This is a blog about two people, from two very different countries, making a relationship together—building a family together. While the idea for this blog came in the days following our wedding, our relationship didn’t begin there. It began with a hello, on a website called Gaydar, over 10 years ago. I’d like to start with that beginning and go from there.
In September 2007, I had been living in Japan for three years, had been promoted to a manager at a language school in Tokyo, and felt confident in the expat life I was creating—except for relationships. While I had dated several different guys in those three years, none of them lasted more than a few months, and I seemed to be always searching for someone new.
Like pretty much any gay man since the early 2000s, I often turned to the internet. I don’t remember many of the details of my early conversations with Soji, but I do remember that he was the first to initiate contact, that his pictures made him look really cute, and that he seemed to have a good sense of humor. From his profile, I learned how he was newly returned to Japan after several years in Australia. As our messages continued, I decided that he was someone I definitely wanted to meet in person.
After a couple of weeks, Soji and I finally met up in Harajuku for coffee. Both our choices in fashion are a bit questionable now—I was wearing a turquoise blue polo shirt and Soji was wearing second-hand market clothes. That didn’t seem to matter at the time though, and walking around the streets of Harajuku, the topics of conversation seemed to just keep going on. Coffee turned into dinner, and we sat at a Jonathan’s near Shibuya station for hours telling each other our life stories. Eventually though, the time for last train approaching, I said my goodbyes, promised to meet again, and rode back to my suburban apartment.
I was smitten.