Shogo Kemmoku, winner of the first Mr. Gay Japan pageant in 2018, surprised the audience at this year’s finals when he proposed to his longtime boyfriend onstage.
Kemmoku popped the question while giving his final speech at the ceremony in Tokyo, where some 150 guests attended Sunday.
Aside from thanking those who supported him throughout his reign, Shogo introduced Geoff, his boyfriend of eight years, to the crowd.
“He didn’t know what was going on because I was only speaking in Japanese, and he doesn’t know much Japanese,” he told Hornet. “Then I looked in his eyes and popped the question.”
A video of the scene shows Shogo proclaiming his love to Geoff before getting on one knee and offering a ring.
“I cannot begin to imagine my life without you. And I’m gonna ask you one question,” he said, drawing cheers from the audience.
To his and everybody’s delight, Geoff said yes!
Shogo said that he never told anyone about his plan to propose, including the organizers of the pageant. However, he decided to pop the question at the venue as it was the same place he had been awarded the title exactly a year ago.
“A year ago, I became first ever MR GAY JAPAN and I have learnt so much from so many people,” Shogo wrote in an Instagram post. “The room was filled with love and support and I couldn’t think any other place than there to pop the question.”
Shogo’s proposal comes as Japan faces the first lawsuits seeking its recognition of same-sex marriages. Thirteen same-sex couples filed such actions simultaneously in February, arguing on the basis of constitutionality, according to The Japan Times.
For now, parts of the country recognize same-sex partnerships, which only guarantee benefits such as life insurance money and family member discounts to certain services.
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