Kenji-Yoshino

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Congratulations to the winners & honor books of the 2016 Stonewall Book Awards for Non-Fiction!

  • Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial by Kenji Yoshino (Winner)
  • Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt (Honor Book)
  • The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman (Honor Book)
  • Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions by Michael Helquist (Honor Book)
  • Violence Against Queer People: Race, Class, Gender, and the Persistence of Anti-LGBT Discrimination by Doug Meyer (Honor Book)
In recent years, I have seen a troubling trend toward defending homosexuality not on the ground it is ‘good’ but on the ground it is 'immutable.’ I see why this immutability argument is temping, but I want, with others, to argue that it be taken up cautiously.

The defense is flawed because it is an implied apology. It resists the conversion demand by saying 'I cannot change,’ rather than by saying 'I will not change.’ It suggests electroshock treatment for homosexuals is wrong because it does not work. But such treatment would be no less wrong if it did.

As a logical matter, immutability and validity defenses could coexist. As a practical matter, however, the two defenses tend to moot each other as rhetorical arguments. If an identity is immutable, people are less likely to ask whether it is valid, as no alternative exists. But the opposite is also true–if an identity is valid, people are much less likely to ask whether it is immutable. As literature professor Leo Bersani says, 'the very question of “how we got that way” would in many quarters not be asked if it were not assumed that we ended up the wrong way.’
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering
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Kiramune Reading Live Backstage Photos~

source:
NamiDai’s blog 「アナザーチーム」
野島健児@Betweenthelines ‏@nojimakenji

Thank you to NamiDai, our great Kiramune photographer xD
Kamiya found an empty room to practice before Live~~ Love his attitude~♥
That coat looks so big on him, and he is so little and cute σ`∀´)σwwww

My regret is made keen by the convergences between bisexual and asexual erasure, most notably the refusal by both self-identified straights and self-identified gays to acknowledge either category. Thus asexuals, like bisexuals, are prone to being accused of duplicity or false consciousness, or, more specifically, of being closeted gays. See Jeffrey S. Nevid, Lois Fichner-Rathus & Spencer A. Rathus, Human Sexuality In A World Of Diversity 302 (1995) (describing asexuals as a subset of homosexuals). See generally Alan P. Bell & Martin S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study Of Diversity Among Men And Women (1978) (discussing asexuals throughout as subsets of male and female homosexuals).
—  Kenji Yoshino, The Epistemic Contract of Bisxual Erasure, note 8. This was written in 2000.
The selective uptake of gay culture – gay fashion, yes; gay affection, no – shows that acceptance is driven by the desires of the straight cultural consumer rather than the dignity of the gay person. It is natural for consumers to be selective in their appropriation of minority cultures – they choose the parts that are meaningful to them, and that give them pleasure and self-definition. But in that respect these consumers are no different from members of those minority cultures. True pluralism would be receptive to traits valued by those who bear them, regardless of their mainstream appeal.
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
We must use the relative freedom of adulthood to integrate the many selves we hold. This includes uncovering the selves we buried long ago because they were inconvenient, impractical, or even hated. Because they must pass the test of survival, most of the selves we hold, like most of our lives, are ordinary. Yet sometimes, what is consequential in us begins to shine.
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights

New unit AKB84 consisting of Yoshino Nanjo, Kimura Ryohei, Inoue Marina, Toyonaga Toshiyuki, Kenji Akabane, and Ono Yuuki

THIS MAY BE AN APRIL FOOL’S JOKE since kimura san had also joked about the creation of this group back in 2012. the group name comes from the fact that all of them were born in 1984!

but i must admit kimura san and inoue san both look amazing in the photo…

The world is changing; the stories I hear are changing. A colleague recounts how his friend, a gay man, was taken to a mental hospital as a teenager by his parents, who wanted to commit him. He struggled so desperately he smashed the windshield of the car, but they literally dragged him to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist calmly told the parents he was more inclined to commit them than to commit their son. He told them to go home. I imagine the gay teenager’s ride back behind the broken windshield, the dome of heaven cracked, the lid taken off his world.
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights 
We must use the relative freedom of adulthood to integrate the many selves we hold. This includes uncovering the selves we buried long ago because they were inconvenient, impractical, or even hated. Because they must pass the test of survival, most of the selves we hold, like most of our lives, are ordinary. Yet sometimes, what is consequential in us begins to shine.
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights 
He said: “You are my son.”

And I began to sob. Perhaps this is the worst any closet does to us – it prevents us from hearing the words “I love you.” These were words my parents said to me, and I trusted the love, but not the “you.” The real me was hidden, so the “you” they loved was some other, better son. But when my father claimed me – This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine – I began to suspect that no matter what I was, he would be next to me, the silent economist stroking my hair. My sobs dislodged something inside me, and I began to understand love is a narrative permission, that stories can be told within its bounds.
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights 
One Saturday, we wandered into a haberdashery on Jermyn Street in London. I found a vest – gold lions ramping through a cobalt brocade. I would not have worn it as an undergraduate, nor do I wear it now. But then, as I ran the brittle fabric between my thumb and finger, I experienced a jackdaw craving for it. I slipped it on. I could not decide whether it looked ridiculous. “It becomes you,” the shopkeeper said gruffly through his waxed mustache. I realized it did become me, and that I could become it. It did the work outlandish clothes do for us – it drove my invisible difference to the surface and held it there, relieving my psyche of that work.
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
Women are uniquely situated in this way because their subordination has more generally taken a unique form. Unlike gays and racial minorities, women have been cherished by their oppressors. Men have long valued the “feminine” traits women are supposed to hold, such as warmth, empathy, and nurture.

The mind-set through which men limit women in the name of loving them is known as “separate spheres” – an ideology under which men inhabit the public sphere of work, culture, and politics, while women inhabit the private sphere of hearth and home. The two spheres ostensibly track the different characters of men and women – men are thought to be suited for the public sphere because of their “masculine” attributes, women for the private sphere because of their “feminine” ones. This ideology permits men to cherish and to confine women at the same time – women are revered, but only in the home.
—  Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights