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Thanks for all your comments. I didn’t think many people would be interested in this topic because, as I said, awareness of LBGT issues seems to be quite low in Japan. Anyway, I’m glad that so many of you joined in.

I talked to one of my gay friends about what I wrote in the original entry, and he said the situation is much better for gay men in Japan than it used to be because there is not so much pressure to get married anymore. It is quite common now for people in their mid thirties to be single, so gay men do not feel that they have to live a lie just to appear normal. Actually, the same friend once told me the following joke. Do you understand it?

Q: What is the best way to prevent gay sex?
A: Legalize gay marriage!

As some of you pointed out, a big part of this issue is how you define the word “marriage.” I know that a lot of people (especially religious people) like to define marriage as being “between a man and a woman.” If that is your definition, then it is clearly not possible for two men or two women to be married. To be honest, I don’t fully understand why gay people want so much to be able to get married, but if there is ever an argument about ethics that has religions on one side, I make it a rule to be on the other!

Here is some feedback on your comments this week.

Hi David,
I know you are very busy, but may I ask you? If you have enough time, I want to hear your impression of your lecture last Saturday and Sunday.
Hi Mika, it was very interesting. There were 21 people there, and their ages ranged from 32 to 87! The oldest lady was absolutely fantastic. She had better hearing than me, and she looked about 20 years younger than her age. The class was quite difficult to teach because of the mixed levels, but I think I was able to do a reasonably good job.

If you turn on TV, you’ll see a number of Japanese gay entertainers every day.
I know, but a lot of people think that they are “special” somehow because they are on TV.

some of them were disowned by their parents when they “outed”.
If you tell people yourself that you are gay, we say that you “come out.” Being “outed” means that someone else tells people about you even though you didn’t want them to know.

People misunderstand the fact and say such a stupid things.
People who say such stupid things don’t understand the reality.

Discriminating these people just because they are the minority
Discriminating against these people just because they are in the minority…

Do all those gay men really love their wives?
Do all straight men really love their wives?!

but I’m not 100% agree with that they adopt children
but I don’t agree completely with allowing them to adopt children

but I doubt if I can agree with my own son’s gay marriage
but I doubt if I would be able to accept my own son’s gay marriage (A-Z: if / when)

My parents used to have a Japanese gay friend.
… a gay Japanese friend (A-Z: adjective order)

I wish I could support my son, but I’m sure I’ll never be abe to do that because I put myself first.
… but I’m sure I would never be able to do that because … (A-Z: if / when)

I’m sorry, if it sounded so.
I’m sorry if it sounded as though I was.

I read that Elton John has a civil partener, too.
He does, and I believe they are about to have their second baby using a surrogate mother.

Do you think “pedophilia”(ロリコン) is one of the sexualities?
If so, why do they have to be discriminated?]
That is a very difficult topic! Let’s do that another week.

Can I ask a question? Is “carry the flag for” the same meaning as “carry the banner for”?
Yes, it’s the same meaning.

I used the words 異性婚 and 同性婚 other way round.
I used the words … and … the wrong way round.

There have been gays in every age and homosexual animals are quite common.
Every age, every country, every society, and every culture!

American people have been very aware of the issue of “LBGT” since long,
American people have been aware of LBGT issues for a long time.

As far as sexuality is concerned, I think most people are actually neither gay nor straight but, depending on the circumstances, could go either way.
After reading your comment, I would like to reword my original statement. I think there are three groups of people: those who are born gay; those who are born either gay or straight but change at some point in their lives; and those who are not gay but indulge in gay sex temporarily out of necessity / convenience (e.g., prison, army, etc.). And then of course there are bisexuals. Human sexuality is a very complicated subject! Incidentally, the gay friend I mentioned above told me that he has never felt attracted to a woman in his life, and that he realized he was gay when he was about fourteen.

You must be kidding, because I can’t believe that there are some people who think something like that!!
Unfortunately, I am not kidding.

That’s all for today. As you all know, Monday is a holiday, so I probably won’t do the next entry until Tuesday. Have a great weekend.

15 Comments

  1. Kattie on Saturday May 4th, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Hi Amo

    >it seems that you took the words out of my mouth To tell the truth, I didn’t know how to explain my thoughts in English, so I was really happy to find your comment. Thank you.

    I think everyone expresses themselves really well on the blog and often better than native English speakers. I think there are very few British people (myself included) who can speak any Japanese!

    Hi Fumie,

    My daughter is at university in London but I think this is the case in most cities in the UK. Manchester has a really large gay community and the gay village (an area where there are lots of gay clubs etc) attracts people from around the country/Europe. Although it’s known as the gay village, anyone is welcome and we quite often go to a bar/restaurant there because it’s a really good part of town and near the train station. Here’s a link
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canal_Street_(Manchester)

    Hi David
    >Human sexuality is a complicated subject!
    Yes I agree, I don’t know why people are always so keen to put a label on themselves and others, it’s very restricting.



