Becoming the First LGBTQ Judge to Serve on the Hawaii Supreme Court

Transcripts available in the following languages:

  • en

I learned that although in about 77% of white youth come out to their parents, that number is only 51% for Asian Pacific American youth. And I realized why. It's because the Asian-American, Pacific, Asian Pacific American population is not necessarily as accepting of the LGBTQ community. And I think there's various reasons for that. I think part one of the main reasons is that the Asian Pacific American population in the United States tends to be much higher percentage of first or second generation, the first generation actually.

And, you know, I think being in the United States for a while, sometimes it changes things culturally depending on where you are, of course. But when I realized those statistics, I realized how important it was for people like me to be more open. And so when the governor on January 25, 2011, had the press conference, my then partner and our three children were in the audience. It was a very small audience and the media was all there.

And afterwards, one of the media approached the governor's press secretary and asked if I would be willing to speak on record, because the journalist had asked my partner, “Who are you?” And she said, “Oh, I'm her partner”. And the journalist said, “Oh, law partner?” And she said, “Oh, no, partner, partner.” And so the media was like, “Oh, wow.” 

Date: July 14, 2022
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Lana Kobayashi
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

coming out identity LGBTQ

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation