Queering the inquiry of Asian American art

QUEERING CONTEMPORARY ASIAN AMERICAN ART Edited By Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017, 296 pp., $90 hardcover; $40 paperback) This anthology grows out of a National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored Summer Institute held at New York University in 2012, co-directed by Margo Machida and Alexandra Chang and entitled, “Re-Envisioning […]

Japanese American becomes majority owner of LGBTQ newspaper

Michael Yamashita, 51, publisher of the Bay Area Reporter, a San Francisco-based LGBTQ newspaper, became the newspaper’s majority owner, the publication announced Dec. 21, 2017. According to the B.A.R., Yamashita becomes the nation’s first gay Asian American publisher and owner of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer newspaper. Yamashita, who previously owned 31 percent […]

Secret ingredient to spice up drama

IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET By Misa Sugiura (New York: HarperCollins, 2017, 400 pp., $17.99, hard cover) Secrets are hard to discuss in the open, especially when layered deep in teenage drama. For Sana Kiyohara,  those secrets come in the form of her sexual orientation, her suspicion of her father having a mistress and […]

Recognizing Japanese American lesbians’ activism, then and now

The season for gay pride is upon us. This year, there is extra cause for celebration with the selection of professor Amy Sueyoshi, a community activist and leading historian of queer Asian Americans, as a grand marshal of the San Francisco Pride parade. In addition to Sueyoshi’s own considerable qualities, the choice is gratifying on […]

Trying to regain hope in a time of fear and uncertainty

As the election polls started closing on Nov. 8, most of America was in a state of utter shock, as a presidential candidate who so easily stoked the flames of racism, sexism, xenophobia and misogyny was suddenly trust into the office of the presidency. A mere eight years after a movement for hope and change […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: #Thiswas2016

“When the house is going up in flames, does what’s on the TV matter?” That’s the question I kept asking myself as I sat down to write this year-end column. In October, Michael Luo, then an editor for The New York Times, was accosted on the street by a woman yelling, “Go back to China!” […]

Transgender Americans are terrified of Trump

Those who have seen me reporting for the paper may have noticed over the last four months that I am a transgender woman. I did not explicitly advertise this fact, given that my gender does not matter when I’m working on an assignment. The stories I write, after all, are not about me. However, with […]

Scholars showcase future of diverse Nikkei community

PAN-JAPAN: The International Journal of the Japanese Diaspora: Special Issue: CONJECTURING COMMUNITIES: Ebbs and Flows of Japanese America Edited by Lane Ryo Hirabayashi (Normal, Ill.: Illinois State University, 2016, $12.50; Spring/Fall 2016: Volume 12, Numbers 1 & 2, 189 pp., paperback). To purchase, write to: PAN-JAPAN (Vol. 12, No. 1 & 2), Subscriptions, Anthropology 4640, […]

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 […]

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