  2. Anne on Saturday May 4th, 2013 at 05:09 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    >if there is ever an argument about ethics that has religions on one side, I make it a rule to be on the other!—It’s funny and I could easily imagine your answer!

    Enjoy the rest of the Golden week holiday,everyone,



  3. Fumie on Saturday May 4th, 2013 at 06:36 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for your feedback.
    It was a very interesting discussion and good excercise for a debate.

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for telling us the situation in the UK.
    It seems people take homosexuality as quite common thing and most cities are more comfortable places to live for gay people than Japan.



  4. Mika on Saturday May 4th, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for nice replying even though you are very busy.
    While I was reading your impression of your lecture, I came out automatically, “Wow!” because there was an 87 lady. Great!!

    I’m busy to proofread my third book that I’m planning to publish by this September. But, sometimes I have fatigued eyes and can’t open my eyes for a while caused by using my PC for long hours, but I can’t stop it.
    However, the lady’s story gave me a new motivation to carry through my new book. I believe that today’s lesson is the first step towards tomorrow and think about her age I have enough time for my study. Wonderful!

    >She had better hearing than me, and she looked about 20 years younger than her age.
    A proverb says, “It is better to play with the ears than the tongue.”
    I want to become a person who is a willing listener, but it’s difficult.

    >The class was quite difficult to teach because of the mixed levels, but I think I was able to do a reasonably good job.
    Congratulations!
    I know it’s very tough to teach students who are mixed levels because I used to work in several high schools. However, I know you love teaching students. You love teaching English. You love talking timely topics in English.
    One of my opinions about teachers is that most important thing for them is love teaching like you.

    Have a wonderful holiday!



  5. amo on Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 01:49 AM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback, and an interesting topic to discuss. By the way, I have some questions about your feedback.

    >I used the words 異性婚 and 同性婚 other way round.
I used the words … and … the wrong way round.

    This is not my sentence but Fumie might have just followed my sentences. She used “(the) other way round” and I used “the other way around” though. I don’t think that those two phrases have the different meanings, so I should change my sentences too?

    1. In this sentence, you seemed to write the two words the other way around.
    >In this sentence, you seemed to write the two words the wrong way around.

    2. And you wrote the words(同姓婚and異性婚)the other way around, didn’t you??
    >And you wrote the words(同姓婚and異性婚)the wrong way around, didn’t you??

    Also, are there big differences between “the other way around/round” and “the wrong way around/round?” because when I check both meanings in a dictionary and their meanings are the same(1, in the opposite position or order. 2. the opposite situation)

    Hi Kattie,

    >I think everyone expresses themselves really well on the blog and often better than native English speakers. I think there are very few British people (myself included) who can speak any Japanese!

    How nice of you to say so;) and thanks for the link.

    Hi Anne,

    I need your help!!

    >if there is ever an argument about ethics that has religions on one side, I make it a rule to be on the other!—It’s funny and I could easily imagine your answer!
    I couldn’t understand his sentence so could you translate it into Japanese for me? Thanks in advance;)

    Good night and sweet dreams,
    amo



  6. Biwa on Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 09:49 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for you feedback. It’s always really helpful. By the way, I like your friend’s joke, but I don’t think I can ever be in favor of pedophilia! Without consent, that is a crime, isn’t it?

    Hi amo,

    For your question, “the other/wrong way round”, this explanation might be helpful: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/tiki-tiki/20111023

    “The wrong way round”が「間違えた」であるのに対して、”the other way round”は「(文字通り)反対の、反対に」という意味のようです。

    Also, this was your questiont to Anne, but I hope you wouldn’t mind if I put it into Japanese.
    「倫理的な議論があって、しかもその一方に宗教が絡んでいる場合は、(僕は)いつも、もう片方(宗教が絡んでいない方)の側につくことにしているんだ。」



  7. taco on Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 01:30 PM

    Hello David and everyone,

    Thank you for your feedback. It was fun to write what I think and also enjoyed reading other people’s opinions. Like Anne, I didn’t quite understand this part >if there is ever an argument about ethics that has religions on one side, I make it a rule to be on the other! Thank you Biwa, now I see.

    Have a nice holiday,
    taco



  8. YU on Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 04:10 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback!

    >Do all those gay men really love their wives?
    – Do all straight men really love their wives?!

    I know “straight” is the opposite word of “gay”.
    I wrote “gay” here referring to the story of your gay Western friend. He told you that many of his gay friends were married and even had children to hide their real sexuality, didn’t he?
    So, I wondered if those gay men really loved their families. I feel sorry for the families if those gay men just used them to hide their sexuality.

    Hi Kattie,

    > Human sexuality is a complicated subject!
    > Yes I agree, I don’t know why people are always so keen to put a label on themselves and others, it’s very restricting.

    I think it’s because most people can feel relaxed if they are in the majority.

    > but I don’t think I can ever be in favor of pedophilia! Without consent, that is a crime, isn’t it?

