Saturday, May 27, 2006

Lesbian Confessions of a Japanese Teacher

This is sort of a retro post, I should have posted it in the beginning of the week but I was too busy and tired to do so. So here it is Saturday but I am referring to many things that happened to me this week.

Monday, I had very few classes so I decided to work on some トライやる (Try Yaru {yaru=to do/give}) Week for my students. Every year we do 2 トライやる・ウィーク activities a year. We do one typically in June and on in November. Try Yaru Week is basically a chance for students to get experience in the work force. They work at companies and get experience that should show them a little what life is like to work in the real world.

Well as an English teacher for a public school district we are asked to create an international experience for students using English, activities, and culture. We have to put on a program much like an English camp. They call it a ミニー国際交流(mini international exchange). We have between 30-40 students who come and want to learn about foreign cultures, English, the west etc...

Wikipedia: トライやるウィーク

So anyway I am sitting at one of the workstations at work getting materials ready for トライやるウィークand one of the teachers approaches me. She's always been a very nice lady and I have enjoyed talking to her in the past. She likes learning English but she is not an English teacher.

On that day she had a mischievious look about her. I was wondering what was going on so I asked her, "How are you". Normally I'd get the ingrained reply "I'm fine thank you and you." But this time it went awry, instead of the typical reply I get, "I'm a lesbian". At first I wasn't sure that she'd said what she'd said, so I asked, "What did you say?" To which she said in both English and Japanese "I'm a lesbian."

I sat there for what seemed like days wondering how to respond. It's not every day you are confronted with homosexuality jumping out of the skeleton closet so quickly and without any kind of motivation or prodding. It's like going to meet a friend at a beach that turns out to be nude-only. So I did what I do in most situations where I feel uncomfortable, I embraced it with fierce passion. I gave her a high five and taught her the phrase "Right on." To which she continued to use throughout the day. She's worse than a parrot on steroids.

So you'd expect that conversation to end, with the high-five and all... but no, it went on. She discussed or at least attempted to discuss in her best English why she became a lesbian, who her girlfriend is, and the whole 411. And then, abruptly she slams on the brakes and stares deep into my eyes and says "But I like men too. I really like men." She really stressed "really" to the point of cracking her voice. I don't know what she was hinting at but she knows I am happily married and have no desire whatsoever to shack up with her.

So then I told her that maybe she was not a lesbian, and in fact she might be a bi-sexual. To which she seemed to agree, but then she told me her lover (from Osaka) is a strict lesbian. And then she popped the zit of knowledge all over the place as to why she and her friend/lover *she said both words to describe the person* were lesbians. They both are in their mid-30s and had been married with children. Both of their husbands left them. My co-worker's ex-husband had split on the family to join one of the infamous cult groups in Japan, and I didn't even bother to ask about lover-friend's situation. But it turns out they became lesbian (is this possible?... I always thought it was an all or nothing ordeal) but she says they became lesbians after their divorces.

I would never have thought in a million years that some teacher would approach me with their sexual preferences, ever. And yet she certainly did. I was surprised and have added it down as one of those more than memorable days to keep in the active memory department.


Anonymous said...

Wow! This is hillarious!

Big Booger said...

Rohit, there is more to come soon! Stay tuned!