Okaeri Voices: An Oral History Project

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What was it like to be gay and Japanese American decades ago? — Barney Cheng

Co-presented with Community Partners: Okaeri & JANM

In this program


BILL TASHIMA: CHOOSING LIFE AND LOVE

Directed by Barney Cheng

Seattle JACL leader Bill Tashima explains how he chose to live openly as a gay man.

DESIREE THOMPSON: EMBRACING THE UNKNOWN SUPPORTED BY A LOVING COMMUNITY

Directed by Barney Cheng

Lesbian activist Desiree Thompson recounts growing up in Hawai’i and how she came to accept her sexuality.

GARY HAYASHI: AN EX-GAY MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON CONFRONTS HIS TRUTH

Directed by Barney Cheng

Gary, a former representative of an ex-gay ministry, explains how he became part of the LGBTQ+ community and returned to the Japanese American community.

GEORGE TAKEI: NO MORE FEAR

Directed by Barney Cheng

Icon George Takei shares about his childhood crushes and the challenges of navigating his gay identity in Hollywood.

JUNE LAGMAY: A PIONEER ASIAN-AMERICAN LESBIAN CONNECTS COMMUNITIES

Directed by Barney Cheng

At age 16, activist June met the love of her life: another student who was her opposite. June chronicles her career in social activism and her work bridging communities.

MELVIN FUJIKAWA: THRIVING IN THE PAIN

Directed by Barney Cheng

Vocalist Melvin explains how he learned the importance of not rushing through the pain of grieving. He also shares his journey of reconciling his faith with his gay identity.

MIA FRANCES YAMAMOTO: A LIFE-CHANGING DECISION AT 60

Directed by Barney Cheng

Mia explains making the momentous decision to transition so she can live authentically as her true self.

ROY KAWASAKI: LIVING WITH GRATITUDE

Directed by Barney Cheng

Artist and community member Roy shares about the formation of A/PLG, the first Asian queer organization in Los Angeles.

Precedes

Coming Out and Coming Home: Documenting the Voices of Queer and Trans Japanese Americans

The Japanese American community has not always broadly welcomed gay, transgender, and queer Nikkei people. It took courage for LGBTQ+ Nikkei to live openly and with integrity in decades past. Hear from four LGBTQ+ Japanese Americans who are forerunners of making Nikkei communities more accepting: Melvin Fujikawa, Gary Hayashi, Bill Tashima, and Mia Yamamoto.

Dates & Times
Online

Saturday | September 26, 2020
12:00 pm

Online

Saturday | September 26, 2020
2:00 pm