    I think it’s a crime under the current laws, but what I asked David was that why only pedophiles needed to be discriminated and called “変態”, but we shouldn’t discriminate against gay people. David wrote,” I am more in favour of not discriminating against one particular group of society. I believe that your sexuality is something that you are born with”, so I just wondered like, “Isn’t “phedophilia” also one of the sexualities that you are born with?”



  9. Anne on Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 04:51 PM

    Hi amo, Biwa and everyone,
    Biwa, thanks for the translation:)

    amo, we had a heated discussion about religion on the blog several years ago,did we? By reading David’s comments now and then, I think his answer(comment) is just what he is supposed to say, so I couldn’t not stop grinning!  Don’t you think so?

    数年前に、このブログで宗教についてかなり熱のこもった議論になりましたね。 それを読まなくても、日頃のデイビッドのコメントを読んでいて、あまりに「まさしくデイビッドのコメント!」と思ってしまったものですから、思わず、にゃっ、とせずにはいられませんでした。そう思いませんか?

    Here’s one of the discussions:
    http://eng.alc.co.jp/kaiwa/davidbarker/2007/11/religion_2.html

    Here’s an information about Richard Dawkins:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins

    Hi Kettie,
    Thank you for sharing your thought and your daughter’s story! As you mentioned, it is strange that there is a difference the feeling toward gay and lesbian. It’s difficult to explain.isn’t it?

    I watched a DVD named “Oranges and Sunshine.” This is a true story that happened in the UK; lots of children were disported from the UK to Australia, were used as child labor. Some of them were abused and raped. It was great but a heart wrenching story.



  10. Anne on Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 04:57 PM

    it’s me again.
    correction:
    >lots of children were disported from the UK to Australia, were used as child labor.

    —lots of children were disported from the UK to Australia and were used as child labor.



  11. YU on Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 07:26 PM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for the link!

    I skimmed through everyone’s comments.
    I wonder if there’s the entry named “Religion(1)”, too…?!

    “Those who can be persuaded to believe absurdities can be persuaded to commit atrocities.”

    不条理なことを信じさせられてしまうような人間は得てして残虐行為もやらされてしまうものだ。

    There’s some truth in it.

    Have you ever watched “Titanic”? (I’m almost sure you have, though!)
    In the film there was a scene where some Christians listened to the priest reading the Bible for them when the Titanic was almost sinking. The priest told them, “You’ll be saved if you belive in God, so pray to God.”
    Of course, I guess most of them must have been died, though!
    However, when I watched the scene, I thought that believing something wasn’t that bad in such cases.
    My father died from cancer. He spent his last months in a hospice for terminally ill patients. A priest like person visited there once a week or so to listen to the patients’ worries. I saw my father talking with the person several times although he wasn’t a Christian.

    David mentioned,

    > but the fact remains that there are many people around the world who have no hope, but only ones who are religious become suicide terrorists

    I think he has a point.
    This reminded me of the word my Indian friend told me before, “Not all Islams are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Islams.” At first I thought it was her prejudice against Islams, but actually what she said was very true.

    So, I think “a small part of” those who can believe something when there is no evidence at all to suggest that it is true could be persuaded to commit atrocities, too.



  12. Anne on Monday May 6th, 2013 at 05:34 AM

    Hi YU,

    Religion(1)’s title is “the Atheist Revolution”(on Oct.29th).
    Concerning religion, there are many aspects, good or bad, and it’s difficult to say one word. Many people find relief in there, but it could be cruel or be dangerous. By the way, I watched “Titanic”:)



  13. YU on Monday May 6th, 2013 at 02:06 PM

    Hi Anne,

    > Religion(1)’s title is “the Atheist Revolution”(on Oct.29th).

    Thanks!
    I read through the entry, too.
    It seems that むらさき has taken the same example as mine by chance – incurable cancer.

    > Many people find relief in there, but it could be cruel or be dangerous.

    I agree.
    I think it’s all up to how believers blance their faith and living in the real society after all. If their faith was too strong, they could be suicide bombers as David mentioned, but I don’t like to completely deny religion itself just because it could cause wars or terrorists as I think most of the followers are harmless. I don’t think religions were originally made for stirring people, either. Or were they?

    Anyway, thank you for letting us know the interesting entries!



  14. YU on Monday May 6th, 2013 at 02:08 PM

    correction ;

    > I think it’s all up to how believers blance their faith and

    …blance -> balance



  15. David on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 01:05 PM

    Hi amo,

    Sorry, but I’m not really sure what you are asking. “The other way round” and “the wrong way round” are similar, but not exactly the same. (“Around” and “round” are both fine.) “The other way (a)round” means the opposite of how something is now, but it doesn’t say anything about it they should be. If you have something that could go either way, you might say, “Let’s try it the other way round.” “The wrong way round” means that it needs to be changed in order to become “correct.”

    Hope that helps.



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