Western Japan city Takarazuka to recognize same-sex partnership

KOBE  — A city in western Japan said Nov. 30 it will join two other municipalities in Tokyo in issuing certificates recognizing same-sex partnership as being equivalent to marriage, in a bid to address discrimination against sexual minorities. The city of Takarazuka in Hyogo Prefecture, home to Japan’s famous all-female musical troupe, said it will […]

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 […]

Same-sex couples to be recognized under plan by Tokyo’s Shibuya ward

TOKYO — Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward plans to issue certificates recognizing same-sex couples as being in “relationships equivalent to marriage,” becoming the first local government in Japan to do so. The plan is set down in a draft statute incorporated in a fiscal 2015 budget unveiled Feb. 12. The draft statute is to be presented to […]

Seminar traces roots of Buddhists’ support for LGBTQ rights

BERKELEY, Calif. — In the national dialogue surrounding gay rights, the question “What is the Christian view of homosexuality?” often arises. This can be attributed to that fact that the vast majority of Americans identify as Christian, (some 77 percent according to a Gallup poll). However, in the Japanese Americans community (according to the Pew […]

Jodo Shinshu Center to hold ‘Being Gay, Being Buddhist’ event

BERKELEY, Calif. — The Jodo Shinshu Center will host a half-day seminar entitled “Being Gay, Being Buddhist” Saturday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Actor and social justice activist George Takei is slated to serve as the keynote speaker, pending his availability. The LGBTQ community and Shin Buddhism seminar will begin with registration […]

For LGBT Asians, changes back home offer hope

NEW YORK — For Clara Yoon, there was never any question in her mind about helping her daughter when she came out as transgender in 2010. Yoon, who is Korean American, quickly joined a local support group for parents of LGBT children. She soon discovered, however, that she was the only Asian parent in the […]

For LGBT Asians, cultural barriers to marriage remain after DOMA

NEW YORK – When Jason Tseng first met his boyfriend at a support group meeting for gay Asian and Pacific Islander men in New York, he never would have guessed that three years later he’d be contemplating marriage. With the end of DOMA, the federal ban on same-sex marriage, they now have that chance. But […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The civil rights politics and complexities of Nikkei ‘coming out’ as LGBT

This week’s entry represents the seventh annual column that I have produced for the Nichi Bei on the queer heritage of Japanese Americans. In past entries, I have explored such topics as the varieties of Issei sexuality, the turn to Western-style family models (and homophobia) within Japanese communities, and the community’s turn to support for […]

One family’s take on ‘the civil rights issue of our time’

TWO SPIRITS, ONE HEART: A MOTHER, HER TRANSGENDER SON, AND THEIR JOURNEY TO LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE By Marsha Aizumi (Arcadia, Calif.: Peony Press: 290 pp., $16.95 hard cover) Marsha Aizumi’s book, “Two Spirits, One Heart,” is a memoir about her experience as the mother of a child who comes out as a lesbian, then transitioned […]

California same-sex couples anxiously await Supreme Court decision

When Tran Le and Terrenz Vong marched in the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade, their photo appeared on the second page of the Sing Tao Daily. The couple said their appearance in Los Angeles’ largest Chinese-language newspaper sent a clear message to their families and their communities. “One of the biggest misconceptions (in Asian Pacific […]

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