VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Meet Maki Yamazaki, Your New Favourite Nerdy Queer Non-Monogamousaurus

Happy Thursday! Did you wake up today thinking g-d, I really wish I knew more about Britain’s trans folks? Of course you did. Were you specifically looking for a human with great hair and the ability to play more musical instruments than you have piercings in your right ear? Of course you were.

Photograph by Brian Hutchinson

Photograph by Brian Hutchinson

Meet Maki Yamazaki, a games developer, musician and comic artist living in (her words) “the sunny metropolis of Glasgow, Scotland.” You might remember Glasgow from all those times sexy Detective Sergeant Sam Murray (Heather Peace) ran sexily past… things — okay maybe you don’t remember because you were staring at Sam, but. Y’know. You might not quite remember Maki, because she wasn’t there.

WELL SHE’S HERE NOW.

“Part raging workaholic, part non-monogamousaurus, Maki is also queer, trans, grey asexual, genderqueer and thoroughly nerdy.

She enjoys sci-fi, awesome narratives, feminism, peppermint tea and writing biographies in third-person. Playing some twenty five-odd instruments and still finding the time to get a few hours of sleep a night means that it’s possible that she’s actually an elaborate experiment in cloning.

If she ruled the world it would shortly thereafter be taken over by cats.”

IT'S ALREADY STARTING Photograph by Brian Hutchinson

IT’S ALREADY STARTING
Photograph by Brian Hutchinson and CatPaint

Maki’s story is being launched today on this here website as part of Patchwork, a fresh short film series about British transgender lives, produced by All About Trans and Lucky Tooth Films in collaboration with Channel 4. Throughout autumn, 25 short films will be released weekly highlighting the many diverse and brilliant faces of Britain’s trans folks.

Filmmakers Fox Fisher and Lewis Hancox, the queer brains behind Lucky Tooth Films, began making films about trans people after they both met on My Transsexual Summer, which had a massive impact on raising trans awareness and starting a dialogue across the nation. With their passion for film and their personal experience on trans issues, they have gone from strength to strength, creating a powerful platform for life-story telling with people who would have never normally spoken to the media due to fear of misrepresentation. The people they’ve filmed with are models, soldiers, artists, musicians, activists, and psychics and they all just happen to be trans.

And now here’s Maki!

Check out Maki’s work on her website (no, there really doesn’t seem to be anything she doesn’t do), throw her some money on her Patreon funding page, and follow her @doctorcarmilla.

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16 Comments

  1. Okay so, I so I saw the title of this article especially the non-monogomousaurus and thought of one of my best friends (they often use -saurus as part of their screen names). This friend is looking for more representation of themselves in what they consume so I read it and it’s about a genderqueer (check), queer (check), nerdy (check), Asian person (check!)! Awesome! My friend is Japanese so I was thinking, “yeah! And this person has a super Japanese name so they’re probably Japanese but I’d better check first.” It seems like, based on the blurb on her blog she’s not Japanese. She just enjoys Japanese culture. Now I’m kind of hesitating to show my friend because they may feel that there’s cultural appropriation at hand, with the very Japanese name and kimono wearing. Though she is Asian and not white so maybe that’ll lessen the blow. Blah, conflicted.

      • I just realised that that you wrote ‘Japanese […] versus enjoys Japanese culture” – a little clarity might help: I meant ‘speaking/reading/writing Japanese’. I think saying ‘Japanese culture’ as though it were some sort of monolith is quite wrong. Japan can’t be summed up by one, single culture (especially not if you ask an ainu person), and to say that you ‘like Japanese culture’ is like say “Oh, I like Brazilian culture. Japanese culture is not just one thing.

        As I’ve mentioned before, Japanese is my second language, and I love speaking it, I really do. I think english is utterly on of the worst languages to teach people who speak other languages. But you know, Imperialism and it’s evils. English language is confusing, no?

    • Thanks for commenting! I understand your concerns and I have to say, it is something that I think hard about on a regular basis, and it certainly has a lot of scope for cultural appropriation. I am actually part-japanese (part a lot of things actually) and japanese culture has been a strong force in my life since I was very, very young. Japanese is actually my second language, although I am quite sad that I don’t get to speak it as much (not so many people of colour in scotland, would you believe) as I would really like to.

      I’m also find weebo culture really scary and appropriative, and try to avoid it like an incurable plague. As for the kimono, it’s a rare occasion that I wear one (very special occasions, only) and I have discussed this at great lengths with many Japanese people.

      Oh, also, wow! That blog is several years old and potentially embarrassing in so many ways, lol! I thought I’d taken it down, but obviously I must have forgotten to.

      I hope this doesn’t come across as trying to really defensive. I care very deeply about cultural appropriation as it’s something that affects my life quite a bit too (watching a movie with a number people and talking about how problematic it is can be a pretty harrowing experience, for example). Of course, I know I’m possibly preaching to the choir on that point.

      I’m quite happy to discuss this further. Your heart is totally in the right place, and have every right to question what I do. Which is not to say implicitly that you are wrong on some level either. Again, it’s ever a concern for me. Maybe send me an email via my site?

      Maki x

      • Thanks for clarifying! You don’t come off as defensive at all. Given that you’re part-Japanese, you’re actually involved in that part of your heritage, and you’re conscience about cultural appropriation I don’t see any problems. I hope I didn’t make you feel like I was policing your identity. I just wanted to be sure that this awesome person I was reading about wasn’t participating in something really problematic. I really appreciate you responding.

        • No worries, it’s really important to have these conversations. At some point I should really do a blog post about why I chose the name I did. It’s complicated and took me years to decide. x_X

          And it’s nice to meet you! Thanks for the nice words 😀 I hope you enjoy my music/comics/games 🙂

  2. Oh, this is really cool! Looking forward to the documentary.
    Also I was too excited about Maki being from Glasgow. I don’t even live that close, but Scotland’s such a small place, I kind of feel like I’m from ALL of Scotland, y’know? haha

  3. If I can do as many interesting things to prompt a bio that beautifully quirky and perfect, I think I’ll have achieved some kind of superpower because omigod WOW HOW ARE YOU ONLY ONE HUMAN BEING?? That cloning thing sounds more plausible; it’ll give us mere mortals a chance at least!

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