The 50-year-old German made history in 2007, when he fought to become the first official female accepted by Venice’s exclusive guild of gondoliers, which had not employed a woman in 900 years, and won the right to become a private gondolier.
Hai was the defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed against him by Venetian City Hall, in an attempt to prevent him from rowing people around the canals of Venice in his gondola.
Hai took to social media on Wednesday to confirm that he was transgender.
"My name is Alex Hai, and I am transgender," the gondolier, who arrived in Venice in the 1980s, wrote on Facebook.
“The correct pronouns to use when referring to me, at any point in my life (regardless of how I was publicly known at the time), are he/him/his. It is inaccurate to refer to me as ‘she’ or ‘Alexandra’ for any reason,” he added.
“I am supportive of equal rights for women, and feel that as someone who mastered the craft of rowing while in the body of a woman, I have proved that 'yes even a girl can do it.' However, I myself am not a woman, and the struggle of feminism is not my personal struggle. I simply want to do the work I'm passionate about, and be seen by the people around me the way I see myself,” Hai concluded in the post.