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Transsexual boat racer debuts as a man.

OSAKA, May 10 Kyodo

A female professional motorboat racer made a fresh start as a male racer in Osaka on Friday after reregistering with racing authorities as a man.

Hiromasa Ando, 39, who debuted as a female motorboat racer in 1984 as Chinatsu Ando, came fifth in a field of six in the Sports Nippon Cup Osaka Award race held in Suminoe Ward.

''I feel great. I could participate as my real self,'' Ando said, who was racing for the first time since last December.

Ando was diagnosed with a gender identity disorder in August last year and had her breasts surgically removed in December.

The racer, who remains legally a woman, declared the disorder at a press conference March 28.

''I hope my move will give courage to other people who suffer the same disorder and help reduce prejudice,'' Ando said.

The racer plans to undergo a sex-change operation.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:May 13, 2002
Words:150
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