My Brother’s Husband – An Instructional Guide to Being an Ally

Back when Ryan Lewis and Macklemore were writing the songs for their album The Heist, Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) was having a hard time coming up with the lyrics for “Same Love.”  He finally decided on an idea of telling the story from a gay individual’s perspective. However, when he showed this to Ryan Lewis, Ryan shot it down immediately.  He stated to Ben that there was no authenticity behind these words, and that if he really wanted to make an impact, he should tell it from his perspective. Ben rewrote the song with this in mind, taking his own perspective and feelings of support for the gay community and translating them musically.  The song went on to be an anthem for the gay community and a banner for allies to rally under as they pushed harder to finally enact legal gay marriage in the United States.

As someone who likes to write in his free time, I always suffer trying to find how to write characters that aren’t the same background as me, whether it’s a different ethnicity or a different sexuality.  To be honest, it genuinely is an impossible thing to try and do this by myself. I can’t understand the struggle or the abuse people have gone through for being gay because I’m just not. That is why I always talk to those around me from these backgrounds in order to help me understand on some scale, and then constantly keep the conversation going as I write.  Any writer who is gay would far better be able to detail how that feels than me, and we should encourage them to write those feelings.  However, for those of us that are allies, I feel that if we want to express these types of characters in the stories we tell, we have to make damn sure we do it right.

That is why I love My Brother’s Husband as a series.  This short but endearingly sweet manga very much acts as an instructional guide for the ways allies can help and make the best of being the support class in the Equality Squad.  Gengoroh Tagame in this manga shows people, such as myself, how to be that ally that the gay community needs, how to accept them and work with them to make a better place.

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Doom Patrol – My Love of Weird

It’s been a bit but I wanted to make a piece.  Partially because of the extreme guilt of not being vocal and sharing with you guys who have supported us but also because I’m trying to turn that guilt into something really beautiful, if I can. So, I’ll do what I do best:

Here’s a gush piece.

DC recently decided to wall off a lot of their content on their own streaming platform called DC Universe, possibly because they saw Disney do the same with Marvel.  Now, granted, I’m sure that there are some benefits for doing this. For instance, with a branch specifically for assisting shows to get created, there are some things that may not have had the money or chance otherwise.  That said, it really sucks for a lot of people because there’s no reason to pay for another service that you’ll probably check out once every blue moon.

Well let me tell you about how freaking blue that moon is for me right now.

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Picks of the Month – Mousou Telepathy

Mousou Telepathy is a story that takes a look at what having a super power most consider cool would really be like of it came with no off button.  Ayako Nakano is a student in high school who ever since she could remember has been able to see other people’s thoughts. However, after being called creepy by her mother when she was very little, she’s always kept this to herself.  Unfortunately, this becomes harder to hide when a seemingly stoic popular boy in her class with a very overactive imagination falls madly in love with her, constantly thinking about her throughout the school day.

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Picks of the Month – My Brother’s Husband

This is genuinely one of the most heart-warming things I’ve read in awhile.  My Brother’s Husband is a multiple award-winning story about a single father, Yaichi, living in Japan.  His twin brother Ryoji, had moved to Canada and there found love and legally married his fiancé. However, after ten years living abroad, Ryoji suddenly died.  Now, a month has passed and suddenly, Ryoji’s husband, Mike, has decided to come to visit Japan to learn more about his husband and his family that he never got a chance to meet.  While living with them, Mike helps to change the lives of our main character Yaichi and his daughter, helping them to not only come to terms with his brother’s passing, but also his own biases that didn’t allow Yaichi to fully accept his brother.

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Pick of the Month – Gokushufudou: The Way of the House Husband.

I feel Gokushufudou works for the same reason of why I love Leslie Nelson’s brand of comedic movies.  It’s a very serious character in a completely out of tone situation. Our main character, Tatsu, is an ex-yakuza who left all of the gang violence behind to completely support his wife in her work by taking care of their house.  However, even with the smallest chores of cleaning the bath or doing the dishes, he treats it with the same horrifying and meticulous seriousness of a gang-sanctioned killing.

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Pick of the Month – Satoko & Nada

Okay, this one… This one right here?  Delightful.

Satoko & Nada is a simple series about two young women finding themselves as roommates in University and exploring each other’s cultures.  Satoko is a Japanese exchange student to America who finds her expectations for her roommate are very unlike what she initially thought when she meets Nada, another exchange student who comes from Saudi Arabia.  However, the two find themselves as incredibly fast friends and, for the benefit of this manga, very open and accepting about sharing their cultures with each other.

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3D Kanojo 5 + 6 – All Aboard the Misunderstandings Train

Given how it works within the romcom genre of anime, 3D Kanojo is an odd show to begin with. It eschews a number of tropes that make so many of the romantic plotlines in those series feel contrived and samey through how it approaches the awkwardness and insecurities of new romance, and in turn makes its characters feel surprisingly relatable. As we reach the midpoint of the season, however, things seem to have gotten a bit muddied in terms of some of the show’s strong track record out of the gate. While episodes 5 + 6 do have their fair share of heartfelt moments that get to the core of what makes this show so good (in my view), it definitely suffers in terms of a few pretty important story plotlines and character-building moments.

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