“Never bring shame to our family name,” I remember one of my elders telling me when I was 10 years old, as he talked about our long line of proud ancestors, which dated back to samurai times. Almost 50 years later, when my daughter came out as a lesbian, that same voice echoed in my head, reminding me of the honor of our family name. This elder had long ago passed away, but his words lived on.
For months, that voice drove me into the closet. I couldn’t say the
word “lesbian”; in fact, it made me cringe. Publicly I walked around
feeling dishonest, carrying a secret I wasn’t ready...Read More