Friday, October 3, 2014

A New Perspective on Change

In a few months, I will be leaving the home I have lived in for close to 20 years: the home where my children were raised for most of their lives and the home that I considered my dream house. To be honest, I went through a period of sadness and fear because of this move. We sold the house without another place to move to. And we have decided to move from a large property with a huge front and backyard to a condo. Yes, we received a price we couldn’t turn down. Yes, we negotiated a nine-months free rental clause. And yes, we had no closing costs to pay or no buyers trampling through our house looking in every nook and cranny. It was an amazing deal, but it also meant change.
Change is hard for me. It requires that I let go of all that is familiar. I like the familiar. My co-workers would chuckle when I traveled on business because I liked not only the same hotel, but also I often even asked for the same room. It made me feel safe and comfortable...Read More

Friday, July 25, 2014

Taking Our Hearts and Voices to the Next Level

Coming back from the JACL convention in San Jose this month, I am filled with so many feelings: gratitude, increased passion to raise awareness about what Asian Pacific Islander (API) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) families experience, but most of all, I walked away as a mother with more hope in my heart for my children and our community.
First of all, I am so grateful to JACL National and all the people involved for choosing me as one of their 2014 Biennium honorees. When I look at those who have come before me and those who were also honored, I am overwhelmed and humbled to be listed with them. But without my family and so many others who have supported me, like Priscilla Ouchida, Bill Yoshino, Stephanie Nitahara, Harold and Ellen Kameya, San Fernando and Seattle JACLs, I would still be sitting at home wondering how I could even begin this journey.
As I was meeting with one of the chapters, I realized how JACL...Read More

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Love My Transgender Brother

As the mother of a transgender son, I often wonder how my younger straight son truly felt as our family was navigating through some of our most challenging years. When you have the combination of one child who is struggling, parents who are struggling and another child who is quiet and sensitive, I often thought how is my younger son feeling.
So I would have a conversation with him that looked something like this:
"Hey, honey, I wanted to check in with you to see how you are doing. Are you getting the support you need from us?"
"Yes", he replies softly.
"I also wanted to make sure that you know Papa and I love you just as much as your brother, although we have had to focus on his transition and some of the things that he is going through. Do you know that we love you just as much?"
"Yes."
"Is there anything you need from Papa and I to feel more supported?"
"No"
"Is there anything else we need to talk about?"
"No"
Over the years, we would have similar conversations, because Stefen never came to me with any concerns or issues and so I would feel the need to reach out to him. But the conversations were always the same. My long comments and his one word answer. . . Read More

Friday, April 18, 2014

Working for the Greatest Good

Last month I returned to Washington State to attend the 92nd Annual Seattle JACL banquet.   One year after first meeting the leaders of the Seattle area, who were interested in bringing greater support to Asian Pacific Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families, I came back for two reasons. One was to accept an award from Seattle JACL, a Special Civil Rights Award, and the other to meet with JACL leaders, who wanted to grow our visibility in the Seattle area for API LGBT families. Both reasons were close to my heart, so I was excited to come back to the Pacific Northwest.
I brought back with me my husband, my son, Aiden and his new wife, Mary. I wanted them to be there to see me receive my award, but more importantly...Read More

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Mother’s Take: Looking Back with Gratitude, Looking Forward with Hope

As I sit down to my computer, ready to write my hopes and dreams for 2014, I want to take a few moments to share some of the highlights of 2013 that have stayed in my heart. Last year was one of my most memorable years in my life and here is why:
In early 2013, I met some wonderful JACL members and community leaders in Seattle. I connected them to PFLAG Bellevue/Seattle, a local chapter of a national organization that supports, educates and advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families. A few months later, the two organizations marched together in the Seattle LGBT Pride parade, showing their support of Asian Pacific Islander LGBT families in Seattle...Read More