Shinjiro Atae publicly came out as gay during a fan event at Line Cube Shibuya in Tokyo on Wednesday in front of approximately 2,000 fans.
According to a press release, the 34-year-old Japanese pop star opened up about his sexuality and decision to come out, as well as his hopes to help some fans who are going through a similar situation.
In a recent Instagram post, Atae also wrote a heartfelt message to his fans about coming out, expressing:
“To all my fans, today was a very special day for me. For years, I struggled to accept a part of myself…But now, after all I have been through, I finally have the courage to open up to you about something. I am a gay man.”
He further shared his journey to finally accepting himself and ultimately come out to the world, which had been a challenging process for him.
“It has taken me a long time to be able to say I am gay. I could not even say it to myself. However, I’ve come to realize it is better, both for me, and for the people I care about, including my fans, to live life authentically than to live a life never accepting who I truly am. I hope people who are struggling with the same feeling will find courage and know they are not alone,” the singer-songwriter continued.
He then proceeded on thanking his fans “for standing beside me over the years.” Atae also expressed his gratitude for his family, friends, staff members, and fellow AAA members “for providing me their full support throughout this process.”
You can read his full statement here: