Japanese-American pop superstar Hikaru Utada has come out as non-binary.
Utada rose to fame after the release of their debut album First Love in 1999 which was a massive commercial success.
In the decades since, the R&B and pop singer has released several chart-topping albums, and they also recorded four theme songs for the internationally popular Kingdom Hearts video game franchise.
During the live stream, Utada also shared that their “best friend” – a giant teddy bear known as Kuma – is a “boy”, and “he is gay“.
The pop star has received praise from fans across the world and on social media for their bravery in coming out as non-binary.
Earlier this month, Utada also opened up about gender markers on Instagram and how traditional gendered and marital prefixes makes them “uncomfortable”.
The “Simple and Clean” singer said that they are “sick of being asked” if they are “Miss or Missus” or having to choose between “Miss/Mrs/Ms” for “everyday things”.
“It makes me uncomfortable to be identified so markedly by my marital status or sex, and I don’t relate to any of those prefixes,” Utada explained. “Every time, I feel like I’m forced to misrepresent myself.”
Instead, they said they “long for an alternative option” that “anybody of any gender or social standing could use”. As such, Utada said they “discovered” Mx, which they said is “awesome” and hopes “becomes more widely used”.
“I’m afraid my idea for a neutral prefix has come too late,” they said.
The caption accompanied an image of handwriting on a piece of paper. The “One Last Kiss” singer wrote “Mys Utada (‘Mystery’ Utada)”.
Utada has hinted that they were part of the LGBT+ community for many years now. In 2016, the singer responded to a fan who questioned if their song “Tomodachi” – which is about a gay person falling in love their straight friend – was “a bit of a stereotype of gay people”.
But, in a beautiful mic drop moment, Utada simply responded: “What makes you think I’m ‘straight’?”
Utada appeared on the live stream with Neon Genesis Evangelion director Hideaki Anno.
Their song “One Last Kiss” is the theme song for the film Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time, which is part of the popular sci-fi anime franchise Neon Genesis Evangelion.