Japan monk and makeup artist empowering sexual minorities, celebrating diversity’s beauty


A monk who also works as a makeup artist is celebrating their own sexual diversity and spreading the message in Japan that different is beautiful. Kodo Nishimura, a 31-year-old Jodo sect Buddhist monk from Tokyo, has written an autobiography as a member of sexual minorities including the LGBTQ community, in their recently published book whose title roughly translates to, “Fair and open: I can live as the person I wish to be.” In the book, Nishimura writes, “Being different from others isn’t a bad thing,” and “I won’t hand over the steering wheel to my life to the values of a faceless society.” However, it was only in the last five years that the monk has become able to talk assuredly about their own identity, and they described holding on to feelings of inferiority until then.

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