Why I Adopted My Husband

Why I Adopted My Husband cover

I’m glad to see more manga memoirs coming out. Comics is such a great format for nonfiction true-life stories, as they show what happened in such approachable fashion, including the emotional affect. The trend seems to have started with My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness (2017), with more recent examples including Until I Meet My Husband, Until I Love Myself, and Embrace Your Size.

Why I Adopted My Husband by Yuta Yagi is the true story of his relationship (and the first autobiographical manga from Tokyopop). As part of a gay couple in Japan, he can’t get married, so instead, his partner adopts him to create legal family connections, including setting up next of kin for medical care and inheritance.

The book covers how they met, how they’ve stayed together for almost 20 years, why they made this decision, whether to come out to their parents, and the details of their marriage, including wedding rings and their honeymoon. Both Kyota and Yuta are otaku as well, so part of their story is about how gay stereotypes aren’t always accurate. And the drawing style is cute and cartoony, with the two men looking cuddly.

Why I Adopted My Husband cover

I quite enjoyed seeing such an everyday, loving couple explain their life and feelings. These simple stories give a good perception of cultural diversity and show how similar we all are underneath.

There are a few text pages included that explain more about the legal ramifications, as well as an afterword where Yuta writes, “This book was not made with the intention to endorse or promote same-sex marriage.” (Which led to me wondering, why not?) He continues,

“we’ll be happy if you read it and think ‘So these kinds of people exist.’ Kyota and I have chosen to stay closeted, coming out to as few people as possible, but I continue to draw essay comics because I believe there’s meaning in announcing through some sort of media that gay people might exist right next to you…. But to be honest, it’s mostly a chance for me to brag about my love life.”

What an adorable motivation. But I do believe that seeing and sharing these stories, because they’re simply about existence and love, does help with tolerance and acceptance. Which is what makes them so important.

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