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 […]

An open letter about Orlando from Asian American Parents Who Love Our LGBTQ Kids

We, the Asian American Parents Who Love Our LGBTQ Kids, are heartbroken about the Orlando tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, both given and chosen, especially their parents. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and are still fighting for their lives and those who are suffering emotional […]

Sacramento conference embraces LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islanders

Sacramento, Calif. — The Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sacramento Coalition hosted the first known API-centered lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer conference in the city April 16. Held at California State University, Sacramento, “APIQ Homecoming: A Conference for LGBTQ+, API, and their Allies” drew in almost 80 local attendees, including about 15 students from the […]

Officers to receive harassment training in wake of racist text messages

All members of the San Francisco Police Department will participate in training to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace after racist and derogatory text messages discovered during an investigation into sexual assault allegations by an officer were recently made public, police Chief Greg Suhr said April 29. Suhr made the announcement during a news […]

Panel discusses issues beyond marriage equality for LGBTQ people

Editor’s Note: Tomo Hirai is a member of Tadaima: A Japanese American Gathering of LGBTQQ and Allies’ (volunteer) organizing committee. A panel presentation on the current issues lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning community members face was held Feb. 23 at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco in San Francisco’s Japantown. The program, hosted […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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