An entire generation of queer nerds grew up playing the Kingdom Hearts games, and now we know the singer of those games’ theme songs, Hikaru Utada, is one of us!
Utada, one of the most successful pop singers in Japan in the late '90s and '00s who became internationally famous for singing the theme songs to Kingdom Hearts video games like the iconic "Simple and Clean," came out as nonbinary in a recent livestream.
Their album First Love became the country’s best-selling album of all time, and they have several chart-topping singles and million-selling albums. They are considered one of the most influential pop singers in Japan, with over 37 million records sold.
They first shared the news in a June 18 Instagram post where they showed a piece of paper they had signed as "Mys. Utada," short for "mystery." (Honestly, this is a galaxy brain idea for a prefix!)
"I’m sick of being asked if I’m 'Miss or Missus' or choosing between 'Miss/Mrs/Ms' for everyday things," the singer wrote on her post. "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. Every time, I feel like I’m forced to misrepresent myself. I long for an alternative option, one that anybody of any gender or social standing could use."
They also acknowledged that others have come up with other gender-neutral prefixes. "…After writing thus far I looked it up and discovered that 'Mx.' (pronounced as 'mix') has been suggested! That’s awesome and I hope it becomes more widely used. I’m afraid my idea for a neutral prefix has come too late…"
But honestly, Mys. is such a brilliant idea for a prefix, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes the nonbinary world by storm.
They also clarified their identity in a livestream on June 26, when they said "It’s the month of June, and I’m non-binary, so happy Pride Month!"
This is especially big news for nonbinary Japanese people. With Utada coming out, Japanese news channels have been doing explainers on what nonbinary identities are, raising awareness in the country.
Congratulations to Mys. Utada, we’ll play some Kingdom Hearts in your honor this week!