Kazuki

Our Coverboy this time is from Kyoto, Japan — 22 year old Kazuki.

Childhood

NABAY Coverboy: KazukiFirst off, could you tell us what your sexuality is?

I'm FTMTS.

When did you come to realize this?

I'm not sure I ever did. I was born and raised in a really rural part of Hokkaido, so I never really thought much about gender differences.

All of my friends, both boys and girls, all played together and there wasn't really any reason to separate us. There were only about 20 people in my class anyway. We were all too close to think in terms of boy/girl, but in sixth grade health class, our teacher told us about menstruation, and I remember saying that it would never happen to me, and my teacher had a big laugh about that.

But then it happened when I was in junior high, and I got really depressed about it.

Usually, when a girl first gets her period, she talks with her mother about, right? I just hid it from everyone for about a year. I thought it was a mistake, and that it would eventually just go away.

I really hated my uniform at school, so I wore shorts everyday. I'd stay home when we had an event when we had to wear our uniforms. Before a my graduation ceremony, I twisted off the hook on my skirt and told my teachers that my uniform was broken, so I got to wear my shorts.

My high school was coed, and so I couldn't get away with that anymore. They were pretty strict about it. So I'd just wear basketball shorts underneath my skirt. Everyone thought I must've been on the basketball team.

I just moved from Hokkaido to Kyoto last year.

That's quite a distance to move by yourself. Did you have any reason for that?

Not really. I just wanted to get out of the countryside and into a more urban environment.

Treatment

Are you undergoing any treatment for GID?

I'm basically just doing my own treatment. I've done counseling and such, but it cost so much money and time, and I just couldn't wait for all that. I really wanted to feel better a lot faster, so I started doing my own hormone treatments. I've been on hormones for about two years now.

Isn't it dangerous or risky to make your own diagnosis and treatment?

There hasn't been anything too bad. I mean, it's not like I'm injecting anything illegal.

Where do you get your information about treatment?

I've been making FTM friends on the internet, and I just sort of pick up information that way. That the best thing about hormones is the voice change. And also that your Adam's apple comes out, and your bone structure changes a little. If you do manual labor, your muscles develop really quickly, as well.

The worst effect of hormone therapy has to be the thinning of your hair. And the acne.

And what do you think of self-treatment?

Well, it's a little bit shady, so if you are hesitant about it, you should quit while you're ahead. It's not really good for your body, all the injections and such. But whether you take hormone injections or not, I guess it all just really depends on how you feel. If you are having a really hard time right now and don't know what to do, and you think that getting hormone injections will make you feel better, then I think that might be the right thing.

Your friends and family might worry about you, but in the end, it's your life. Even if my parents come to hate me, or they try to make me go back, I'm still going to continue my treatment.

But yeah, if you are a teenager you probably shouldn't get too far ahead of yourself. People often make mistakes about themselves during that time. I know someone who thought of herself as a transsexual, but then got to like some guy and became really girly overnight. But then again, I'm only 22, so I don't really know what I'm talking about either [Laughs].

What are your plans for transitioning in the future?

As soon as I can get the money together, I'd like get get my chest done. I don't have a huge chest to speak of, but I'd like to get it done anyway. If I can, I want to go the whole way, and get a name change and everything. If I end up getting married, I think it would be better for everyone, in terms of insurance and working and such.

What does your family feel about all of this?

I've already had a talk with my parents and my brothers. I haven't been able to tell my grandparents yet. I came out when I was 20, in an email to my mother. I just said "I'm a man, and I want to be a complete man." Her response was simply, "I had a feeling."

When girls get into junior high, they start obsessing about their chests and such, but I never did. I always dressed really masculine. I guess she just always knew I wasn't a regular little girl.

I feel like my father is unable to understand. He'd get angry, or his stomach would start hurting. I think he had a really hard time about it. So, as soon as I broke away from my parents, I stopped talking to him really. We talk, but I don't think we're really talking to each other. It's like talking to your accountant. Everything is just really dispassionate and disconnected. But we were never really close anyway. I was his only daughter, and yet I wasn't even a daughter at all, and I think it was all just too much of a shock for him. I feel sorry about it all...

I've come out to all of my friends as well, and everyone knew it before I told them anyway. Right when we were all in high school, and Kinpachi-sensei had a show about GID, so we all knew what it was, and I think everyone suspected me.

Even me. I saw that show, and that's how I knew about my own GID. Until that, I had never heard of it, and I just thought "THATS ME!" I thought maybe that, since I am biologically female, I must be a lesbian.

Life

And what is your type?

I know I like girls. I like older women who are sweet and kind. My first crush was actually my kindergarten teacher. And then I had crushes on my teachers in elementary school. I've been with my current girlfriend for about two years now.

What can you tell us about your current work and lifestyle?

Wouldn't it be easier just to be a girl?

I'm living with my girlfriend and her four children. It feels like we're actually married. On my days off, I cook and do the laundry and everything. I guess I'm halfway her husband. But her children are already kind of big, so they think of me more as an older brother than a father. I'm currently living as a man. I work as a man, doing delivery for a home appliance store. I haven't come out to my managers, though. My license doesn't say my sex, so nobody's noticed. I didn't fill in the sex part on my application, either. They just thought I forgot to write it and circled "M" themselves.

But I've come out to a few of my coworkers. I just said that my birth certificate says "female." They were a bit surprised, but I don't think they have any bad attitude about it. They definitely don't understand it, though. They always say things like "Wouldn't it be easier just to be a girl?"

I'm pretty satisfied with my job. But it's definitely not a career. I get pretty good benefits. It's hard to find a job, and even harder when you have to come out. I want to start focusing on a career, but when I think about coming out at work, I start to panic.

I plan to move to a different job next year, though. For the most part, I've figured out where I'm going to go from here, but I haven't come out to them yet, so I'm pretty scared about when they tell me to give them my personal information. I mean, I have to be pretty open about myself if I'm going to work as a part of a team. But I'm still really nervous.

I'll be driving a two-ton truck. In the future, I want to drive one of the big rigs. I think that's my dream.

I've been wearing my NABAY for about a year, and I only have one, so it's starting to get all torn up. I do manual labor, so I'm glad I have it. It's really easy to wear. But in the summer, when I wear really light clothes, I kind of worry that people might think I'm wearing a sports bra. But it breathes well, and the acne on my back has healed. THANK YOU!

The first time I met another transguy was when I was 20. I had no idea. We met on an internet site, and I just always thought he was a nice guy who always did things for me and worried about the changes in my body. I want to be able to be a mentor for younger people with GID someday.

So, I found your web site, and I thought that maybe I could do that by being a Coverboy.

Do you have anything you'd like to say to everyone reading this?

I think it will be really difficult to find work or a position where you'll be accepted without objection, whether that be from discrimination, or just because people won't understand. But I think that everyone's human, and they're afraid of what they don't know. We all have to be strong. But it isn't easy. Before I changed my name, before I started taking hormones, I was always depressed and just felt really helpless.

But I was able to pick myself up. And I think anybody can do it. I just needed some kind of push, and figured that, while I'm living, I can be something. I can do something with my life. It's been so bad that I've wanted to die. But as long as I'm alive, I can do something.

Thank you for speaking with us so frankly and strongly. You went off, independent of your family, and live full time now as a man with goals. We wish you the best of luck with your new job.

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.