As some of you already know, for the past 4 years I have been doing the Bar OccaMan project in Gunma, Japan with Eva, Cherry, and several other semi-permanent and occasional volunteers. The project is a monthly outdoor queer bar event and since its start in May 2010 we have been quite popular thanks to our loyal regulars in the neighborhood and those who come from other places like Tokyo.
In starting OccaMan, we hoped to create a space for local LGBTQ individuals to feel comfortable and enjoy food and drinks as well as for LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ people alike to have an opportunity to get to know and learn from each other. We also sometimes provided informational resources about welfare, sexuality, single motherhood, etc. We have been saving all the revenues from each month so that when the amount is big enough, we can donate the money to local support organizations. Oh, we also did a free-soup-for-the-job-less campaign back in 2011. The same year, we invited persons with hearing impairments and their families for free meals. As you can see, I believe that what makes OccaMan special and different is that we are committed to equality and social justice.
Now, Eva, Cherry, and I have the means to expand this integral part of OccaMan and put more of our beliefs into practice.
In June 2014, we will open a real bar. A real, physical existence that is permanent. It’s called Dining Bar FAT CATS.
As I was increasingly sick and tired of the allegro call-out culture of Twitter (I quit my main jpnz account recently), I looked for a new platform. Tumblr, maybe? I thought. Then I remembered I had my own domain and hosting here. For a change, I picked a new design template and modified it a bit. Especially useful was Richard’s Modifying OpenGraph Data from WordPress’s Jetpack.
I’m hoping to blog as often as I used to, like in the pre-Twitter, pre-Facebook era.
I found this animated GIF by glaad for the ENDA campaign.
I added a few more slides to show the larger picture of the way that labor laws operate in the U.S.
To read more about this issue, click here to read Yasmin Nair’s “ENDA, We Hardly Know Ya.”
As I was going through the daily routine of browsing Facebook & Twitter, I found a NYT article, Gay Couples, Choosing to Say ‘I Don’t’, the title of which caught my eye, as I oppose the institution of marriage, and the like-minded people who shared the link in FB/TW seemed content with anti-marriage opinions circulating at last in the mainstream media. Excited, I read on, only to be disappointed, but in a way that was quite unexpected, by the elitist tone of the article.
The article captures a variety of anti-marriage voices from lesbian, gay, and transgender individuals, most of which I agree with. Yes, the arguments made there are quite convincing and reality-based. But I wonder, whose reality are they based on, really?
Hangorin’s anti-Olympics statement is used in the video.
Hangorin. “WE CALL FROM TOKYO TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE OPPOSING THE 2020 OLYMPICS BID IN ISTANBUL AND MADRID.” June 2013. Retrieved on September 17, 2013. Available at http://hangorin.tumblr.com/post/52049285247/we-call-from-tokyo-to-the-people-who-are-opposing-the
Lyrics and Japanese translation
This is the 3rd queer-themed song that I’ve created and uploaded online, the 1st being “High Heels 6.5″ and 2nd “I Am Nobody”.
I’ve been trying to learn how to use EQs and compressors properly and I think I did my current best in this one. I know there’s a lot more to learn, but I’m eager to make more music and have more experience so that I can be a better musician/composer.
Anyways, here’s the track. It’s sung entirely in Japanese but I’ve attached a rough English translation after the jump (or, cut? I remember using the term ‘cut’ back in the LJ days, but maybe that was specific to LJ). I hope you enjoy!
Photo By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (ws’08 (21)) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Lyrics and translation
I do not like my legal name. I don’t want to use it, and I actually don’t. At work, I use a fake name. My boss understands, because he knows that my legal name can be found in many Internet spaces as a queer activist, a beauty contest opponent, and an anti-Japan blogger as I used to do all these things under my legal name. My legal name also is indicative of my legal gender, too. So, no, I don’t use my legal name online.
Facebook, however, has what is called real-name policy. I experimented with lots of different names but settled with using my legal name on my personal account, mostly out of fear of complete shutdown of my account. What I did, instead, was to create a Facebook Page. The title is my activist name and people can find me by searching for Masaki C. I can still Like things and receive private messages, though I cannot join Groups, make friends connections, or send messages unless the other person has sent me one.
But for those who don’t really use the Group feature, or feel that they don’t have to be “friends” with their followers (people who know you as the activist that you are, and Like your Page), creating an activist Page can be the solution.
And here’s what you’re gonna have to do:
1. Click the following URL to go to “Create a Page.”
As previously announced on this blog, a new queer group in Japan has been formed and officially launched on April 21, 2013 in Kuki city. The group’s name is Hinkon o nakusu tame no Kuia [Queer] no kai, literally translated as Queers for Ending Poverty.
The event report is available in English here.
Based on the conversations that took place at the event, HinQ’s Mission Statement has been finalized and uploaded on the group’s website, also available in English. Below is the entire Statement.