Hiroshi Aoyama, the head of UT Lishe Co., Ltd., accepts an exclusive interview with Taiwanese media,GAGATAI
What is your life plan? Are there any plans to raise children? GagaTai visited a gay man who entered his middle age. In recent years, he start the thought of raising children. He received no support from his partner at first. They were through breaking up for a while but reuniting in the end. In 2019, they finally got a lovely baby through the help of a surrogate mother. The prototype of the story is Hiroki Aoyama who works in Japan. He is the person in charge of "UT Lishe Co., Ltd." which provides international medical traveling and sightseeing services. Mr. Aoyama went to Japan to study at the age of 23, and met his current American husband. After the two entered middle age, Mr. Aoyama believed it was time to starting a family and to be able to raise children, but the partner did not want to change the relationship between the two at that time, so they broke up. After a while, the partner agreed to Hiroki Aoyama's plan, so they began the journey of having children together.
Q: Has your growing environment been friendly to gay people?
A: I was born in the 1960s. There was no unkindness to gay people in the growing neighborhood, but I believe it is because everyone did not have a strong understanding of homosexuality in the social environment at that time. When I was in the first grade of elementary school, I found that I liked students who have the same gender as myself, but my first realization of LIKE the same-gender was in middle school, I had a crush on my classmate. In puberty, I didn’t worry or blame myself because I liked boys. I spent it smoothly. However, due to the absence of psychological and physical satisfaction, I chose to study in Japan at the age of 23 to seek more freedom and life balance, and I still stay in Japan.
Q: What type of industry are you currently engaged in?
A: After graduating from a Japanese university, I have been engaged in international trade in the nursing and caring-related industries. I have a company that has been operating for nearly 20 years and is also a global partner of "UT Lishe Co., Ltd.", responsible for IVF treatment, gamete donation and surrogacy services. I hope to provide better services to more gay friends.
Q: How do you know your current husband?
A: I met him at about 25 years old when I was in university in Japan. I found a gay dating group in the dating information of gay magazine, and met my current husband in the group activity. My husband is an American, and he was studying for a master's degree in Japan at that time. I just wanted to relax so I went there for a one-night stand but I didn’t expect my husband was fall in love with me at first sight. I refused him at first, because the previous relationship was not completely over. But in the end, in his pursuit, I agreed. I didn't expect it to be 26 years. Well, you see, how time does fly.
Q: You are already 50 years old, why do you want to raise children at this time?
A: When two people are together, they must have a certain economic foundation. From the age of 30, I began to travel to different places every year. By the age of 50, I have traveled all over the world and saw a lot of prosperious cultures. At this time, I found that people at my age all had their own children, which made me start thinking about my future life and my relationship with my partner, so I came up with the idea of starting a family and raising my own children. After having a child, I belived my partner and I would both care about the child and become more busy and work harder, and we would become more intimate and our relationship could be redefined.
Q: What qualities do you think your husband has to make you want to start a family with him?
A: He has some American-style romance, as well as some expressions of emotions that East Asians do not have. Of course, we also experienced compromises at some time. He takes care of me more in life, and he knows life better than me in some trivial details. I don't worry about our relationship for I feel more secure in it. Of course, our economies are independent of each other, which makes our relationship more equal.
Q: Your husband once broke up with you because he didn't want to raise children. What were your thoughts at that time?
A: My husband was satisfied with the relationship between us at the time and did not want to change. He never thought that gay people could have children, and it was unrealistic. But under my constant persuasion and hard work, he agreed to have children. He didn't ask about the details during the surrogacy process. I was bothered. He didn't really have the realization of the first baby until the baby was born, and his thoughts gradually changed from that moment. So for some friends who are determined not to have children, maybe you can try to give yourself a chance to light up a different spark in your life and plan your own life when conditions permit.
Q: What are the biggest difficulties you encountered in the process of surrogacy?
A: The biggest difficulty in the surrogacy process may be my own physical problems, because I was old and I am worried about the quality of my sperm. Especially during the embryo transfer process, It had been transplanted 4 times before the surrogate conceived which made me anxious and almost wanted to give up. I thought maybe I was too old to keep on doing it. Here I also recommend some gay friends, if you plan to have children in your life, try to start before 40 years old, the older you are, the higher the requirements for all aspects of your body will be.
Q: How do you feel when you see your two children's born?
A: I'm very happy. My life has ushered in a new life. By middle age, people will be more calm about things that happened in life. Now every day I just think about how to take care of our children, how to change diapers, make milk powder, how to coax him to sleep and make him happy. I think this kind of life is very interesting. We did not treat the two children as a burden, but a very meaningful thing in our life. After all, we only have the fate of being father and son this time in this life. We only meet when I was in my 50. All I have to do is be a qualified dad.
Q: As a middle-aged gay person, what do you think children mean to you?
Q: Your previous work was related to death, and now you are devoted to the industry of life, and you have nurtured a new life of your own. Do you have any special feeling?
A: In the first 30 years, I did a career related to the hospice of the elderly. I participated in many funerals. I saw the meaning of life, lamented the shortness of time and the preciousness of life. It made me respect life and love life. I came into contact with LisheUterus International Medical by chance, then I became a global partner, and now I have a continuation of love for myself. I appreciate that. The birth of a life may be complicated, you have to take sperm, take eggs, do embryos, transplant, wait for 10 months, and then expect the birth, the only thing you can participate in this process is sperm extraction. but in the moment when I hold the baby in my arms, I could tell that I am a father at that time and and in his life afterwards, and I am responsible for him, and at the same time, he will bring me infinite happiness.
Q: Please give some encouragement and advice to our gay people.
Babies of Hiroki Aoyama and his partner