2010年9月13日月曜日

Which countries are good for Japanes gays to live?




It looks like California is going to defeat Prop 8 and legalize gay marriage eventually. But, state marriage law does not allow international marriage between same sex couples. I like living in the U.S. (especially California) but this country is not easy to immigrate to for gay Japanese (or any gay persons from abroad).

I think there're two issues for gay immigrants. One is that if the country is easy to immigrate to. And another is that if the country is welcoming new (non-white) immigrants. In these regards, Canada may be ranked really high. The country is very liberal (and relatively easy) on accepting new immigrants compared with the U.S. I have been to Vancouver but more than half of the city's population is Asian. That may not mean Asian-friendly, though. (Some non-Asian locals might be anti-Asians because there are so many Asians.) Yet, there must be some positive reasons why there're so many Asian immigrants to Vancouver and overall Canada. Especially for gay couples, it is critical that same-sex marriage is legal in Canada, making it easier for gay Canadians to bring non-Canadian partners.

How about in Europe? There are quite a few countries allowing gay marriage or equivalent; UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and more have such measure. I really wish if the U.S. had legalized gay marriage, which would have made my life much easier -- at least to hold a legal residence and to work authorization in the U.S. Now it's less important for me because I'm getting my green card through my employer. But I had to stay with the company for many years. Yes MANY years. I postponed my career change because of my visa issues. I have forgone some salary increase and job opportunities. Furthermore, I had to spend more than $10,000 on legal expenses and other fees. What a waste of money and time. If I were heterosexual, I didn't have to spend any of the money and time. The U.S. brags about its history as a nation based on liberty and equality but there is still inequality in this country.

To be fair, I should also admit that Japan is extremely conservative in this matter. There's little discussion on same-sex marriage and consequent immigration issues. Nowadays it's more talked about whether the Japanese government should grant voting rights to foreign residents and if Japan should accept more foreign workers to fill the gap caused by declining population and expected shortage of young labor in Japan.

There's a famous Japanese writer, Usagi Nakamura (Noriko Nakamura), who married a gay man from Hong Kong because his Japanese visa was about to expire. They've been married for more than ten years, though they no longer live together - Nakamura says her husband found a Japanese boyfriend. But Nakamura and her husband still stay as great friends. When Nakamura feels lonely, she goes to her husband place to sleep over, she says. An interesting case.



Anyway, I have given up on living in Japan many years ago . . . I think many gay people fantasize about living abroad. In fact, there are so many gay flight attendants, showing some desire among gay men who want to be away from home. So did I. I was fantasizing about living abroad a lot when growing up. Now that I have lived in the U.S. for many years and got used to the country, I wonder more about if I there's a better country for gay Japanese to immigrate to.

My travel experience is limited and it's hard to get insights that you could get through actually living there. I would really like to hear from anyone who read my blog about your country's immigration status and local "temperature" toward same-sex couples and new immigrants.

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メインブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ American Gay Life (since 2004)
サブ・ブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ日記 American Gay Life Diary(since 2013)

単身渡米してなんとか生き延びてる日本人。主にアメリカで起きてるゲイについてのニュースやハリウッド・セレブ、スポーツ選手たちのゴシップが中心のブログをメインブログで書いてます。恋バナや個人的なことはサブ・ブログで。

 Born and raised in Japan, I decided to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a more liberated gay life. I am mostly writing about gay-related news and gossip about male celebrities, LGBT issues in general, and sometimes personal bromance. Most of my posts are in Japanese, but I sometimes introduce Japanese television programs and gay-related cultural stuff in English. Feel free to leave comments in my blog. ;)