The following are hypotheses of the proposed research:
- There exist Japanese individuals who identify themselves as queer (defined as any non-heteronormative sexuality).
- There exists self-identified, queer Japanese who have a functional knowledge of English language (the ability to communicate orally or in writing such that a conversation may ensue) who do in fact construct queer identities (as typified by a statement such as “I am gay” or “I am a gay” as opposed to merely experiencing queer desire or performing queer behavior; typified by a person who “comes out” to another individual). These identities may be expressed in both Japanese and English language communication, just one, or neither.
- Self-identified, queer Japanese who have a functional knowledge of English language have formed ideas about English language, culture, and communication as a result of their EFL/ESL learning experiences.
- Self-identified, queer Japanese who have a functional knowledge of English language believe that English language indexes a freedom of expression not available in their first language (Japanese).
- There are linguistic and pragmatic differences between the English and Japanese languages (and how they are used for interpersonal communication) such that self-identified queer Japanese who have a functional knowledge of English feel more comfortable using English language (as opposed to Japanese) to construct possible queer identities in specific interactions (semiotic/pragmatic).
- There are specific situations and locations where English is preferentially used by self-identified, queer Japanese to construct or reveal their sexualities.
- There is specific English language (words/phrases) that is preferentially used by self-identified, queer Japanese (as opposed to use of Japanese language) to discuss or express their sexuality.