Friday, August 28, 2009

XXY: A small but vocal issue...

I am left today with a fear of the unknown. For more than three years now I have participated in singing studies, and my vocal range has significantly improved throughout that time. Indeed my range continues to improve, breaks are worked through, and my natural normal speaking range has changed, yet again. I have finally after all this time been told by one vocal instructor that my tone and clarity is much improved, almost acceptable or even, normal. This voice instructor went on to say that if I continue these lessons, then I can expect my normal speaking voice to change yet again...

Yet again.

So I asked myself, what if my normal speaking voice were even higher than it is now? I would be firmly in the higher range for normal women, is this a good change? So I resolved to test the current range and loaded a vocal analyzer and recorded several sets, at various normal pitch levels and lengths including generally happy, long and boring text, a bit down, etc.. Sure enough I'm ranging in pitch from 180 to 280 hz. The spectrograph shows a bit more than the average overtones that an ordinary woman would use; I have perhaps half of the harmonics a normal male would have. In this matter, science is not helping! All this singing is enabling me to use and adjust to what males would call the falsetto voice, or head voice. When I use falsetto the excessive overtones are much reduced from my full voice, ie.. closer to a natural female. And to make matters worse.. (better?) I took several sessions with another voice teacher whom started using the term counter-tenor, almost immediately. One test this instructor likes was the natural sigh, and tricky person he is, including it in the lesson without telling me about it first; But the result, middle C, was not what I expected. Middle C is the normal speaking pitch of women, and an half an octave to an octave high for 40 year old men.

All knowledge is good, the more you know, the more you understand, the more you can make personal choices about. Only in ignorance can others make choices for you. But what do I choose about the voice? If I want to present as male, then there are a number of challenges to overcome, and not the least is the appropriate speaking pitch. Males only exceedingly rarely use a pitch higher than 150 hz, and then generally only for terror, fear, or capitulation. If I were to use such a pitch, say 200 hz, then that is already one failure in presenting male.

On the positive side of this issue I no longer have serious throat pain from attempting to speak too low for too long. It is still hard to speak low, and has become more difficult to do so without being deliberate in the doing. It is disconcerting to sit down to a vocal analyzer and comfortably, naturally, speak at what is a middle voice for a woman. Another positive (?) is that as I become more competent at singing I can better hold my part, instead of following whom ever seems to know their part well. This is good, and bad. Good because I no longer automatically (well not often anyway) pitch match with other people, especially males because they still talk too low and I can end up speaking from the throat if I am not prepared. Bad because my natural vocal range appears to be +/-3 notes of middle C. I still pitch match with women who use higher pitches, because I am not as comfortable with that singing range, B below middle C to the G above.

Supposedly according to both vocal instructors that as I work out a normal high tenor full voice, this will give me an alternative to the falsetto that I find most comfortable (and not by choice!). Remember I am trying to live and work as a male, this makes doing that very awkward.

Life is...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What do to when depression cannot be avoided...

For the first 30 and some years of life, starting about the age of 12, and until 36 I felt a great deep depression. Now I'm not talking about something you can take a couple of pills and sleep on. Rather depression built upon pain. Lets see if I can pain a picture so bleak, your very world turns grey, dismal, and promises nothing more than the pain that is, the pain that will be, and the pain of merely drawing a breath. Most people will tell you they have once or twice in their lifetime had a morning so horrible that the very thought of getting up seemed too much effort to attempt, can you imagine every morning being like that... Some people know what exhaustion is, that deep binding crease through your body that drags you down constantly, muddies your thoughts, and makes a single set of stairs seem like a hurclean effort to climb. But very few people experience this effect for more than a short period of time, what would your life be like if tomorrow morning and every day thereafter you could look forwards to getting up in the morning exhausted as the last time you overdid work and was so tired that you only wanted to sleep. What would life be like... depression is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing.

