Tokyo’s Rainbow Pride parade is always a sight to behold – and this year smashed all expectations.
A record 6,000 people attended the event yesterday, in the Shibuya district of the Japanese capital.
The parade, which has taken place every year since 2012, was given the theme “Change” this year, and 23 floats did their best to capture this message.
In March, for the first time, the country legislated to protect against bullying based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The country has also seen its first trans man elected into public office, as Tomoya Hosoda was voted in as a councillor in the city of Iruma.
A city in Japan became the first to recognise a first same-sex couple as foster parents, with the gay couple in Osaka officially fostering a teenage boy.
And also in March, it was announced that two million more people will be able to have their LGBT relationships legally recognised from June.
But same-sex marriage is still not legal in Japan, and children are not taught about LGBT issues in school.
Flyers handed out at the event quoted an anonymous person saying: “I believed that nothing would change.
“But, little by little, things are starting to change.
“Let’s achieve a future where everyone is respected as an individual, despite differences in sexuality.”
As well as record attendance, the parade also attracted more sponsorship than ever, with 190 companies putting their names to the event.
These firms included international heavyweights like Yahoo, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Accenture and Gap.
And the pictures were fantastic.
Just people loving one another…
…with no judgement
Not even a little bit.
Japan doesn’t yet have same-sex marriage
And that’s exactly what these folks are trying to…
You guessed it…
It was a glorious sight to see
Just happy people, speaking up for equality
Coming out in droves to support LGBT rights
As it should be.