Two women in a couple in Japan will get married 26 times around the world to raise awareness about their lack of rights to do so in their home country.
Misato Kawasaki, 21, and Mayu Otaki, 22, will get married in each country where it’s legal to do so. Kawasaki identifies as a lesbian, while Otaki is pansexual.
It will take the university students six months to complete their global wedding journey. They plan to start in March and hope it shows Japanese people that LGBTI people deserve equal rights.
‘I want to show through our wedding photos that being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) is normal so that those who are troubled by their sexual status can harbor hope,’ Kawasaki told Asahi.
The pair started dating in 2017 after meeting as students at Utsunomiya University’s Faculty of International Studies.
Seven months into their relationship Kawasaki asked Otaki, ‘will you stay with me forever?’
She had wanted to ask ‘will you marry me?’, but couldn’t because same-sex marriage is not recognized in Japan.
Some local governments in Japan certify same-sex partnerships. So, the women plan to also register their relationship in all of them after their overseas wedding journey.
The pair are crowdfunding to cover the expenses of the world trip which will come to about US$18,400 for each of them.
But they hope their stunt will show Japan how other countries have legalized same-sex marriage.
‘We are involved in activities while showing our names and faces so that people will get interested in us,’ Otaki said.
‘We have no reason to conceal (our personal information).’