April 25, 2016

"Japan Can Halt the Threat of Sino-US (Cold) War"

My short essay, "Japan Can Halt the Threat of Sino-US (Cold) War," won an essay contest for the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington.  Check it out here!

Pdf version

April 13, 2015

January 17, 2015

Nephew's Baklâ Joke

During a conversation I was having with my partner today over lunch, I remembered a joke our nephew made during a camping trip a year ago.  I want to recount it here so I don't forget it.

At the time our nephew was 8-years-old, and I had just taken him to the campsite restroom.  As we returned to the tents, he said to me, "When I go with my mom to the restroom, she takes me into the women's restroom.  But what if I went in there alone?  What would all the women in there think?  I could tell them, 'Don't worry.  I'm baklâ.'" We both then laughed.

For anyone who doesn't know what baklâ is, it's the Filipino (Tagalog) word for "gay" or more specifically, "effeminate gay man," but this does not fully capture the meaning of the word.  In that instance, I realized that (1) he was connecting with me as an uncle in a relationship with his other uncle (such a joke would've unlikely been uttered to his parents), but then (2) as a Filipino born in the US with multiple gay uncles, he is growing up with quite complex views on gender...more complex than what is captured in the categories "Hetero vs. LGBT."

Then and now he's doing all the sports-stuff that boys often do (plays basketball, soccer and football), and spends hours upon hours in Minecraft.  Somehow I doubt he'll take on the identity baklâ, but his momentary identification that day I remember with a smile.

(For more information, see Martin F. Manalansan, Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora,  Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003.)

February 9, 2014

Mormon-Themed Posts of Mine

I was a contributor to Main Street Plaza (a community interested in Mormonism) for a few years.  My interests have developed in other directions now... probably because I'm 30+ years old now and left the Church half-my-life ago! 

Here are my MSP posts, organized thematically.  Feel free to comment on any and get the conversation rolling again!

September 5, 2013