‘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 […]

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, 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 […]

Older gay APIs bond over dinner

The entryway of the Twin Peaks-area apartment is cluttered with various pairs of shoes. In the kitchen is a potluck collection of Asian-inspired dishes. Chairs are set up in the living room. Nametags are distributed. Conversations fill the home. On this Sunday night in early January roughly 20 gay Asian and Pacific Islander men have […]

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 […]

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