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 […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Queer non-Nikkei figures in Japanese American history (part II)

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of an ongoing series. Monika Kehoe’s experience with Japanese Americans served as a foundation for her later career, which involved working as an administrator and teaching English to diverse international populations (a point that will be discussed in depth later on). As she noted in the introduction to […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Queer non-Nikkei figures in Japanese American history

Editor’s Note: This is the first part in an ongoing series. Ever since I began writing “The Great Unknown” in 2007, I have had the pleasure of contributing an annual queer heritage column, which explores the nature of sexuality and the experience of lesbians and gays in Japanese American history. This year’s installment recounts 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 […]

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, […]

Honda introduces bill to end immigration law discrimination

WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) on May 5 introduced the Reuniting Families Act in the House of Representatives, which according to his office, would help “ensure that visas are allocated efficiently, while alleviating lengthy wait times that keep legal immigrants, and their loved ones overseas, separated for years.” The bill also eliminates discrimination […]

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