Coverboy Returns: Makoto

Makoto, our first FTM CoverboyWhen we last talked to Makoto, he was just a teenager who was full of worries about his future and dealing with GID.

Since then, he's entered college, started hormone treatments, and is preparing for a career in social work.

Now, he's made a trip to Tokyo with his girlfriend and his best friend, S, and so he decided to stop by our offices to have a chat.

You were our first Coverboy Interviewee. When we published your article, did anything happen?

Everyone seemed to have read it! I kept hearing "Hey, I know you!" and "Oh, I read your article!"


And, you've come to Tokyo now to start looking for work, right? Tokyo is definitely convenient for job hunting, but what kind of company or work are you looking for?

What I'm thinking of right now is something related to medicine or therapy. Maybe a social worker or that kind of thing.

How are you progressing in that?

Well, my job search has mainly just been looking around and collecting my thoughts so far. I feel like I'm at the point just now to start looking for real. I think summer is probably the best time, when companies are recruiting and college students are out looking.

There's not really much in my hometown, though. If I can, I'd like to be able to work in Tokyo.

If you find a job in Tokyo, you'll be living alone?

No, not alone...

Before, my parents told me that, once I turned 20, if I bring a girl home, they'll recognize our relationship; that I'll be an adult then. So, now that we've both turned 20, I'm just saving up so that we can live together. When I've found a decent job, once I've proved that I can make my own way and saved up enough for us to live together, I want to introduce her to my parents. I'm thinking I want, more than just recognition, to be able to live together.

And what do you plan to wear to interviews?

Makoto in his work clothesJust a regular suit from the men's department.

Have there been any problems with that?

I went to a volunteer job at a hospital, and even though I had filled out "Female" on my paperwork, I went in a men's suit. Before I handed in my forms, I was looked at and treated just like all the other men there. They even took me to the men's locker room to change. [Laughs]

The work I did was to entertain and help sick children, and all of the children called me "Sir" or "Mister". One of the staff knew the truth, and kept telling the kids "No, that person is a woman. You shouldn't say 'Mister'." I think at that point it created kind of a rift between the children and that staff member.

There were some other things, emotional things, that got me pretty stressed as well. In addition to work, my personal relationships and such have been under a lot of pressure. In particular, I moved to go to college and start a new life for myself, and everything was just too new. I didn't know how to live right. So, I think I want to be in an environment where I can make friends easily. I'm going to start putting more emphasis on my environment, rather than fussing about my particular work.

When you have an interview, do you tell them that you have GID?

Everything is still just beginning, so I haven't gone to any interviews yet, so right now I'm just practicing over and over what I'm going to say. Whether or not I get the job is a different matter. At this point, I just want to see what my interviewer's reaction will be.


Makoto sitting in for an interviewSince Makoto came to the interview with his girlfriend, we decided to ask about his lovelife.

How long have you two known each other?

A little less than a year. We've been dating for about 10 months.

How did you start dating?

It's actually kind of hard to say. Just that we both have similar ideas of love, and we were both in similar mental spaces when we first met.

After my last interview, there was a point when I just felt like I would never be able to love someone. The first time I called her and talked to her, I told her that, and she started crying. I just thought, "Wow, this is a person who can cry for another person's feelings." I had an instant sense of trust in her. We got to talking a lot, but we were far apart from each other, so we just kept in contact with email.

[To girlfriend] What kind of person is Makoto?

GF: My first impression was... actually, I can't remember. [Laughs]

But I thought he was a very serious person. Maybe that he was too serious for me. But maybe I'm secretly attracted to eccentricity. So we started talking, and we clicked. I was just as surprised as anyone.

Makoto: I'm serious?! [Laughs]

GF: Well, the way you speak seems very serious.

M: I guess it's because of my accent. I try to hide it sometimes, so maybe I sound too formal.

What do you like about each other?

M: I like that she's so passionate! She tells me exactly what she wants and how! [Laughs]

You certainly have a thing for honesty, don't you?

M: Perhaps a bit too honest... [Laughs]

[To girlfriend] And how about you?

GF: I like to be in control, and he likes to be controlled. [Laughs] I don't know, our spirits just fit together, and when we're together, it's just really comfortable.


When you did your last coverboy interview, you were still in high school. But now that you've turned eighteen, you've started hormone treatments. When did you start them?

Just last year. Next month it will be exactly a year.

And have you changed your name yet?

After our interview, I went and applied for a name change, but I got rejected. In my prefecture, their judgement is pretty strict, and I have to have my whole family's signature as well as a letter of permission from my parents, a GID diagnosis, or some proof of living four or five years under an alias.

They told me it would probably be better if I changed my name at that last, when I'm finally able to change my birth certificate.

I said before in my first interview, that in my area, there are a lot of people with GID, but still there haven't been many people with the courage to come out or to try to get treatment, so the beaurocracy doesn't have any previous experience with it. But at least now it seems that there are various community websites where people can get information and exchange ideas.

I see. Continuing with your treatment, has anything changed since you started taking hormones?

I feel much more confident. I feel much more like myself. I always felt so on-edge before I started. Even though I came out, people still didn't really understand. But now that my body is starting to take it's true form, I feel like people are slowly starting to understand. Or it's just getting easier to swallow.

Physically, after about a month my veins started to show. After three months, my voice lowered and using a high voice became really difficult. Kind of like I was being turned inside-out. Body hair started coming in, and the bones around my nose and eyes started to change, and my whole skeleton started filling out.

I've heard that, when you start taking hormone injections, you start losing your temper and you get violent easily. Like what they call 'roid rage. Did you find this to be true?

Actually, my parents told me that I became much calmer and relaxed. But that might be because, when I was younger, I had so much stress that I always lashed out against my parents. But now I'm in a much better environment, where I can live more like myself.

They say I'm nicer. That I can relate to people now. That my face seems brighter, and that I talk more.

What are your thoughts on the guidelines for treatment?

I think they're really too strict, at least the parts I know about. Why does it have to take so much time and cost so much money. It's really kind of irritating.

What do you think of the fact that GID has been showing up in the media so much lately?

Well, if you take what they show you in magazines and on TV, I think you'll get the wrong image of GID. I mean, it's good that they introduce people to it and all, but if they present it wrong, then it might turn out to be a negative thing.

I don't think we're being used as a tool for comedy or a freakshow or anything, but if they just make a fixed idea of what it is, then a lot of people will be hurt by it.

And finally, if you could put your life in one word, what would it be?


Thank you very much for your (second) interview! We wish you success in finding a job, and happiness with your girlfriend.

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.