Japanese pop star Shinjiro Atae has come out as gay.

The 34-year-old singer-songwriter-actor-model made the announcement during a fan event attended by approximately 2,000 people in Tokyo, Japan.

In an Instagram post after the event, Atae told followers that today had been “a very special day.”

“For years, I struggled to accept a part of myself...But now, after all I have been through, I finally have the courage to open up to you about something. I am a gay man,” he wrote.

“It has taken me a long time to be able to say I am gay,” he continued. “I could not even say it to myself. However, I’ve come to realize it is better, both for me, and for the people I care about, including my fans, to live life authentically than to live a life never accepting who I truly am. I hope people who are struggling with the same feeling will find courage and know they are not alone.”

“When I think of my work in the entertainment industry and the many things for which I am grateful, it is my relationship with my fans that first comes to mind. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for standing beside me over the years. I’d also like to thank my family, friends, staff members and my fellow AAA members for providing me their full support throughout this process,” he said, referring to the co-ed group AAA.

Response to his post was positive, with one person saying, “So proud of you Shin. Keep on being the amazing you that you are!”