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  • Writer's pictureWomEnpowered International

Event Report: Evolving Love

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

On March 16th, we held a panel discussion talking about the documentary film "It's just our family. The lively discussion focused on the journey of Elin, a linguistics professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, who 2 years ago registered her female identity in the U.S. as part of her gender transition process, and the film which captures that journey, directed by Ameya.

Watch the film trailer here:

At the beginning of the event, Ameya and Elin revealed the trust that developed between them in the process of capturing the intimate bond and personal space of Elin and her family. Of course, not all that was captured made it to the final cut. Ameya and Elin offered very intriguing insight behind the decision of what should be released and what not.

An important point that Elin highlighted in the conversation is that her story is not a representation of every trans person story in Japan. Indeed, she recognizes that her case is somewhat different in terms of her background, nationality, profession.

The conversation touched upon a variety of topics:

  • Elin, as a linguist and an academic, shared her thoughts on the meaning of terms such as 'father' and 'mother';

  • Ameya pinpointed the importance of intersectional thinking, connecting different forms of discrimination based on sex and race and reminded the essential need we all have to feel relevant in our communities;

  • They highlighted the importance to not be hesitant to participate in the conversation challenging the concepts of love, marriage, family. Although the topic can be sensitive, we must open to make mistakes and be as graceful as possible while we still engage in the conversation.

Elin and Ameya were asked to share their call to action with the audience:

1. Say something, do something - things will change

In Elin's perspective, it is crucial to raise our voice when something feels wrong. Silence can preserve social norms that no longer serve us. Often social norms are naturalized and taken for granted, but they can change, social attitudes can change. For that to happen, we need to act in situations where we observe unfairness.

2. Individual, community, corporate - where do you care to change

Ameya underlined that we have the power to change the status quo on different levels: as individuals, as participants in our communities, and most importantly in the capitalist society we live in - as a driving force in our corporations.

Watch the full discussion:

We hope you enjoyed the event!

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