And then there is the pain... Most people have at one time or other in their life sprained a muscle, and they know that walking on a sprained foot is painful. Picking up a pen with a sprained hand is painful. Some people have broken limbs and they know the pain isn't in the break, its later, after the fact. The pain comes from trying to use that arm or leg, to push or to pull even lightly. Anyone who has thrown out their back and tried to stand up knows what pain is, it is crippling. I have seen grown men dislocate a shoulder and whimper like a child. No kidding, dislocations of any type hurt. Lets suppose just for a moment that tomorrow, the moment you were going to get up you could look forwards to the pain of dislocating or pulling a muscle in your back, every single morning, forever. In the next moment as you go to swing your legs out of bed, several other muscles were going to complain and twinge in pain. And it wasn't going to stop. Old people know the body creaks, but once you start moving the pain can be come tolerable. Motion reduces the effects of pain from joints not moving. Lets say that moving around does not reduce the amount of pain. How would you view your life then, I wonder... dim, slow, pain, grey, and dismal.

Now everyone has a choice they can accept life on its terms or they can check out (commit suicide). Sounds pretty harsh doesn't it. For my first 3 decades life hurt, it was grey, it was dismal, and I bore daily an amount of pain that would kill most people. In order to survive, you have to accept that pain is your life. And I don't say that casually, I don't think most people understand that when you have to juggle or control your own centers of pain that it might make a certain amount of sense to overload one side than the other. Neither are we talking about someone that cuts them selves to feel anything at all. No this isn't dementia, the individual need not be crazy. Rather the person can use the fact that the mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Sometimes it is necessary to redirect pain. I know how to do that... unfortunately...

So the basics of managing pain, depression, and overcoming insurmountable odds of accomplishment in our world. Step 1, you need a plan of action. I had a method that would result in things happening, but it required three parts to work.

A. You must train yourself to understand that when it is time to move, you HAVE to MOVE. Period. I don't care if you're lying on the ground in more pain than the world should have visited on anyone, you have to MOVE. You CANNOT NOT MOVE. Period. No exceptions, ever. I don't care if you've just been shot and are dying in the street, if your alarm clock goes off, you MOVE.

B. Keep lists of things you MUST do. When it is time to MOVE, you MUST do whatever is on the list. I don't care how much pain or exhaustion there is. The human body can operate on no sleep and in deep pain, the only limitation is you.

C. Never make a decision about anything important in less than 8 hours. Once your decision is made, DO NOT EVER second guess your choice.

This method kept me moving in a grey fog of pain and shock for 3 decades. I'm only glad I don't need it anymore.

Using this method, I have finished a college degree, completed a black belt in a martial arts, and worked as a professional in the IT world and achieved success. I have owned businesses and property. But I did not have anything resembling happiness, this was earned through determination. Life is, learn to live with it...

an aside, I no longer use this method, the pain of my first three decades has become managable. I no longer experience depression as a constant companion. Most of the pain of life has become managable. But this article is to talk to my years from 12 to 35.. :) there is hope. Although, I had to find my own answers the medical profession remained vocal and completely wrong.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

...psychiatrist, priest, rabbi, and a psychologist

He wanted to know if there was a good enough reason to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, rabbi or a priest. How he figured I'd be a good person to ask, I don't know. You don't carry physical marks of your time talking to a confessor. Yes, I have talked with one or two or more over the course of my life. And I am much the better for those opportunities to understand better human nature. How people think of us, matters less than most of us would assume, because we know exactly what we think of ourselves.

The difference between types of confessors is really simple, the priest or rabbi will cast their aid in a form of religion. Should someone go see one? If the phrase, "Remember the time you did a bad thing, and someone suffered because of it?" causes you a sudden feeling of remorse; Then yes, you should go see a confessor and get that bad thing off your mind. Those little bad things weigh you down, and eventually pull you into a depression generated abyss.

The first time I visited a psychiatrist it was over my personal embarrassment. I was so certain based on everything I had read, that if I could not identify as male living in a strongly masculine male world then I had to be a transsexual. I have since learned a great deal more about this, but at the time this concept was really ripping me up inside. Now at the same time, I am strongly homophobic (that too, is not the right word). However, the very thought of being touched by a male makes my skin crawl, its worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. Which led me to believe I should be a normal male... except that didn't work either.

I hope you can understand this was a very serious mentally challenging problem, not to mention highly embarrassing should my co-workers in the pro-military industrial complex ever find out.

