Why I Decided Not to Come out in Japan

 

By: Luke

Kanojo imasuka? That's a question you'll be asked many times if you're a guy living abroad in Japan. It means “do you have a girlfriend?” I was expecting it to come up eventually. But I wasn't expecting it to come up nearly as quickly as it did. I was making introductions throughout each classroom at my high school. After presenting my slideshow, I would ask for questions. In every class, someone was waiting to ask “Kanojo imasuka?” But that first time was a particularly difficult fork in the road. I decided to answer with: yes, I do have a girlfriend. I figured it was too early to drop that on a class of high schoolers.

Realizing You’re Gay While Living in a Religious Family in Ecuador: From Existential Crisis to Unexpected Acceptance

By ITA alumna Laurence.

Ecuador is one of those South American countries in which almost all taxi drivers in the capital have a rosary hanging from their rearview mirrors. It also happens to be the South American country where I realized I was very much attracted to people of the same gender. As an eager, non-religious, and naive North American student studying abroad for the first time, living with an extremely Catholic host family was an experience that shifted my preconceived notions of “acceptance” and taught me how to reciprocally embrace differences we are warned to be wary about.