If it were up to me, I’d have a series of debates just featuring spouses. I’d love to see which can be more subservient, who has biggest crocodile tears, and who loves their husband (and in one case, wife) and Amerika most. Those spouses who are gay or are married to gays are some of the most audacious.
Mostly the Tokyo Pride Parade was about fun, community, and visibility. There were a few political statements that struck me as especially relevant.
Above these incredibly young kids are posing with a sign saying, “自分らしさをあきらめない” (Jibun rashisa wo akiramenai, which means “I won’t give up my individuality”). Go, kids!
Below, there’s a message linking visas and marriage. I also love the woman with the rainbow umbrella, super colorful dress, and sign that says “God doesn’t bless marriages.” As part of an international couple, I feel the inconvenience of Japan and the US’s lack of immigration rights for gay spouses.
Sorry dear readers, I cannot find an illustration. Thanks to the hubb for providing these excellent images!
Last week I re-met the lovely director and producer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld at the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Film Festival talking about his latest film “Hollywood, J’Adore,” directed by his spouse Jason Bushman. As first time visitors to Japan, Charles and Jason were astonished to see gardens, Shinto temples, and fashion. Charles pointed out the incredible construction worker drag (my favorite, in addition to the balloon pants, are the white rubber boots).
But truly his moe-est moe is his fascination with the summer anti-sun strategy of the Japanese bicycle mothers. Full gloves past the elbow for bike riding, sometimes attached directly to the handlebar for 100% compliance. And the enormous plastic UV shield that covers the face. It’s a mama-cheri look that rivals the burqa for full coverage.
Charles, being in his 40s, immediately realized how practical that would be for biking in Silver Lake and Los Angeles. I am very disappointed not to find a proper image of this everyday outfit that receives far less attention than construction worker, ramen chef, Tokyo Metro worker, and, of course, school girls.
Can anyone please send in a photo of this moe get-up?! Actually, now I am only missing the image of the front visor. You know, the one that goes from crown of the head to below the chin!
As many of my readers know, I am maintaining two blogs: this one about personal interests (ranging oddly from flowers to pottery to male hair and female geeks), and another about a public policy research project sponsored by a prominent foundation and corporation. I have purposely not linked the two blogs, so as to provide more freedom for me to write candidly about my thoughts and interests in this blog.
Prior to moving to Tokyo, I have always been out. Youthful activism and a hostile academic environment shaped my professional career in unexpected ways. It is ironic that the elite academic department that blacklisted me is one that claims a dedication to cultural relativism and openness. I have no regrets, and have been able to reclaim and re-purpose my academic training into a career first in industry and now in public policy.
Creating a new life in Tokyo presents new challenges to a queer identity. With no threat of anti-gay violence in Japan, the flip side is a complete expectation of heterosexuality. And, for the first time, perhaps because of middle age, a new environment, a desire to “be harmonious,” and the sheer quantity of new people I meet every week, I feel an unfamiliar hesitation to challenge conceptions when I am asking new contacts for help and orientation.
This has led to some awkward situations for me. Continue reading long post