It took me a year of talking to a psychiatrist, before I began to believe that there were good reasons to continue living. To even dream of finding joy and happiness. My world then was a dim dark grey place that wasn't too bad, didn't hurt too much, most of the time. To put it mildly my physical challenges and surroundings had left me a mental train wreck. Fortunately this was all long ago and through many talks with someone who had different insight I got alot better. :)

Today I am better balanced, my own failures pale next to the pressure I felt society was demanding of me, and those I now know are not all consuming. Psychiatrists help us to learn how to think around sticking points in the societal fabric. As do all other confessors. We can learn to be better people, we can learn to think better of ourselves, we can learn... if we but choose to do so.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

XXY: Osteoporosis

I've written quite a bit about osteoporosis... but I'll go over it again here, this is a cross post from another site. Invariably people have questions about this, and there is so little written on the topic specifically applying to Klinefelter's Syndrome. It galls me that doctors are the source of most of the mis-information concerning osteoporosis. Know the facts before meeting a doctor, you might just save your own life.

The mechanism in biology that is called osteopenia and osteoporosis consists of losing bone faster than it is replaced. To understand whats happening you have to understand how you gain bone in the first place. The body takes calcium, vitamin D, trace minerals like manganese, and using progesterone does a series of chemical conversions to create osteoblasts (new bone structure), which is then attached to existing bone. The second part of this mechanism we have to understand that bone structure does not last forever, and the body has a process to break down old bone structure, this process works faster in the absence of estradiol (higher the estradiol the more bone retained). We can say that at no point in the process of building new bone or removing old bone does the body require testosterone, ie.. testosterone is not required at all. For some reason this common misunderstanding that high testosterone is required to stop osteoporosis continues, probably because it is easier than to tell males that if they have enough testosterone then their body will naturally convert some into estradiol.

The basics of osteoporosis and hormones:
You need progresterone to make new bone.
You need estradiol to prevent the wasting away of bone.
Testosterone has nothing at all to do with bone.

Vitamins and Minerals needed for bone health:
Calcium 1400 mg daily.
Vitamin D 1000 UI daily.
Manganese (take a multi-vitamin, you need an incredibly small amount).

So about Vitamin D... the experts really don't have a clue how much you need. Until 2007 they assumed that 400 UI was enough because 60 years of studies showed it was enough to eliminate rickets. But gasp in 2007 the new target became 1000 UI. I personally take 2000 UI, and thats probably closer to the target. I would not be surprised if in 10 years from now, circa 2020 the new target for Vitamin D is closer to 10,000 UI daily. For all the concern about UV caused cancer, we need sunlight exposure or some form of UVB replacement. A white skinned person gains 10,000 UI of vitamin D in about 10 minutes of full body exposure to sunlight near the topics.

Estrogen Blockers:
Be very careful with these, since blocking your estradiol is perhaps one of the most dangerous things you can do. The lack of estradiol causes bone wasting, ie.. osteoporosis.

What you can do:
1. Get your hormones balanced. I don't care if you choose male, female, neither, both, or whatever.
2. Do weight bearing exercise for at least 3 hours every week.
3. Get a balanced diet of foods, and take vitamins.
4. Avoid smoking.
5. Get a normal level of 5 hours per week of basic stamina building exercise, like walking 3.5 miles in an hour.

So what does Klinefelter's Syndrome have to do with Osteoporosis...
If you are XXY, and lead a sedentary life you will get osteoporosis, if you lead an active life and have a bad diet you will get osteoporosis. Be aware of this, and get healthy. Unlike the average population we are at risk for osteoporosis from childhood if we are sedentary.

Testing for osteoporosis:
Dexa Scan will determine the level of relative bone structure that exists.
Low progesterone is an indicator of many problems.
Low estradiol is an indicator of bone loss.

If after a dexa scan that is positive for osteopenia or osteoporosis your doctor does not test you for progesterone and estradiol then you have a problem and need a better doctor. Unfortunately most doctors are ill-equipped to provide treatment for people with Klinefelter's Syndrome, so you have to protect yourself.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

XXY: Maintaining Good Health through Walking

From personal experience jogging is too harsh on the body, especially the out of shape or overweight body, and lifting weights alone doesn't lose weight. Cardio exercise is what helps people to lose weight, and most serious fitness people include an element of cardio in their workouts for this reason. There is a misconception, mostly among men, that working out to lose weight means going to a gym and lifting weights. While it is true that increasing muscle will help the body to burn more fat, the benefit pales next to the action of doing a cardio workout. If you are just starting out to lose weight, start with the cardio and work forwards.

