• Kyodo

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Legislator Kanako Otsuji, a member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly, faced reporters Friday and declared she is a lesbian and is publishing an autobiography that centers on her quest for sexual identity.

When she ran for election for the 112-seat prefectural assembly in April 2003, Otsuji, 30, didn’t reveal her sexuality to the public because she was unsure she could win understanding in a prefecture with 8.84 million people.

After two years, however, she decided to come out because “I don’t want children troubled by being homosexual experiencing the same (hardships).”

In her book “Coming Out — Jibunrashisa wo Mitsukeru Tabi (“A Journey for Finding Your True Self”), published by Kodansha Ltd., she says she realized she was homosexual when she fell in love with a woman at age 23, but she had a hard time because she could not tell her parents or close friends.

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