“Before coming out to my friends, I was very confused. Not knowing what to expect, especially how my friends would react, held me back. With my family, it’s different because it may hurt them, upset them, or make them worry about my future. Fortunately, a friend of mine in Hong Kong came out to me first, which gave me the courage and inspiration to do the same. Even now, I appreciate how much he trusted me. So after a few months in deep thought, I started to come out to my close friends in Hong Kong and Japan. Then later on to my co-workers. Turns out my friends were very supportive. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. That was seven years ago.
“Today, I’m part of my company’s LGBT ally community. Its purpose is to foster a comfortable environment for all employees so that they can be themselves without fear of being judged. This can help everyone reach their full potential at work. They know they’re safe, they can talk about anything, and they won’t be discriminated against. It’s a long way to go, especially in our Tokyo office, where some people still aren’t aware of its existence. Some think it’s got nothing to do with them, but I want to raise this community’s visibility so that anyone who wants to be supported can get together with people who will accept them for who they are. They’ll know where to go and whom to turn to in times of need.”