My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame
My Brother’s Husband is just the cutest darn thing. It’s an all ages manga that I would strongly recommend for families as well as adults who just love feel good stories.
It’s about a Japanese man, Yaichi, who’s twin brother passed away recently. The brother’s husband, a big hairy Canadian man named Mike, comes to visit Yaichi and his daughter Kana in Japan. They had never met before but Mike had made a promise to his late husband that he would meet his family and he aims to make good on that promise now.
Yaichi deals with an internal homophobia ingrained deeply by his culture and upbringing. Kana does not have such weakness. Not yet having been exposed to prejudice she quickly accepts Mike as the exotic foreigner and brags about him to anyone who will listen.
Throughout the manga Yaichi starts to see Mike get discriminated against and begins to understand how wrong that is. A parent at Kana’s school doesn’t want her child spending time at their house anymore, a teacher at the school doesn’t let Mike on to the property, events like these start challenging Yaichi’s previously held reservations about gay people.
As he grows his own mindset he is able to teach Kana valuable lessons about prejudice of all kinds. They see a pair of tattooed men refused access to the gym just because of their markings and he explains to Kana how, although that is the traditional Japanese way, maybe it’s outdated and cruel by today’s standards. Social evolution is possible!
My Brother’s Husband demonstrates how children are not born with hate towards others, it has to be taught. Kana loves Mike because he is her Uncle, she doesn’t even consider that his being gay would be a reason to dislike him. She likes that he’s big, friendly, covered in fur, and likes the same foods she likes. Why should she ever think anything else?
Mike is never fully accepted by all the adults of the community but he is able to secretly mentor some of the closeted gays. An older student seeks him out and is grateful for somebody to talk to. An old high school classmate of Yaichi’s also takes solace in having a gay person to be open with, even if they never plan on coming out publicly.
The manga focuses on the power of acceptance on the individual level. No one can change a society overnight but they may be able to change a few people’s minds.
I have a huge soft spot for gentle giants and men who oppose toxic masculinity. Mike is everything to me, a big cuddly teddy bear and I love him. My Brother’s Husband had me smiling from ear to ear the whole way through.
This book will be heartwarming to those who already have love in their hearts but may also help those who struggle with the LGBTQ community see that there is nothing to be afraid of. This is the perfect read for families with middle grade aged kids who may be seeing this kind of prejudice for the first time.
5/5 bears 🧸🧸🧸🧸🧸
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For more great manga check out Kaiju Girl