MANGA: Until I Meet My Husband
Until I Meet My Husband – Nanasake Ryousuke & Tsukizuki Yoshi
Based on a famous essay by a Japanese gay activist, this manga tells the story of his life leading from his childhood up to his marriage to his husband.
Until I Meet My Husband is not your usual BL manga. It is an autobiographical story of a Japanese gay activist, Nanasake Ryousuke, based on his book of the same name. It chronicles his daily struggles, first, as a closeted child, later, as an openly gay man in a conservative society that views LGBT people negatively.
This is quite an angsty manga with lots of internal conflict brought about by the way people tend to be cruel to someone who does not conform to typical gender roles. Right from the start Nanasake knew he was different. He was called names because as child, he already exhibited feminine behavior.
There are a lot of painful memories, a lot of unrequited love for oblivious childhood friends and a lot of self-loathing. The pain jumped off the panels. The scene where he came out to his female friends for the first time had such a huge impact. You can really feel this big whoosh of cathartic feelings sweeping through. His friends were awesome in their empathy and support.
The story somehow felt lighter after that coming out, although still not without his fair share of dating woes and bad boyfriends. Nanasake looked back at all of these with a positive mindset and even thanked them for the love and happy memories.
He finally met his husband in one of his usual online hookups. It was probably fate because his name is also Ryousuke but spelled in different kanji characters. You can tell this guy was different because he was serious about pursuing a relationship with marriage in mind. He proposed during the Pride Parade. It took a lot of tries before they got the approval of the government but Nanasake and Ryousuke became the first gay couple to marry in Japan.
The manga has a more mature vibe than the typical BL. It tackled heavy topics but it does gloss over some details that were in the book. Most BL manga are heavily romanticized and unrealistic. So I recommend this to everyone who’s interested in a true to life story of a gay man in Japan.
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