San Francisco’s Japantown holds vigil against post-election hate

Two weeks after the election of Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States, a crowd of about 500 people gathered at San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza Nov. 22 to hold a candlelight vigil to express their unity with the groups affected by the hateful rhetoric that both the president-elect and his […]

Bring back the assault weapons ban

There are moments when as a member of the ethnic press we must leverage our collective voice, to push our nation’s leaders to act in the interest of the communities we serve. This is one of those moments. In the early morning of June 12, a gunman in Orlando, Fla. entered a gay nightclub and massacred 49 […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The JACL’s historic support for marriage equality

Ever since I have been writing my Nichi Bei column “The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great” in 2007, I have devoted an annual column to studying the history of Japanese American sexuality, and in particular in-group attitudes toward homosexuality and the presence of gays and lesbians. I am proud to continue that tradition with […]

An open letter about Orlando from Asian American Parents Who Love Our LGBTQ Kids

We, the Asian American Parents Who Love Our LGBTQ Kids, are heartbroken about the Orlando tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, both given and chosen, especially their parents. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and are still fighting for their lives and those who are suffering emotional […]

Officers to receive harassment training in wake of racist text messages

All members of the San Francisco Police Department will participate in training to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace after racist and derogatory text messages discovered during an investigation into sexual assault allegations by an officer were recently made public, police Chief Greg Suhr said April 29. Suhr made the announcement during a news […]

Family accepts $1 mil. claim against school district after suicide

The family of 12-year-old Ronin Shimizu, who died by suicide Dec. 3, 2014, accepted $1 million to settle their claim against the Folsom Cordova Unified School District “for failing to protect their son … from pervasive bullying which led him to,” a statement said. Ronin was targeted by school bullies with “anti-gay attacks for being […]

‘Living in the Shadows of Exclusion’: LGBT Asian America

History may forget Asian Americans who are part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer spectrum, according to one historian involved in the LGBT movement. “History isn’t kind to those who are marginalized to multiple spaces. Your history doesn’t exist in the LGBT history, it doesn’t exist in the Asian American history,” said Anna […]

Intersections of same-sex marriage and Japanese Americans

The U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark 5-4 decision in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges June 26, affirming that all states must recognize same-sex marriages. The fight for same-sex marriage, with roots in the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York, took decades of activism before gaining the public’s approval and support, including […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Statements on homosexuality in JA press helps trace public’s opinion

As devoted readers of Nichi Bei may already be aware, I maintain an annual tradition. Each June, in honor of LGBT History Month, I devote an column of “The Great Unknown” to revealing the Queer history of Japanese Americans. Past columns have dealt with topics such as homosocial intimacy among the Issei; the development of […]

Police chief Suhr moves to fire 7 officers who engaged in homophobic, racist text messages

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said April 3 that following an internal investigation he is recommending that seven of 14 police officers who were discovered to have partaken in inappropriate, and often racist and homophobic text messages, be fired from the police department. So far, one of the 14 officers has already resigned and […]

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