In Japan, coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community is still complicated. But change may be on the horizon as more people feel empowered thanks to announcements by celebrities.

Pop star Shinjiro Atae from J-pop group AAA came out publicly as being gay at a fan event in Tokyo late last week, attracting attention both in Japan and overseas.

While this is not the first time a celebrity has disclosed their sexuality, Atae’s announcement has given encouragement to many, given his popularity among young people, said Maki Muraki, the director of Nijiro Diversity, a nonprofit organization that works to support and protect sexual minorities.