Yuji Mitsuya, an experienced voice actor in Japan, came out as gay on a TV show on January 12th. He is well known for anime characters such as Tatsuya Uesugi in Touch, Hyoma Aoi in Combattler V, Tongari in Kiteretsu Daihyakka, and Virgo Shaka in SAINT SEIYA,
He kept dodging the subject by saying “I’m in the gray zone” for so long every time people asked whether he was gay or not. One of the cast on the show asked him why he stayed in the closet. “I have a brother and I wanted to wait for his retirement because I thought he would have got some troubles if I had come out before that. He retired from his job last year, so I thought this is the right moment.” He answered. “Everyone around me knows that I am gay, but I have never said I’m gay in public. If someone asks, I will say I’m gay.”
“What? No gray zone for Yuji Mitsuya?” “That’s a load off his mind!” “Well, I already knew he was gay.” After the TV show aired on cable, people were talking about his coming out on the Internet.
The gay community in Japan is also supportive of his coming out. A gay guy said “He couldn’t come out as gay because he was worried about causing troubles to his brother. That means he carried a big load on his shoulder for long. I am happy for him now.”
Hiroki Narimiya, a former actor, sadly quitted his job after a series of forceful outings by mass media last year. It is still difficult for TV actors to openly come out as gay in Japan. So, it has a great impact on the Japanese TV industry that an experienced voice actor, who has big power and influence like Mr. Mitsuya, openly came out as gay. His coming out story will be a big breakthrough for Japan.