He’s handsome in a slender, elegant way. He runs a bar called Mock in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Ni-chome, Tokyo’s gay district. Like in most bars in the area, he goes by “Mama.” Unlike most other Ni-chome mamas, however, Mama Yamato is not a gay man (though he has adopted the mannerisms of one, which he says comes from working in the district for so long).
He was born a female, and spent over three decades of his life as a woman. He has also undergone the difficult physical and administrative process of acquiring legal male status, becoming a man in the eyes of the law five years ago. He proudly runs one of the only — and most likely the oldest — "onabe" (transgender men) bars in the district.
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