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 […]

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 […]

LGBT rights activist, Tak Yamamoto, dies

LOS ANGELES — Long-time Manzanar Committee leader Takenori “Tak” Yamamoto, of Los Angeles, died on Nov. 9, 2012, the Los Angeles-based Manzanar Committee announced in a statement issued Nov. 16. Yamamoto, 74, died of natural causes, according to long-time partner Karl Fish. Yamamoto’s family was among the some 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The Japanese American fight for gay and lesbian rights

  This week’s piece represents a fifth entry in the series of annual columns I have produced for Nichi Bei on the Queer heritage of Japanese Americans. In past pieces I have looked at the hidden and sometimes complex sexual history of early Japanese immigrants; the evolution of widespread anti-gay prejudice in mid-century Japanese communities, […]

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