One of Japan’s most influential business women has sent the country’s media into a frenzy after revealing she is in a same-sex relationship.
Kazuyo Katsuma was once named the Wall Street Journal’s list of ‘The 50 Women to Watch’. Earlier this week told the world she was living with a woman.
Katsuma, 49, revealed she had been living with LGBTI activist, Hiroko Masuhara.
Known as ‘Katsumer’ to her many fans, she came through the ranks at companies like, McKinsey and JPMorgan. Katsuma now works an economic commentator. In 2007, she began writing books about balancing motherhood with business, which gained her millions of followers.
Even though she has married twice before and has three children, Katsuma said she has long been attracted to women.
‘I had kept the lid on my feelings of attraction to members of the same sex,’ she told BuzzFeed Japan.
‘After I met Hiroko, the ice in my heart melted,’ she said, adding that she hopes her coming out will ‘trigger a change’ in Japan.
Her partner, Hiroko Masuhara is also no stranger to headlines.
As a very active LGBTI activist, the 40-year-old was part of the first couple in Japan to receive a same-sex partnership certificate. That relationship with Koyuki Higashi has since ended.
Higashi still runs the LGBTI advocacy group, Trois Couleurs, with Masuhara. She congratulated the couple and named them Japan’s ‘first power lesbians’.
LGBTI advocates have celebrated Katsuma’s coming out, labeling it as bold.
‘It must have required enormous courage for her to come out,’ Fumino Sugiyama, co-chair of the Tokyo Rainbow Pride festival told Rappler.
‘(It) would have a great impact on society as she is such an influential person in business circles’.
Even though several wards and municipalities across Japan offer same-sex partnership certificates, the acceptance of LGBTI people in Japan still remains relatively low.
H/T Gay Star News