Cardio (weight loss):
I recommend simply walking at a hastened pace for as long as you can and gradually work that up to 1 hour. Your target speed is 3.5 miles per hour, and about 5 kilometers. If you're using a jogging machine, skip all of the uphill/downhill/fancy options and set a hastened pace and walk. Make sure you drink plenty of water.

A second option is swimming laps. Hop in a pool setup for lap swimming, do a front crawl (nothing fancy..) and swim as far as you can at a slightly hastened pace. Your target is to develop the ability to swim for 1 hour at a hastened pace.

Second requirement for losing weight:
Eat healthy. That means Mediterranean diet and no fast food. A Mediterranean diet consists of 2/3rds vegetables, few or very minimal sauces, some fruits and nuts, and very small amounts of meats, breads, or pasta's. No sugars or oils. And limited amounts of dairy products. If you cannot tolerate, like some people cannot eat/drink dairy then find a normal substitute. Avoid manufactured foods.

Lastly drink lots of water....People have suggested its possible to drink too much, and yes technically it is possible but its extremely unlikely that anyone who isn't running marathons will ever reach the point of too much water. It is really hard to force yourself to drink too much water, without first forcing your endurance far beyond the limits. By the time you have worked a physical regimen to the point where you have achieved sufficient physical fitness to push to the limits (this isn't possible at the start) then you will understand this better. For now, don't worry about it.

Here's the fun part of cardio for an hour at a hastened pace. When you're done, right after finishing, you should immediately drink a beverage that will restore electrolytes. My personal favorite is about a pint sized portion of chocolate milk (about 6 oz or less). A small energy drink is also acceptable, provided it is not loaded with caffeine. This should have some sugar, salts, and potassium. This burst of sugar is your reward for success, and the electrolytes will help your body recover from the stress of exercising. When it is available I like to make a blue berry and vanilla yogurt sundae, as my treat (again, limited to 6 oz or less).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Importance of Using Vocal Resonance

Everyone, but especially Americans with our culture of listening to music, have to at some point in their lives learn to resonate the pitch and tone of their voice. I am starting this process at this late date in my life, because I recognize the importance of doing so. A proper vocal expression does not cause pain to the participant in 5 minutes of speaking or singing.

You see, I experience pain, soon to be a thing of the past, when I speak at the low pitch I have found commands respect from males. This is a common problem for males in the American society, our culture dictates that we speak lower to attain the valued age (older people have a naturally lower pitch). Our culture dictates that respect and income is a function of age for most wage earning jobs. That and our non-singing society that spends its time "listening" not participating in song, has not learned to resonate vocal pitch and tone.

So you're probably asking, what does this have to do with someone whom is intersex?

Hi, I am either a high Tenor, or a counter-tenor, or a contra-alto, or maybe just an alto... it depends on your view of gender. In the world of singing they are extremely stratified on gender. Men are Bass, Baritone, or Tenor and anything expressed in a higher vocal range is falsetto (a partial expression of the full male voice). Women are alto or soprano. Never shall there be a male who is an alto, nor a woman who shall be a tenor. Lets suppose for a moment that someone whom is intersex did not have the vocal drop that males incur during puberty. There is a good book that I'd recommend to anyone wanting to learn to make a better vocal expression: "Is Your Voice Telling On You?" This book describes children of 9 years age as having a vocal range centering on or about middle C (piano keys, page 58). Males when they reach puberty experience a vocal drop of about an octave, and females about half an octave. So how much of a vocal drop do Intersex people experience? This is an entirely individualistic experience for intersex people, so it could be some, none, or all of what the distinct gendered people experience. My own experience is that I can sing from F3 to G5, or mid-tenor to soprano. Because I can sing into a full male voice for the bottom 4 notes D3-G3, transition to a female voice and then sing A3-G5.

I have encountered some specific challenges with vocal range. I hit a puberty cycle about every 5-7 years since 20 years of age. During that time, my vocal range changes, yet again each time. Based on my range, I have someplace between a tenor and an alto range. And I choose to sing tenor in the choir that I participate in, because it is a more interesting part. :) Yet I still experience a challenge, because the bottom of the normal tenor range is too low for me. When I try, as I have done too many times, to sing that low I quickly experience pain, hoarseness, and vocal loss. It is difficult to simply stop singing when in a group, yet with the men, I have to do that for my own protection. Simply does not do to spoil a fun participatory event by going hoarse or incurring personal pain.

