Thousands Turn Out For Start Of Tokyo Rainbow Week

Nearly 12, 000 people marched in Tokyo on Sunday as part of a celebration for the launch of  Tokyo Rainbow Week, the capital city’s official celebration of the LGBT community.

While a gay pride parade has been held in the Harajuku district for some years, this is the first time a week of activities has been planned around it. (The festivities—which include parties, lectures and dinners—run through May 6.) “This is our first attempt to link up with many groups” in the LGBT community, says organizer Hiroko Masuhara. “The parade is a symbolic event in the Tokyo Rainbow Week program.”

Hiroko and her partner, Koyuki Higashi, made headlines in March when they married at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Alas, Japan doesn’t currently recognize same-sex marriage, so their union was more symbolic than anything else.