When I was around 50 and a typical middle-level manager, I sent a company-wide email, including all board members, to come out as a trans woman. It was at 5:31 on Friday. I clicked the send button and dashed for the door as if to run way, thinking "I won't be able to go back, I won't go back."
Looking back, I think I had lived my life with general satisfaction. At the same time, I had a vague sense of guilt throughout my life. "Why was I born as a male?" This is the question I always had. I had envy and a complex about women. I always had a girlfriend to project myself onto her as if to comfort myself.
For the first time, in my mid-40s, I visited a gay bar in Shinjuku. What I saw there, were people being honest with their minorities and enjoying their lives. At that moment, I felt the feeling I had hidden in the back of my mind gradually emerging. "I want to be more honest with myself in my life!" After that, I tried cross-dressing. I also studied make-up and injected female hormones. However, I felt my colleagues being confused as they saw my appearance change gradually. Back then, I was the head of the General Affairs Department and felt that I shouldn't cause other staff members to worry or harbor doubts about me. So I decided to come out and live as a woman.
Reactions towards diversity have changed a lot, but it is still difficult for minorities to come out freely. One driving force to change such society is that every minority declares that "I live here." I think it is my responsibility to achieve such society that mitigates pressure from prejudice and discrimination.