When I started college, there already existed prides and rainbow flags. I didn't have to create queer spaces to join or queer symbols to identify with. They were there, and I'd join rainbow-filled events and groups. And I was constantly disappointed with how those events were trans-indifferent, gay men-centered, obsessed with money and reputation, anti-intersectional, ethnocentric, disability-unfriendly, male-dominated, etc. etc.
How do we talk about sexism, heterosexism, and ciscentrism in anime/manga when it's part of "their culture"? Can we criticize misogynous, homophobic and transphobic anime/manga without being ethnocentric and arrogant? What's the best way to address them? Or should we all shut our mouths and let them be? Would that make us anti-feminist and anti-queer?(more…)
In this English lesson video, I explain to ESL learners the meaning of the word "sound" in the sense of an argument being logical and based on truth, then move on to explain validity and soundness using one of the homophobic arguments recently made by Japanese lawmaker Mio Sugita where she argues that students should not be taught about LGBT issues in school.(more…)
Language, culture, and identity——a translation tip that I learned after watching a lot of Doctor Who
Language is a weird thing. It’s external but also integral to our human psyche. By the time you’ve learned to speak, you become situated, recognizably to all including yourself, in the world. But if language has such a formational functionality, it must mean that when we learn a second language, Read more…
How do I say "bless you" in Japanese when someone sneezes? Why do Japanese people say "itadakimasu" (I shall take/eat it) before eating something? Well, language and culture are closely tied to each other. And to really speak a second language naturally, you need to learn the culture as well. But, what if that second culture contains something bad, like discrimination? (more…)
"Hate crime is nonexistent in Japan," "Japan only recently started having pride marches," "homosexuality is accepted in Japan because of the traditional male-male shudo sexual/romantic culture," "Japanese media are LGBT-friendly," and "Taiga Ishikawa is the first openly gay politician in Japan" are all false! (more…)
While a gay YouTuber in the US asks his fans to donate money to an anti-LGBT bullying charity, YouTube Japan is filled with homophobic content like "let's go inside a gay bathhouse" and stuff. In this video I invite Kody, born in Japan and currently residing in the UK, to talk with me about the differences between YouTube Japan and YouTube US/UK. (more…)