SAN JOSE — “Tadaima,” a Japanese American gathering of LGBTQQ and allies, will be held Saturday, April 2, from 8 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. at San Jose State University, 1 Washington Square in San Jose.
“Inspired by the uplifting and first-of-its-kind ‘Okaeri’ event held in Los Angeles in 2014, ‘Tadaima’ brings together Japanese American (a.k.a. Nikkei) LGBTQQ and allies across the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area,” the organizing committee said. “‘Tadaima’ aims to provide safe spaces to come together, celebrate our authentic selves, share concerns, and foster a community-based network of mutual support. While ‘Tadaima’ was born out of a desire to support Nikkei LGBTQQ, we welcome all who support or identify with us.”
“The Journey to Living Out Loud” featuring Michelle Honda-Phillips, Aiden Aizumi, Marsha Aizumi, and Chiaki Hirai. Moderator: Bonnie Sugiyama.
“Japanese Americans Making Queer Art,” featuring Melvin Fujikawa, Mia Nakano, and Tina Takemoto. Moderator: Amy Sueyoshi.
About the plenary speakers:
Aiden Aizumi is a Japanese American transgender activist living in Los Angeles. He is currently working on his Masters in Educational Counseling at the University of La Verne. In his spare time, he travels with his mother, sharing his story in hopes of providing education and insight to LGBTQQ issues.
Marsha Aizumi is an author, speaker, educator and advocate for the LGBT community. She serves on the board of directors for PFLAG National, is co-founder and current president of PFLAG San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander, and the author of “Two Spirits, One Heart,” a memoir that chronicles her journey with her transgender son to find unconditional love and acceptance.
Michelle Honda-Phillips and her husband, Travis, are raising a 9-year-old affirmed daughter, and 7- and 11-year-old cisgender sons. Her family’s journey has been featured on “NBC Nightly News,” “The Today Show,” the Human Rights Campaign, local media coverage, and a feature article in Elle France.
Melvin Fujikawa, a Los Angeles native, received his Master of Music degree in voice at USC. He has served as music and worship pastor at Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles and executive pastor at Christian Layman Church in Oakland. After publicly coming out in 2011, he joined the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and has performed many solos at Davies Symphony Hall and Nourse Auditorium. He and his soon-to-be-husband, Mark Hamner, live in Berkeley.
Mia Nakano, a fourth-generation Japanese American and queer woman of color, is the director of the Visibility Project (http://visibilityproject.org), a national photo and video archive dedicated to the queer, Asian American women and trans community. A freelance photographer, videographer, and web designer, Nakano is a seasoned, self-taught artist who advocates strategic and ethical use of visual arts to create social change. She has contributed to the Smithsonian, Salon.com, and the de Young Museum.
Tina Takemoto’s filmography includes “Looking for Jiro,” “Memoirs of Bjork-Geisha,” “Arm’s Length,” and “Her/She Senses Imag(in)ed Malady.” Looking for Jiro received the Best Experimental Jury Award at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival and was presented at numerous festivals, including Frameline, Ann Arbor Film Festival, MIX NYC, CAAM, Fusion, MIX Milano, MIX Mexico, Hamburg Queer Film Festival and Rio Gay Film Festival.
Queer Taiko with Kristy Oshiro will perform.
“All of Me for All of Us: Using the Arts to Inform Your Personal and Community Narrative”
“Coming Out in a Nikkei Life”
“Community Building for Trans/Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary/Genderqueer Nikkei/JA People (closed session)
“Family Acceptance: Three Different Perspectives”
“LGBT 101: Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification in a More Accepting World”
“LGBTQQ Identity and Island Conformity: Departure from Hawai`i to Mainland USA”
“Movement Building in the Japanese American Community”
“Transforming Culture in Christian and Buddhist Faith Communities”
A breakout session for affinity groups will feature the following speakers and facilitators: Coleen “Coke” Tani, Colin Boon, Curt Sanburn, Rev. David Ko, Rev. Elaine Donlin, Ellen Tanouye, Gerald Takano, John Oda, Komo Gauvreau, Laurin Mayeno, Lynn Sugihara, Mioi Hanaoka, Nick Hori, Rev. Nobu Hanaoka, riKu Matsuda, Robert Nakatani, Suzie Endow and more.
“Tadaima,” meaning “I’m home” in Japanese, is a collection of events hosted across the Northern California Bay Area for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ) individuals, families, and allies who want to learn more about the intersections of the Japanese American LGBTQQ experience.
Through events and programming, “Tadaima” hopes to provide support, resources, education, and connections to LGBTQQ individuals, families, and allies.
The following campus venues will be used: Student Union Theater in the Student Union, MOSAIC Cross-Cultural Center in the Student Union, Engineering Room 287 in the Engineering Building, Wellness Center Meeting Room in the Student Wellness Center. See event website for campus map.
Registration is $30 general; $10 for students up to 18 or college students with ID; $5 for SJSU students. Peony (Botan) sponsorship: $100 (two tickets and $40 donation). Silver Grass (Susuki) sponsorship: $250 (four tickets and $130 donation). Online reservations/donations include a processing fee.