Tag Archives: lesbian

Photo of the Week: KAWAMOTO Eriko and MASAKI Motoko


Laurie says:

This a photo from Women Of Japan that I thought was very right for Pride Month.


MASAKI Motoko (Counselor, Gender Sexuality Crisis Center, Osaka)

We were introduced to Laurie by Hagiwara Hiroko.

Laurie visited our home town, Mino city, Osaka, in September 2007. We first walked along the Takimichi, path running parallel to a mountain stream, looking for a location for shooting. We crossed the first bridge to see several old inns along a gentle slope. We decided to settle down in a place close to the rock, which is mythically called ‘Tojin Modori Iwa’ (rock a stranger cannot pass), so as to spend half a day on the dry rocky riverside surrounded by moss-covered trees. While Laurie’s shooting session went on, we ate a picnic snack Hagiwara had prepared.

Ten months have passed since then. Now you see decorative bamboo branches with ornaments for the Star Festival fluttering and rustling under the eaves of a local restaurant in a July breeze. A nightingale’s warble echoed around in the green forest and over the clear-blue water. Being photographed in a location close to the place I have lived with my friend for long, I felt myself very much encouraged. We are proud of our relationship as a lesbian couple who have made life together and loved each other.

I have had different agonies and sorrows while I have had moments of delights and pleasures. Now everything in the past seems to be merged into the beautiful notes from a music box. I look happier in Laurie’s photograph than I have ever been before.

KAWAMOTO Eriko (Counselor, Gender Sexuality Crisis Center, Osaka)

When I fell in love with a woman in my student’s days, I felt desperate thinking that I would never be able to have a family. I knew I could not stand being alone and living by myself. The idea that I should not be lesbian was so strong in my mind. I met a man, got married, and gave birth to a daughter. When I got used to child bearing and had time to reflect on myself, I had to face the uncontrollable emotion that I was lesbian before everything.

After the divorce, I met her at a feminist course where I was one of the organizers. I fell in love with her while discussing all sorts of things and began to realize that I would really like to live with her. I dreamed that we purchased a mirror together. We have got along for sixteen years now, laughing, quarrelling and living together in a very vivacious way.

When I was asked to be a model for Laurie, I thought I would really like to be part of the project. I posed for Laurie so as to make a visual image showing that a lesbian couple live and enjoy their own life here in Japan.

-translations by Hagiwara Hiroko

川本恵理子     (ジェンダー・セクシャリティー クライシスセンター、カウンセラー)
大学時代、女性に恋したとき私は「家族をもてないのか」と絶望的になった。寂しがり屋の私にはひとりで生活していくことは考えられなかった。その 後、「レズビアンであってはいけない」という自分の中の差別感と、出会いで、男性と結婚、娘を出産した。育児の忙しさが少し落ち着いたとき、「私はレズビ アンでしかない」という思いがマグマのように吹き出て、それを押さえ込むことができなかった。離婚後、私も企画に参加したフェミニズムの講座で彼女と出 会った。いろんな話をする中で彼女に惚れ、一緒に人生を歩きたいと思った。彼女と一緒に生活していこうと思ったとき、二人で鏡を買う夢を見た。今16年目 をすごしている。よくけんかもするが、よく話し笑いもする。伸びやかに生活していると思う。
正木基子   (ジェンダー・セクシャリティー クライシスセンター、カウンセラー)
あれから10カ月の月日が流れ、滝道に七夕の笹かざりが、紅葉の天ぷら屋さんの軒下で揺れています。うぐいすの鳴き声が、緑の木々、青の光に満ち た清流にこだましております。私は、日本のレズビアンとして、二人が愛し合い、暮らしを紡ぎあげたことを誇りに思っています。このような形で残していただ けたことで、勇気を頂いたと感じます。

Trans Teen Doesn’t Make the News

Debbie says:

Mainstream news did a reasonable job (for what I’ve come to expect of mainstream news, anyway) of covering the story of Constance McMillen, who wanted to bring her girlfriend to her private high school prom. With the help of the ACLU and a favorable court judgment, McMillen won the skirmish, but she and her classmates lost the game when the school cancelled the prom.

Dan Savage points out that McMillen’s was neither the first nor the worst issue this year with that private high school. McMillen was another student at the time:

Constance McMillen was also a student. McMilllen clearly recalled [Juin] Baize’s first—and only—day at Itawamba Agricultural.

“People were talking about him all day, trying to get a look at him,” said McMillen. “It was insane, it was ridiculous, it made me so mad. They said he was causing a distraction with what he was wearing but it was a half day of school and people didn’t have time to get used to him.”

The other students wouldn’t be given a chance to get used to him: the next time Baize came to school, according Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi, Baize was given a suspension notice and sent home. When Juin returned to school after his first suspension, he was suspended again.

“Juin’s case was a situation where a transgender student wanted to attend school dressed in feminine clothing,” said Bennett, “and the school district would not even let him attend school.”

The ACLU is not taking this one to court, apparently with the consent or even preference of Juin Baize (who prefers male pronouns at this time, according to Savage). The harassment level made it untenable for Baize to continue to stay in Fulton, Mississippi, and his grandmother sent him to Pensacola, Florida, to stay with friends:

“There’s this thing here called Florida Virtual School,” Juin told me today, “and I’m going to enroll in that online and do that until next year. And from what I’ve heard the high school near here is very accepting. So I’m going to start fresh.”

A Google search on Juin’s name turns up several of my favorite blogs, but not a single mainstream news organization.

Savage has put together a fund to support Baize in his new life. There’s a donation button in Savage’s column, or this link should work directly.

I sent money; if you are able to and so moved, you might want to as well. Juin is one of thousands, but letting any isolated trans kid know that there’s support for their lives out in the big world can’t be a bad thing.

Marlene pointed this one out to me.