One Voice
2014年 03月 08日

とあるゲイの方の話/A story about a gay man

An essay by Hideki Sunagawa,
co-representative director of PInk Dot OK.
(English translation follows)



「ピンクドット! 70歳になる私たち世代には隔世の感です。ピンクを身につけるにはやや恥ずかしく、なにげなくテントの近くで皆さんの奮闘ぶりやライブのステージを見ておりました。しっかりと手をつなぎあった若いカップルがなんとも愛らしく、いじらしく、そしてうらやましくーー。













A few days after Pink Dot Okinawa opened last year,
a gay man sent me an e-mail. I had no idea who he was.

It said, "Pink Dot Okinawa! Wow.
For someone like me in their 70s,
it's like we've entered a totally new age!
It was actually a little embarrassing for me
to wear pink, so I mostly spent my time
watching the staff members working
or performers on the stage from afar.

I even saw a young gay couple
with their hands held tight.
It was very adorable, quite touching,
and a little enviable. I
t was really encouraging to know that
the event was sponsored not only
by the city of Naha, but by many companies, too.

I feel as if the winds of change seem to be blowing
into Japan—which is fast becoming more closed
and oppressive—starting here from Naha!
I really felt that wind at Pink Dot Okinawa.
Though I can’t do much,
I’d love to be able to support you”.

I was very delighted to read this, as in Japan most elderly people
tend to dislike and avoid such pride events.
After a while we received a donation from him
and exchanged some letters, eventually making a promise to meet.
However, for one reason or another,
we weren’t able to see each other last year.

It was in February that the mail-magazine we sent out
to our supporters was returned to us from his address.
And another in March was returned, too.

I supposed that he might have been hospitalized
because he told me he was suffering from backache.
Out of worry, I searched for another way to contact him
and wrote to the e-mail address of the mom and pop shop he ran,
sending off a line or two inquiring about how he was doing.

His long-time partner kindly replied and told me that
he died of cancer in January.

He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November.
It was only a few weeks after I exchanged the last mail with him.
I regretted very badly that I hadn't met sooner.
I wasn't able to say "thank you for your support" to his face.
I should have.

As "p.s" in his first letter he said,
"Thankfully, I'm still energetic.
I may end up living as old as Kajimayaa (97 years old).
Please let me know if there is something I can do as a volunteer."

We, staff members of the organizing committee,
will keep his words in our minds and try to make Pink Dot OK
as successful as it can be. Thank you very much, T-san.
May you rest in peace. But your spirit is with us in Pink Dot OK 2014.

(We've received permission from his partner
to write about T-san and to quote sentences from his e-mails.)

Hideki Sunagawa
(photo: Yuji Kato)

by hideki_sunagawa | 2014-03-08 20:49 | LGBT/gender

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