“I don’t want to be called a woman.”
“It’s painful to be seen as a woman.”
In February of this year, model and actor Satsuki Nakayama came out as transgender. Having appeared in TV programs such as Chuugakusei Nikki and Kamen Rider Zero-One (as Naki / Kamen Rider Naki), Nakayama had received a lot of attention as an “agender woman.” However, his photo-essay “Asexual” (無性愛 Museiai), released on his birthday on September 17, is the first time he has mentioned identifying as asexual.
How did Nakayama, who is very popular with women of his generation, arrive at identifying as transgender and asexual? TV Asahi announcer Moe Tanaka interviewed Nakayama on the tv news program Abema Hills.
■ “I’m glad I came out.” Realizing he is transgender, fear of coming out
It wasn’t until this year that Nakayama identified as transgender.
Nakayama: It sparked from a movie I watched where transgender was a theme. Deep inside, there was this sense of unease, this discomforting feeling I’ve held onto forever. (As a model,) I work in fashion, but I don’t like wearing the same clothes as those around me. I could never join in conversations with people I worked with about things like good brands or the kinds of clothes we like.
Even so, Nakayama suppressed his “true self”, unconsciously trying to fit in with others. As he continued modeling and acting, people started calling him a genderless woman.
Nakayama: To tell the truth, not once have I referred to myself as “genderless”. I only accepted it because it was easiest for people to understand when I was in media, and it was the best word to use to describe myself at the time. It didn’t bother me to be called “genderless” at the time.
However, after recognizing that he was transgender, Nakayama’s repressed emotions flooded out at once.
Nakayama: When I realized I was transgender, more so than before I realized this, I couldn’t hold my emotions back. Before, I could handle wondering why I felt so uneasy, but after understanding deep down that I was transgender, I couldn’t hold my emotions back. This was much more painful. I was afraid to come out, but my wanting to feel refreshed by coming out was stronger.
At the end of this struggle, Nakayama came out as transgender on his blog in February.
Nakayama: I was very much looking forward to coming out. But what made me most happy was all the fans telling me, “I always had a feeling it was something like this,” or “Yes, I know.” I was glad I came out.
After this, Nakayama made one more announcement through his photo-essay. This was the first time he had come out as asexual. As to why, he says that he wanted others like him to know that asexuality exists.
Nakayama: It’s very hard for people to understand asexuality. It hurt a little when people would say, “You don’t fall in love?” or, “You’ll surely find a good person someday.” I thought it’d be great if people like me who had similar worries saw it and learned that asexuality exists, so I titled the photo-essay “Asexual”.
■ “No two people are the same.” Aiming for when ‘transgender’ is no longer conscious
Through his photo-essay, Nakayama laid his heart bare in coming out as transgender and asexual. He also discusses different forms of happiness.
Nakayama: I think what happiness looks like varies from person to person. Of course, for some, there’s happiness in romantic love, marriage, and having children. There are also people like me where that isn’t the case. If that’s all, then is there really any difference in happiness? I think it’s bad to force people to think that they should fall in love because love leads to happiness, but I don’t want to force a world like mine where there isn’t romantic love either.
Nakayama: There’s always a world that people don’t know, so it’s essential to educate those people, but one step probably isn’t enough. I want to take another step and a half for people to understand. There are so many names for people, far beyond what LGBTQ+ covers. (Regardless of gender,) no two people are the same on the inside, outside, or otherwise. I want to just live as a person, without the labels.
Right now, “Satsuki Nakayama is transgender” is probably strongly on people’s minds. As far as I’m concerned, I can’t truly be myself until the thought that I’m transgender fades from people’s consciousness. I hope that I can blend in with other men and work as usual one day.
Source: Abema TV