An Act of Liberation

Mia Yamamoto
Mia Yamamoto

Mia Yamamoto

Gary Miyatake Photos

After spending a lifetime as a male, as well as a 30-year career as a criminal defense attorney, I made the decision to follow my heart and undergo gender transition. I had known of the gender disparity between my body and my brain ever since I was old enough to be aware of the rigid dichotomy between males and females, at around five or six years old. This awareness haunted my life from early childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood, all the way into middle age. Growing up was torturous, fraught with alienation and suicidal ideation. I searched and questioned but never found anyone, during my adolescence, who felt the way I did about my incongruous gender identity. It was not until 1952, when the media reported the case of an ex-WWII-GI named George Jorgensen who went through a sex-change operation and became Christine Jorgensen, that I learned there were other people like me in the world.

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