You’re NOT Fat, You’re a Gaijin

I am an average size women. 5’3 and 123 lbs (160cm and 56kg). I’m rock in’ that Italian booty and hips my momma gave me. Back home, in America, I can find clothes in my size easily but living in Japan I feel fat! I have been told by Japanese doctors that I need to lose weight, and my Japanese friends have no issue calling me fat. When I go shopping, it’s nearly impossible to find anything in my size unless it stretches. Living and shopping in Japan can truly kill your confidence but you can work around it. I
Read More

Being Out in Japan Part 2: The Workplace

By: Roz Back home in Michigan I can legally get married and the next day be fired for it. That terrifying thought is why I have the fear of coming out at work. I could lose my job. But when I asked my wife, Natsuko, why Japanese have the fear of coming out at work, the answer was quite different. She said that it isn’t the fear of losing ones job but the fear of making those around you uncomfortable. Fear that they will treat you differently and you will lose your good relationships with your coworkers. I was stunned
Read More

Densha Ojisan

By: Roz I take the Chuo Line train from Yoyogi to home after work. The train is always very packed because it is one station before a major stop, Shinjuku. I know at Shinjuku most people will leave the train and I will have only a couple seconds to get a seat before more people get on. The train arrived at Shinjuku when I saw a seat open up and an Ojisan(old man) saw it too. We both ran towards it avoiding eye contact with each other. This is an unwritten custom of traveling by train or subway in Tokyo.
Read More

Same-sex Wedding Planning

By Roz It is a month before our wedding and tension is high, just as it is for most couples before their wedding, but a same-sex wedding tends to come with extra stress. Unfortunate circumstances arise and hearts are twisted and yanked hard testing your ability to keep yourself together and not lose sight of why you’re getting married. Love. After proposing to Natsuko, I was confident that my family would be happy for us. We had just spent a wonderful time together with my family staying in their homes in Michigan. I thought my family had accepted me as
Read More

I Dreamt I’m Gay

By Roz I find dreams to be the most fascinating natural occurrences. Even with many theories from psychologists, scientists, religious figures, translators and more; dreams continue to be mysterious and entertain us to why we dream what we dream. Another fascinating body occurrence is the orgasm, this however is not so mysterious as to why we have them, but they are awesome. Put dreams and orgasms together and you get the sex dream. Waking up from those can be fun, or not fun depending on who it’s with or when you wake up. Most of the time they leave us
Read More

Being Out in Japan Part 1: Public Display of Affection

By: Roz Natsuko and I first started dating in February 2013. There was no talk about same sex marriage or any laws protecting LGBTQ  in Japan at the time. It wasn’t illegal either. I remember feeling terrified to show affection in public in Japan in fear that someone would attack us. When we held hands I felt myself watching everyone’s eyes around me preparing my body to move quickly in response to a sudden strike. When we went out to dinner I felt afraid to show we were a couple and not friends. I often felt uneasy and couldn’t relax.
Read More

HOW DID YOU GET A JAPANESE PARTNER?

BY ROZ When people meet my girlfriend and I they ask how we met. A question commonly asked to couples. But after I give them the short answer, “in a quiet little bar”, they ask me the question again. This time they clearly state their reason for asking. “I am a foreigner like you and I would like to date a Japanese person but it’s too hard to get them to date me. How did you manage to get a Japanese partner?” The question is not about my relationship. What they want to know is if I have some secret
Read More

Christmas in Japan (Bakappuru Stories)

By Roz It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving, my back is aching from pulling the heavy Christmas tree box out of storage but I am still bending over and pulling out each Christmas tree part. The job that I remember my father doing when I was a child. For some families having a real Christmas tree is tradition, but for me tradition was watching my dad pull out the dusty Christmas tree box out of the attic and down the stairs into the living room, while my mom is yelling over everyone, “Ray, careful don’t hurt yourself! Roz get out of
Read More

“Equality starts with you!” (Bakappuru Stories)

By Roz A night like any other, after a long day of work, Natsuko and I sat at our small two person table in the center of the kitchen, we had just finished dinner and started talking about random topics. Natsuko was having her after dinner smoke while I shared my thoughts on some current events. I read about a company that began to provide marriage benefits, such as marriage leave and compensation, for same-sex couples with legal marriage documents in Japan. We were talking about how we need to think about planning a date soon for our wedding in
Read More

バカップル (Bakappuru) Quirky Couple

(Baka meaning fool, or quirky  or harmlessly eccentric in Japanese put together with kappuru meaning couple. This is the nickname given to the following couple, the  Quirky Couple.) Written by: Roz The United States of America legalized same sex marriage on June 26th, 2015. Natsuko, who is Japanese, and I, an American, jumped up on the couch cheering when we heard the great news. Even though she and I, a same sex binational couple, couldn’t legally marry in Japan, we were ready. So, legal to marry or not, I decided to propose to Natsuko. I would like to tell you
Read More