Archive for April, 2009

Is Okama Okay?

it is through language that a person negotiates a sense of self within and across different sites at different points in time[1]&

I met Minori where else but at karaoke. Having always loved to sing, especiallykaraoke around others who enjoy the hobby just as much as I do, Japan was a great place for me to put to good use all those years of classical voice training. Another friend of mine, Hiroe, told me that she had invited some friends of hers to join our karaoke party, friends who she said “really want to meet you.” I was flattered, but I just assumed that these friends were eager to meet Hiroe’s crazy English teacher and quickly forgot all about the additional guests that night. That is, until Minori walked in. My first impression told me that Minori was a lesbian. With short, spiky hair, no make-up, jeans and a men’s shirt, my experience in the gay and lesbian community helped me identify possible allies. Of course, there is no guarantee that my judgments are always correct. (more…)


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questionsI received the following email today from one of my participants. I thought this was a good opportunity to examine how much emotion may be involved when participating in a project of this kind by asking other participants to reflect on or respond to this email.

My response is also included. I immediately felt a sense of responsibility to my participants and wanted to be able to validate XXXX by legitimizing his concerns and responses.


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Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you happy and healthy and enjoying this season’s sakura and hanami.

I am getting very excited about my trip to Japan in May (May 18th-June 8th) and hope to meet many of you while I’m in Japan.

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