endings & beginnings. ?
it’s only been a week since
…and i not so low key hate that.
the last two weeks in Japan flew by ridiculously fast, to no one’s surprise, least of all mine. countless possessions in trash bags; once loved furniture now rehomed; one last
…too many goodbyes that never happened or continue to happen even now from afar…
touching down in Seattle, the reverse culture shock was immediate. the diversity of bodies, hair, accents; the sudden and near intrusive white noise of characteristically loud conversations between Americans; the unkempt state of washlet-less bathrooms; the unadulterated English of those who gave no thought to accommodating non-native English speakers around them…
thankfully Calcifer survived the flight without incident and, in fact, seems to be thriving in this new environment, needing even less time to adjust than me. yet more proof to substantiate the stereotype that sphynxes have as much in common with dogs and monkies as they do cats. then again, i suppose having a new playmate and living ‘toys’ in the form of squirrels on the other side of windows helps him make peace with living somewhere new.
can’t say i’m not enjoying the nature myself, although it’s yet another thing to adjust to after having lived in the most densely populated concrete jungle in the world.
the mental gymnastics that is being in America continues to be as difficult a week post-arrival and– as has been the case in years past– it’s the stark difference between Japan America’s economic & social class systems and poverty lines that is the most immediate and profound shock that is dealt
all of that aside, so far moving to a place that
more to the point of this blog,
a trip to Capitol Hill, Seattle’s
unofficial ‘gay neighborhood’, for a Trans Day of Visibility event at GenPRIDE (a resource center for Seattle’s aging LGBTQIA community) hammered home just how amazing having community(/
while i have no doubt that things are still far from perfect in Seattle, seeing QTPOC activists talk about their activism on a TDOV panel, hearing about the city’s Enby Collective, seeing programming that’s in the works for kindergarten – 12th grade students, being in a physical space with resources and community for LGBTQIA seniors, etc– was a much needed reminder that even as there is no shortage of places in America where none of this exists and something as
and Japan. fucking Japan.
much more so than reverse culture shock, which was to be expected,
Tokyo’s Ni Chome, ie. ‘gay district’, in comparison with Seattle’s Capitol Hill isn’t even comedic in so much as it’s incredibly sobering… even if i have only the most superficial of understanding of what exists in the Seattle area at present, it’s still abundantly clear to me that…
that anger and frustration over the brutality of the disparity between LGBTQIA resources & communities could– just maybe– be transformed into inspiration and motivation to try and actively do something about it…
if i play things just right, maybe.
Sporadic lurker and first time poster here. I know this reply is late in coming, but I enjoyed reading this. I’ve never lived internationally, but as someone who has moved multiple times across the U.S. since the beginning of 2018, I definitely relate to reverse culture shock (moving from Boston where I did grad school *back* to the Bible Belt was a weird jump to say the least). And since I’m now job hunting for the 2nd time (and had to move again as a result) since leaving grad school, reading your contrast on the economic realities of America vs Japan really hit home. I also connect with, in an inverted sort of way, your discontent with the lack of LGBTQ+ resources in Japan and their comparative abundance in certain parts of the States (for clarity, I first discovered that I was aro ace while in the loudly LGBTQ-friendly Boston… only to have to move back to the South).
But I’m glad that you are settling into a place where your prospects are (if I am reading this correctly) looking hopeful.
So, welcome back to America (however little that may be worth).