J-Pop Artist Shinjiro Atae Comes Out as Gay

Shinjiro Atae
Nina Menconi

The singer made the reveal during a fan event in Tokyo.

Shinjiro Atae is opening up about his sexuality. During a fan event in Tokyo earlier this month, the 34-year-old J-pop star told the over 2,000 attendees, "I am gay."

During his speech, which was met with boisterous applause from the gathered fans, Atae revealed why he decided to publicly reveal his sexuality, shared insight into his journey to self-acceptance, and provided resources for others going through the same thing.

In an Instagram post after his reveal, Atae reflected on his decision to come out.

"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 wrote. "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," Atae continued. "I hope people who are struggling with the same feeling will find courage and know they are not alone."

Atae noted that he held the event because he "wanted to tell as many of you as possible directly."

"When I think of my work in the entertainment industry and the many things for which I am grateful, it is my relationship with my fans that first comes to mind," he wrote. "I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for standing beside me over the years. I'd also like to thank my family, friends, staff members and my fellow AAA members for providing me their full support throughout this process."

Atae additionally debuted a new song, "Into the Light," which he co-wrote with Wrabel and Afterhrs. A portion of the proceeds from the track will be donated to Pride House Tokyo and ReBit.

For the song's music video, Atae worked with director Tsubasa Maruno to provide a beautiful juxtaposition between the darkness and loneliness he has felt throughout the course of his life and the relief he has experienced by finally coming to a place of acceptance.

In addition to the new song and video, Atae revealed that he's teaming up with Peter Farrelly and Fisher Stevens for a forthcoming documentary about his life, which will be directed by Carlie Mantilla-Jordan and John Eliot Jordan.

Atae started his career in 2005 after an open casting call. Out of 20,000 boys, he was one of five chosen to be a member of the group AAA. Since then, he's had eight albums in the top 10 of Billboard's Japan Top Albums Chart.

Atae is also a writer, having released the book Every Life Is Correct, But Incorrect last year. The book, which focuses on Atae's own personal struggles over the years, quickly became a best-selling book on mental health in Japan.