New Documentary! Hawaiian Values Differ From Western Traditions...
IN A WORLD THAT PUNISHES GENDER NONCONFORMITY, IMAGINE A PLACE WHERE A LITTLE BOY CAN GROW UP TO BE THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS, AND A LITTLE GIRL CAN RISE TO BECOME A LEADER OF YOUNG MEN. WELCOME TO KUMU HINA'S HAWAI'I. A new documentary by Emmy Award-winning directors Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson produced in association with Pacific Islanders in Communications and ITVS.
Words From the Directors...
Just two years ago, we began the making of KUMU HINA, a film about Hina Wong-Kalu, an extraordinary Native Hawaiian teacher, or kumu, and cultural leader who happens to be mahu, the Hawaiian term for those who embrace both masculine and feminine traits.
The experience was magical, capturing the ups and downs of Hinaʻs first-year of marriage to an unpredictable Tongan man and her inspiring mentorship of a young girl whose dream was to lead their schoolʻs all-male hula troupe.
The result is a provocative and inspiring glimpse of a Hawai'i rarely seen by outsiders, and a land in which there is unconditional acceptance and respect for all -- what Kumu Hina calls "the true meaning of aloha."
As the filmʻs 2014 world premiere approaches (to be announced soon), weʻre also getting ready to launch a dynamic engagement campaign to share Kumu Hinaʻs message with the world!
A hint of just how powerful this experience will be occurred over the past few weeks amidst Hawai'i's contentious debate over marriage equality.
As opponents and supporters fought tooth and nail, Kumu Hina published an Op-Ed in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that profoundly changed the discourse. Rather than make arguments from a Western mindset, she offered an historical perspective on gender and sexuality in Hawai'i that opened the door to what State Senator Gil Kahele called in an extraordinary speech on the Senate floor, "a full and honest renaissance of pre-Christian Hawai'iʻs history."
As the legislative battle continued, Kumu Hina became a prominent symbol of hope, and helped position Hawaiian culture as the guiding force for progress and unity in the islands. Upon passage of the Marriage Equality Act, Gov. Neil Abercrombie invited her to deliver the opening chant at the Signing Ceremony, where there was not a dry eye in the house.
A few highlights from these events are included here, a sign of whatʻs to come with the KUMU HINA film and campaign in the year ahead. We hope youʻll join us on the journey.
Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer, KUMU HINA Producers/Directors
Qwaves Films | P.O. Box 688 | Haleiwa, HI 96712
Last Updated on Friday, 22 November 2013 10:20
Being the co-founder of RainbowWeddingNetwork.com, I have had the opportunity to write in many different styles and capacities. From administrative documents, to articles for RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine, even the non-fiction book "My Dangerous Commute" which outlines our experiences this past 13 years in the LGBT Wedding Industry.
However, writing fiction is my forte, and my passion. So I have to share that I've recently self-published one of my novels, entitled "The Locket." I invite you to check out my website for further info, and to consider downloading the book or purchasing a print copy.
One of the reasons I mention it, is because the main character, Abbey Taft, happens to be bisexual. How many works of literature can we think of in which this is the case?
Over the years, I have found it obvious that there are many important paths to a higher degree of legitimization for our minority in modern American culture. These include depictions of LGBT characters on television shows, endorsement of LGBT issues by popular celebrities and political figures, musicians and sports figures coming out as gay or lesbian... etc. And of course it includes serious works of literature that also depict LGBT characters.
So again, please check out my website for further info. I think you'll enjoy the book!
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 17:05
I remember being made fun of as a young teen, because of how masculine I was. Many people couldn't even figure out if I was a boy or a girl, and that really threw them for a loop; often to heated anger. A strange thing. There were many reasons I seemed so boyish, and some of them had to do with the fact that later I realized I'm bisexual... but mostly the fact was that the way I presented myself was right for me. It was who I was; it was how I wanted to wear my hair/my clothes and how I wanted to behave. I didn't understand why people had to categorize themselves as male or female, masculine or feminine. I honestly thought that it was best for us just to express ourselves honestly, as long as that didn't interfere with anyone else's self-expression.
Well, I'm reminded of this in part because of the recent press release I received. Thought I would share. I believe you can visit the website and get involved with the project, if you'd like. All the best to everyone, with your own coming out journeys, and your own ongoing quest for authentic self-expression.
PRESS RELEASE: The Worst Thing About Coming Out
Rob Barracano is a professor of digital filmmaking at Champlain College and has written horror films for Hollywood and also done TV work. http://www.champlain.edu/academics/our-faculty/barracano-robert
One of his projects with Champlain film students is a web site/turned documentary called “The Worst Thing About Coming Out,” stories of gay, lesbian and trans individuals of all ages about their decision to come out and how they felt about it
http://www.worstthingaboutcomingout.com/. On Friday, Oct. 11, which is National Coming Out Day, a documentary Rob and students made about the project will premiere at the Vermont International Film Festival. I have students who were involved who could be interviewed. Below is more info:
On Friday, 11 October, National Coming Out Day, there will be a panel discussion on identity:
SELF IDENTITY + "HOME:" Our Selves in Community.
"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." William Shakespeare and the official premier of the documentary, "The Worst Thing About Coming Out." Both events are part of the Vermont International Film Festival and on the festival's opening day. They are free.
Screening 2:30 pm
Panel Discussion 3:30 pm
at Film House
Third Floor of the Lake and College Building, at Sixty Lake Street, in Burlington, Vermont
Dr. Ame Lambert and Eric Ronis of Champlain College, and Dr. Kim Fountain of RU12, will sit on the panel along with guests from the documentary and other community representatives.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:07
TWO SPIRITS, ONE HEART
A Mother, Her Transgender Son, and Their Journey to Love and Acceptance
A memoir by: Marsha Aizumi with Aiden Aizumi
“Marsha shares her journey from fear and uncertainty to acceptance, support, and unconditional love of Aiden as he reconciled his gender identity…I recommend their co-written memoir Two Spirits, One Heart.”—George Takei
In the first book of its kind, mother, educator, and LGBT activist Marsha Aizumi shares her compelling story of parenting a young woman who came out as a lesbian, then transitioned to male. Two Spirits, One Heart chronicles Marsha's personal journey from fear, uncertainty, and sadness to eventual unconditional love, acceptance, and support of her child who struggled to reconcile his gender identity. Told with honesty and warmth, this book is a must-read for parents and loved ones of LGBT individuals everywhere.
“I love this book so much,” says Magnus Books editorial director Don Weise. “When I first read the Two Spirits, One Heart, I was struck immediately by Marsha’s honesty and unconditional love for her son. Despite all the challenges she saw along the way—and there were many, including some that put her to the test—her devotion to Aiden’s well being never wavered. I also saw in her book a story being told for the first time, something I’d not heard much about before even in the LGBT media. Reading this memoir, I often thought about my own mother and parents of LGBT people everywhere, how essential Marsha and Aiden’s story is for all of us to read.”
Marsha Aizumi is an educator, motivational speaker, and advocate for the LGBT community. She serves on the National Board of Directors of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). You can visit Marsha online at www.marshaaizumi.com. Aiden Takeo Aizumi is a committed activist for LGBT rights. In 2010, he was honored as a youth leader with the Paul A. Anderson award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. He currently serves on the PFLAG National Transgender Gender Non-conforming Advisory Council. Aiden is also pursuing a bachelor's degree in education.
“Marsha and Aiden’s moving story of confronting and overcoming fear—and of the love and deeper bond that emerge between a mother and her son because of that profound journey—shows how all families can accept each other’s humanity. I was deeply inspired by the honesty, awareness, and healing found in these pages.”
—Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Further info on ordering is available through the author's website:
Last Updated on Monday, 23 September 2013 10:48
Heartfelt post by longtime RainbowWeddingNetwork supporter, and enthused LGBT advocate, Rev. Jan Carter! Thanks Rev. Jan, for all you do in the Greater Seattle area on behalf of LGBT couples!
Much has been written lately about same-sex marriage as more and more states are making it legal and the Supreme Court has struck down part of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman).
I have been honored to officiate at several same-sex weddings since they became legal in Washington State in December 2012. A wedding is such a wonderful occasion, filled with hopes, dreams, and excitement. Same-sex weddings are particularly precious since they have been made possible by the recent passage of marriage equality for all couples in the State of Washington.
I find a special joy in officiating at same-sex weddings. It took only one such wedding for me to experience and understand the intense joy and appreciation that same-sex couples have when marrying.
These are couples who, for many years, never thought they would see the day they could be open about who they are and be able to declare and show their love for one another. These are couples who have had to face discrimination just because they love differently. These are couples who, as they dated and fell in love, never thought they would see the day that they could marry their beloved. It is a moving and humbling experience to be able to make those dreams become a reality.
Before same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington, same-sex couples could register as domestic partners. But this does not convey the same meaning – the same depth of feelings and commitment - that being able to call someone your husband or wife conveys. Marriage takes away the ambiguity of the relationship because everyone understands what calling someone your husband or wife means. Many same-sex couples have found that after getting married, people have treated them with more respect and that they find marriage provides a huge relief. Marriage has given them more security and has taken away a lot of previous worries.
"On your wedding day, your dreams are finally coming true.
We are here today to celebrate the great love
that you have for each other,
and to recognize and witness the ability for you
to finally be able to journey forward in your lives together
as marriage partners.
As your hearts and lives are already united together in love,
so shall you finally be legally united in marriage
from this day forward."
Same-sex couples can finally and fully experience the words from the Benediction of the Apaches, "Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you."
By Rev. Jan Carter
Serving the Greater Seattle/Tacoma Area (all of King and Pierce Counties)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 15:46