Gay Couples Living in Japan where People are Stereotyped 固定観念を持つ日本に住む同性愛カップル

     (Hiragana Times article edited to be more reader friendly)
Life and love could not be more international for Mitchell Armstrong and partner Kunihiro Satoh, who have been together since meeting through friends at a bar in Japan in 2005.
人生と愛について語るなら、ミッシェル・アームストロングさんとパートナーのサトウ・クニヒロさんほど国際的な人はいないだろう。2005年、二人は友人 を 通じて日本のあるバーで知り合った。
In the beginning they were just friends, but that soon lead to the inevitable much more, and two months after their first encounter they moved in with each other into an apartment in Tokyo.
最初は普通の友達だったが、すぐに互いを必要とする関係になり、最初の出会いから2カ月後、二人は東京のアパートに移 り住んだ。
Shortly after that they decided to go back to Sydney together for the first time to visit Mitchell’s family.
その後、二人はミッシェルさんの家族に初めて会うため一緒にシドニーへ戻る決意を する。
At that time Mitchell recalls he had just come out to his family and told them he was gay.
But as he says, “I was quite nervous, but they soon fell in love with him just as I had.
「とても神経質になりました。でも、私と同じようにすぐに彼を好きになっ てくれました。
We had many laughs and I feel so fortunate to have such an accepting group of people who surround me.”
Homosexuality is not a Sickness
Mitchell was also lucky enough to be embraced into Kunihiro’s family, something which in Japan is less common as a lot more gay and lesbian Japanese keep their sexuality a secret from family and friends.
ミッシェルさんは幸運にもクニヒロさんの家族にも受け入れられた。日本人ゲイやレズビアンが家族や友達にそのことを秘密にしておくこの国ではあまりないこ とだ。
As Mitchell adds, “People fear what they don’t know.
A lot more people in Japan need to be educated and become aware that homosexuality is not a sickness, and certainly not a ‘lifestyle.’”
もっと多くの日本人に、ホモは病気ではなく、まして、『ライフススタイル』でもないことを 知って欲しいです」と、付け加える。
The pair has had many fun times together, and early on in their relationship took a trip to Korea.
“It was funny because we had no idea about what to do or where we were!
「おかしなことに、何をしたらいいのか、どこへ行っていいのか、全く考えがなかったの で す。
I think that by going somewhere totally different from what we were used to really helped us appreciate how much we meant to each other,” Mitchell reflects.
Regarding problems encountered as an international couple – and gay on top of that – Mitchell adds, “It is hard being a gay couple in Japan, let alone an international one.
ゲイとしてだけでなく国際カップルとして直面する問題についてミッシェルさんは、「日本でゲイカップルになることはとても大変なことです。それが国際カッ プ ルではなおさらです。
The main problem in Japan is that for the Japanese, change is very hard to cope with.”
He went on to add that the problems here would be much less if there was a spousal visa for same-sex couples, but Japan is yet to pass law to recognize gay and lesbian couples.
同性カップルの配偶者ビザがとれれば問題は少なくなる が、ゲイやレズビアンを認める法律は日本にはまだない、と続けた。
Some Countries Recognize Same-sex Couples’
Currently marriage as defined by civil law is available to same-sex couples in five countries, with some of those countries also concurrently holding civil unions.
The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2001.
同性の結婚を認めた最初の国はオラ ンダで、2001年のことだった。
Same-sex marriages are also recognized in Belgium, Spain, Canada and South Africa.
Civil unions, a legally recognized union similar to marriage and varying in terms country to country, are currently available in 15 countries in Europe as well as New Zealand and Australia, a few countries in Central and South America, selective states in the U.S., and Israel.
Legal rights aside, Mitchell says, “We have had our share of disagreements and arguments, but at the end of the day you know that you love this person and would do anything for them.
Sometimes it is hard being a gay international couple, but we wouldn’t (and couldn’t) have it any other way.
 ゲイの 国 際カップルであることは、ときには大変ですが、他に方法がありません。
Share every moment you have together, laugh and be happy, focus on the positive and not the negative.”
いつも一緒にいて、笑って幸せになり、悪い面ではなく良い面を見るようにしましょ う」とミッシェルさん。
And most importantly he finishes off, “love has no boundaries.”
A great point to constantly remind ourselves of when we turn to judge others for not being exactly like us, gay, straight or otherwise.
 「愛に国境はありません」。ゲイ、普通のカップルにかかわらず、自分たちと同じでない人を判断するとき、我々自身にいつも気にとめておく大切なポイン トだ。
VJ (visual artist) and fashion designer couple Anna Antoniades and Shantell Martin are another international couple in Tokyo.
The pair from England have both been living and working in their respective creative fields in Tokyo almost four years and met for the first time in September 2006 at a dance party.
イ ン グランドから来た二人は、4年間ほど東京に住み、それぞれの分野で働いている。最初に出会ったのは2006年9月のダンスパーティだった。
After they started dating their hectic work schedules and the work-related events they each needed to attend left them little time to spend together and they lived far from one another with Shantell living in Higashi Koenji and Anna in Shirokane Takanawa.
 つきあい始めた後、二人は、忙しい仕事やどうしても出席しなければならない仕事関係のイベントなどで、一緒にいる時間はあまりなかった。それに加えて、 シャ ンテルさんは東高円寺、アンナさんは白金高輪と、互いに遠い場所に住んでいた。
By chance, however, they would often bump into each other on the train.
“Subconsciously” finding one another as Shantell puts it was a sign that they were “definitely meant to be together.”
無意識のうちにお互 いに求めているとシャンテルさんが言うように、それは二人が「絶対に一緒になる」というサインだった。
One of the main difficulties the ladies noted regarding their relationship as a foreign lesbian couple living in Japan was being able to express their relationship openly as Japan has very fixed stereotypes of what a gay couple looks like and acts like, something that has made it hard for Shantell and Anna in terms of how to act together in public.
日本で生活する外国人のレズビアンカップルとして最もむずかしいことの一つは、その関係を公にすることだと二人は知った。同性愛カップルがどのように見 え、 振る舞うのか、日本ではこり固まった考えがあるので、シャンテルさんとアンナさんはみんなの前でどのように振る舞えばよいのか悩むという。
Also on the creative side, their scene here in the international community is somewhat small, making private and professional ties overlap and rendering some opportunities impossible.
They remain strong, however, and their advice for any international couple living abroad – gay or straight – is to try and eat healthily, live economically and remain tolerant and patient with one another so that when life becomes difficult the other is there for support and strength.
しか し、彼女たちは強くなった。そして、外国に住む国際カップルへアドバイスする。同性愛、普通のカップルにかかわらず、たいへんな時には片方が力になれるよ うに、健康的な食事をし、経済的な生活をし、互いに忍耐強くなってくださいと言う。
They note that for any gay couple living abroad the pressures found are not “specific to any one place more than another.”
海外に住 む同性愛カップルにかかるプレッシャーは、「その場所だけに起こること」ではないという。
They also note that “there seems to be a confusion in the expectation of a ‘couple’ within society, usually meaning: cars, house, then marriage and children.
「車、家、そして結婚、子供が社会通年となっている中で、『カッ プル』はその期待に戸惑っているように思えます。
For a gay couple things are different.
But there is a pressure when one doesn’t think like this,
でもみんながこのように考えてくれないとプレッ シャーがあります。
because we should always fit into the modern consumer cycle.”

0 件のコメント: