3: Does the GLBT community in Japan embrace yaoi and yuri manga?

Erica Friedman: Think of it this way: out of all of the people in the U.S., how many of them are comics fans? Not a lot. It's like that in Japan too. The lesbians who like manga are a very small part of the lesbian population, who are already a very small part of the Japanese population. So how do they feel about it? They like it lots. (laughs) If you want to find out more about it, follow my lesbian manga-ka list on Twitter.

Chris Butcher: Gay manga for gay people in Japan are only distributed in gay areas in Japan. You know Nakano Broadway? There's half a shelf that has actual gay manga from gay publishers. There's three times as much if you go to Shinjuku Ni-chome where gay people are.

Generally speaking, gay men that buy manga are buying straight manga or gay men's manga; yaoi manga doesn't make a very big impact with gay men In Japan. There's a lot of material for a gay audience, but it doesn't cross over to women readers, just as the yaoi stuff doesn't cross over much to the gay men readers.

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Check out the panelists' list of 20 yaoi and yuri manga for GBLTQ readers.

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Your Citation
Aoki, Deb. "NYAF '10: Gay for You? Yaoi and Yuri Manga for GBLTQ Readers." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2016, thoughtco.com/nyaf-10-yaoi-and-yuri-manga-2282887. Aoki, Deb. (2016, August 29). NYAF '10: Gay for You? Yaoi and Yuri Manga for GBLTQ Readers. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/nyaf-10-yaoi-and-yuri-manga-2282887 Aoki, Deb. "NYAF '10: Gay for You? Yaoi and Yuri Manga for GBLTQ Readers." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/nyaf-10-yaoi-and-yuri-manga-2282887 (accessed November 24, 2017).