During a sheltered upbringing in a Buddhist temple in Tokyo, gay Japanese monk Kodo Nishimura kept his sexuality a closely guarded secret, while also concealing his burgeoning love of makeup.

Nowadays, Nishimura blends religious duties with work as a makeup artist, making him an unusual figure in socially conservative Japan, where same-sex marriage remains illegal and being openly gay is largely taboo.

The 31-year-old said his eventual decision to come out had been the "best weapon" to challenge homophobia, and he now hopes his autobiography will inspire more LGBTQ people in his country to openly embrace their sexual identity.