Lugging my coffee and a bottle of water, I dragged myself into work early on a Monday morning in September, just as the air was starting to cool down from the smoldering Tokyo summer.

I checked our English language email from over the weekend, and while sorting through the mountains of spam, two emails in particular caught my eye. First was an order from "bjenerous", and immediately following was an email through our Contact Us form. "bjenerous" gave us a quick self-introduction and asked if we accepted Caucasian models for our web site.

As our offices are located in Japan, most of the people who can come in and see us are necessarily Japanese, but we of course gladly accept models of any color, nationality, or creed. Though, due to our desire to respect people's privacy, we are unable to accept models under 18 years of age.

So, after emailing back and forth over the ensuing weeks, we put together the following interview.


FTM Coverboy: bjenerousHow do you identify?

I identify as a compassionate human who is just yearning to feel at home in my own body for the remainder of my time here on earth. I see myself as neither female nor male... just a blend of both sexes.

What were you like as a child?

I was just a regular kid who loved to play ball. Baseball is my favorite today, but as a child I played anything they would let me play: football, soccer, basketball, and street hockey.

And when did you realize what your identity is, sexual or otherwise?

As long as I can remember, I knew I was different...

Probably at age four, I knew playing the feminine role was not for me. The little girls in the neighborhood wanted to play "house" or play with dolls, and so I had to find something I felt more comfortable doing.

As a young child, I was fortunate enough to play as I wanted. My heart led me to playing all kind of sports with all the other little boys in the neighborhood.

Did this lead to any problems growing up?

At age twelve, when hormones started kicking in for me, my life changed drastically. I started looking more like a girl, and I became very depressed and stopped playing ball with all my guy friends. I just did not fit in anymore.

When secondary female characteristics showed up, I just wanted to hide. I also realized I was attracted to women... and that was not okay where I grew up.

At the core, there's a male entity just screaming to be heard.

Have you come out to anybody?

There are very many people in my life who have written me off as a lesbian. There are a few people in my life who know that, at the core, there's a male entity just screaming to be heard...

He has some growing to do, though.

With some people, it was plain and simple... For others, I've made subtle jokes over time to get them to start thinking on a subconscious level of me as more male.

How has it been going?

Everyone has been fabulously supportive. Others who know say it makes sense. And, of course, there are those watching me from the stands and trying to figure out how I am going to pull this off.

As I got older, I was so very tired of lying to the world and to myself. So much energy went into avoiding social situations because I wasn't happy as I was in the world.

What do you do for work?

I am a surgical RN at a children's hospital.

How do you present at work?

I present as a fun-loving human who gives 110% everyday in taking the best care of the children that need my services.

And how has GID fit in with your professional life?

Great!! The human resource folks accommodated me with my changing room/ bathroom, since we are required to change into scrubs at work.


You mentioned that you are 44, and that you just got diagnosed with GID. What did you do before then?

I did my best to blend. I learned to love myself as a human first.

What was the motivation for you to go in for diagnosis?

NABAY FTM Coverboy: bjenerousI finished a twenty-two year commitment to the U.S. Navy, and it was my time now to be committed to me.

And when were you officially diagnosed with GID?

Officially, last September. Off the record, I knew since I tried shaving my face in the bathroom with my father at age 3.

Was it difficult to accept?

Not at all. It was about time!

Are you currently undergoing any treatment (medical, psychological) for GID?

I started my mental health care last September. I started testosterone about two months ago. I feel so much stronger, both mentally and physically.

How far to you plan to go with your transition?

I plan to have chest reconstruction done in the future. The rest is still to be determined.

Are there any reasons you may have considered for not transitioning?

Not wanting to disappoint my parents and immediate family. They both would probably blame themselves for my need to transition.


Do you currently have a partner, spouse, or significant other?

I have a special someone in my life who acts as a cheerleader and significant catalyst, and who has really pushed me to open the door to a new me.

I feel so much stronger, both mentally and physically.

How does GID fit in with your love life?

This part of my life always seems to be under construction. Right now, as I am really heading into the transition stage, my love life is on hold. Most of us want to be in love, but at this point in my life, I am just learning who I am all over again. In time, I will be in a place to offer my heart to someone.

Although you are in what many could say is a difficult period in your life (beginning your transition, etc), the way you speak exudes a sense of inner peace and contentment. What's your secret? How do you maintain your serenity?

I have learned to live a balanced life of work and fun. I meditate, read, and take the time to go inside when the outside is too much for me.

Do you have anything you'd like to say to anyone currently coping with GID?

BE Yourself...
BE Whatever...
And then BE Happy with whatever you have chosen.

And finally, if you could express your life in a single word, what would it be?


Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. The warmth and compassion in your answers could be felt even by the non-english speaking members of our staff.

We hope that, as the chill of winter settles in, everyone out there can take comfort with bjenerous's warm and peaceful thoughts.

We'd like to hear your inspiring life stories and how you've managed to live and love as a transman.

If you feel inspired to tell your story, just contact us here and we can set up an interview with you, either in person or through email.