Hayato: The Beginning

Hayato was a pretty small guy who came into our shop one day and started discussing human rights.

His friendly smile and rich emotion made you instantly like him. He was pushing forty, but he looked several years younger than that.

We mentioned this to him.

"Oh, that's because, a long time ago, I used to be a girl..." he laughed.

That's when we first learned that Hayato is a female to male transsexual.

It would be pretty safe to say that Hayato passes completely. Or, at least, three of our staff members had no idea at all. He sometimes has a bit of an androgynous manner to him, but not at all feminine.

We thought perhaps he was just a gay man.

And so he told us his life story.

...From 30...

Hayato only realized he was a man after he had turned 30. He lived as a woman, even married a man. But when he realized who he really was, he had to express himself, leading to divorce.

"I can laugh about it all now," he said when we asked about his late recognition.

With today's easy access to information, it certainly is a lot easier to recognize whether one is a transsexual while still in high school or even junior high. But if you think about the Japan of 20 years ago, the idea of transsexuality really didn't exist.

Even though Hayato recognized himself after 30, he must have been extremely happy.

After continuing therapy for several years, Hayato began his life as a man. He looked like a man. But he still had a woman's voice, causing problems at work when customers on the telephone would say things like "I just talked to a woman a minute ago..."

So, in addition to being under a doctor's supervision, he started undergoing hormone therapy. His voice deepened, but there was still a problem...

The Chest

Hayato's Post-surgery chestLife became a struggle, especially when having to change in front of other men.

"I couldn't live like that anymore..."

And so he went to Saitama Medical University, where he was able to have a mastectomy done, thus completing the transformation of his upper body.

We asked if we could see his chest.

Even knowing about the operation, we couldn't see anything unusual. It was just an everyday completely flat chest.

It's amazing what surgeons can do these days.

But, Hayato also had a small chest to begin with, so he was blessed with good fortune from the start.

The other half...

To be a full transsexual, the next step after a mastectomy is, of course, phalloplasty. That is, the surgical creation of male genitalia.

But Hayato was different.

"I want to have my female organs removed, but I don't want to get male parts put on."

Hayato followed his own course when it came to his lower body and didn't stick to the usual guidelines.

"At Saitama Medical and most other places, they really want people who are looking to undergo the whole transformation."

Currently in Japan, we're in a situation where the hospitals that follow treatment guidelines are limited, and there is an order that you have to follow for surgery. And so, because he didn't want to follow the established method, Hayato had to go overseas for his lower half surgery.


Hayato is bisexual.

It's confusing, but his sexual identity and sexual preferences are different.

Taking FTMs as an example, sexual identity is male. But that doesn't necessarily mean that sexual preference is for females.

Just as among biological men there there are straight and gay guys, among FTM transsexuals there are heterosexuals (ie, liking women) and there are homosexuals. Or, like Hayato, there are bisexuals as well.

But even so, saying "Bisexuality = Attracted to men and women" is a bit too simple. As Hayato himself says:

I'm bisexual. But somewhere inside of me I like "woman". I like their bodies; I like their minds.

So even if they are biologically male, I could fall for an MTF transsexual that looks like a woman. And even though I am a guy, could also go out with a lesbian as well. Just, if my partner has male genitals, a male personality, can't be seen as anything other than "man", I have no interest.

Actually, I like people with a bust.

A natural chest, a transsexual chest, or anything in between. Even other FTMs who don't want to get a mastectomy.

I would like to be with that kind of person, one who comes to like me, and I can come to cherish.

According to Hayato, FTM transsexuals are men, plain and simple.

Therefore, even without knowing love, a purely physical gay FTM relationship can happen as well.

"Is doesn't matter, just as long as you like your partner, right? Or can you only fall in love once you check the other's privates?"

A Message for Young People with GID

Hayato has a message for all the transsexuals who use nabeshirts.

When you're young and full of ideals, you just keep on running and fighting.

But you can't get sucked in by stereotypes. Don't think that, just because you are a transsexual you can't wear a skirt. Just live as best you can.

But doing everything as you want is not the same as having rights. Sometimes you just have to stick it out and put up with things as they are. Just figure out your own worries and good things will happen. When you do that, you can grow as a human and connect with others on a deeper level.

Especially because they came from Hayato, who went through a great deal midway through his life, I felt the weight of those words.


Hayato was a warm, wonderful person.

He's the kind of guy that renews your spirit and makes you think "We guys have to do this!", "Transsexuals have to do this!" He made me think I could live as myself.

Possibly, if you're reading this, you might think "A transsexual who doesn't get surgery isn't a transsexual", or "Can an FTM transsexual like guys as well?"...

But sexuality is so much more complicated than that.

You don't have to be the same as the next guy.

You can be yourself and still live in society.

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.