On July 1st, Asakura Kate, a male-to- female (MtF) transgender singer and fashion model, told her fans about her new career as a Hollywood star.
Asakura Kate is a MtF transgender woman living with gender identity disorder (GID) in the city of Osaka. When she was a kid, she strongly believed that her male body would change into a female body as she grew up, but it didn’t. She was constantly told to “act like a real man” by many people and she started hiding her true feelings.
After graduating from high school, she started her career as a male singer in 2002. She also appeared on the TV show called “Ohayo Nippon”(meaning “Good morning Japan”) and her popularity went up. Her career as a male singer “KEITA” became very popular, too and she won Music Award in Shanghai Music Festival in 2003. She had hidden her gender identity for long, but when she appeared on a popular TV show in 2007, there was a moment when she started feeling bad about having been dishonest to her fans. Two years later, she made up her mind and told her fans that she had GID. She went through sex-change operation in the following year and restarted her career as a female singer. After the operation, she became interested in acting career.
Now she visits elementary and junior high schools to give a lecture about LGBT concurrently with her career as a singer and a fashion model. She attended Kansai Rainbow Parade and Fukuoka Rainbow Parade and became the representative of a LGBT support organization, “LGB.T” established by her agency, Rainbow Music this year.
In May of this year(2017), she auditioned for “Piranha in Japan,” directed by a well-known movie director, Roger Corman, who won Academy Honorary Award in 2009.
She had never had experience of acting, but she honestly told the director her story as a transgender woman who has grown up with GID and the director was impressed by it. She was selected as cast and has been studying English for the upcoming shooting. “She is going to attract so much attention. I hope she will create something new with her experience in the film,” said Chiaki Honbashi, the president of Okinawa Actors International.
“I have been dreaming about being a Hollywood star since I was a kid. I want to prove that nothing is impossible as long as we never give up. I hope I can send this message to all the people living with GID,” said Asakura Kate.