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To completely understand of the history of an oppressed community, we must understand the personal stories of the members of that community. To dig deeper into their stories, the Querying the Past project at the University of Southern Maine collects interviews illuminating the struggle. Specifically, queer people have long struggled to balance their identities in society, overcome discrimination, gain legal rights, and survive disease. This interview with Eric Kawamoto reveals a journey of self-discovery in Chicago, L.A., Boston, and Portland; an intersection between being Asian American and being queer; and survival of AIDS as a result of reserve. Kawamoto places these personal themes among his account of the LGBTQ+ and Asian American communities’ overarching struggles, like the fight for domestic partnership benefits, representation of Asian American gay men, and spreading awareness about Japanese American internment in California.


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Publication Date

Fall 11-25-2018


University of Southern Maine


Portland, ME


LGBTQ, Asian America, Gay, Chicago, Boston, California, Portland, AIDS, George Takei, Internment, Asian stereotypes, Physics, Scientist, Teacher, Dance club, MIT, Music, Unity, Danger, Gay bulletin board, soc.motss, AIDS mourning


History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History | Women's Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Kawamoto, Eric



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