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?"
"Is there anything you need from Papa and I to feel more supported?"
"Is there anything else we need to talk about?"
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