It’s a cliché that you don’t come out once, but you come out several times, sometimes to the same person, sometimes even to yourself. It’s also a cliché that as part of the coming out story, you report that you “have known since I was…”, and give an age. In my research career I have conducted a lot of long semi- or unstructured interviews with people about their life histories.
Not long after I moved to Japan in late 2003, the research centre that I had joined started planning overseas business trips to exchange information. At the time I didn’t realize just how research budgets work—and fortunately I wasn’t in charge of them—but the Centre paid for several of us researchers to go to the United States in early 2004. The very idea of going to the USA to me