So back to resonance. All people generally learn to resonate young, because most cultures have a strong component of singing. However, American's are deficient in this matter. Our culture of Radio, Television, and other pastimes do not encourage participation in singing. As such we are not learning to use natural resonance. You can see this effect in people that experience pain in speaking for more than a short time, for example teachers, public speakers, etc... In my case, I often speak to large groups in a professional capacity. I learned early that males command respect through a low vocal pitch, and I have to use every tactic since I look literally 10-15 years younger than my peers. However, use of a low pitch D3, the very lowest pitch I can reach also causes me considerable pain. The book I referenced above suggests that people should talk in a normal range 3-4 notes higher than their lowest note. However, that pitch D3+4= A3, is in a normal female range, and A3 is considered very high for a male. This poses something of a challenge for me.

The referenced range for a piano, is found in the book on page 58. The book describes middle C, as C4, with each C beginning a range. So the keys are the set = {C,D,E,F,G,A,B}, and on the piano there are 7 full sets. The book tabulates using only the white keys on a piano keyboard.

Friday, February 6, 2009

XXY: Memory is a function of estradiol

There is a common theme that Doctor's adhere to when viewing the XXY individual. In nearly every case the presumption of maleness is first and foremost among those assumptions. And the matter has been studied, albeit if you put all of the studies on XXY people in a stack, the stack wouldn't fill even a single biology text. Unlike most other syndromes not much is really known about XXY people.

I was reading through brain size and comparative function studies of XXY's and males, and the first aspect that stood out was that XXY individuals are only compared to males. And its not at all surprising (similar to a male to female study of similar origin) that the XXY people have smaller heads, smaller brains, smaller everything than the males do. I suppose its completely lost on the doctors studying this material the results for XXY people and females are remarkably similar.

Another study on XXY people pointed out clearly that the XXY brain functions in the same manner that a female brain does when scanned under MRI (magnetic resonance imaging, like a CT scan), that is the thought patterns follow a circle. Where in similar MRI studies the male brain follows a north-south path from the front to the back of the head. Rather odd for a group of people whom match the female brain path to be studied only as males, don't you think? The female brain uses estradiol and progesterone to manage and function.

A brief note about menopause, women are affected by this event, their estradiol and progesterone production slows or stops altogether. One of the side effects of this that is often missed, is that the individuals memory starts skipping small things. They experience forgetfulness. As time goes on, if their body does not produce enough estradiol and progesterone, their mind loses more and more memory access.

Is it any surprise that XXY people, experience this same memory loss in the absence of estradiol and to a lesser degree progesterone?

For XXY people:
It doesn't matter where you get the estradiol from. You can take testosterone or estradiol, but you need to take one or the other to maintain cognitive ability. If you take testosterone your body will convert the excess (thats everything over about 50 ng/dl, scale of 1-1200) into estradiol via the aromatase endocrine conversion. This is a natural function of your body, and it works just as well as taking estradiol directly.

Every-time I write targets, people take it as the holy grail. The understanding and the studies that support XXY health right now are few and far between. The rubbish is getting just as much press time as the scientifically sound studies. This is a work in progress, please understand that.

At this time the target for estradiol is 60 pg/ml, scale of 55-400.

For non-XXY people:
XXY people have a higher than male level of estradiol by default, we're born that way. Some of us are like me, whom naturally has 90 pg/ml, others have more or less. Let me put it this way, males exist and experience severe memory problems due to a lack of testosterone when their testosterone level gets down to or less than 300 ng/dl (scale 1-1200, and some would say 500).

My personal experience of Estradiol and Memory:
I have only ever had 70 ng/dl or less of testosterone. Now if I was depending on testosterone to have a memory, then I would be a vegetable, 1/4th or 1/8th or whatever of the necessary testosterone is not going to maintain the memory. Today my testosterone level is even lower, about 30 ng/dl, and my estradiol level remains high around 80 pg/ml. When my estradiol level falls to 35 pg/ml I start experiencing memory loss. When my estradiol level falls even lower, say 20 mg/ml I lose short term memory and start experience symptoms similar to Alzheimer's, the complete fragmentation of the long term memory and loss of short term memory.

It shocks people when I tell them with the above information, 30 ng/dl testosterone and 80 pg/ml estradiol, that I present and live on the male side of the gender binary. These numbers are not the end of the world! Get past the numbers...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

XXY is an Intersex Condition

Everyday I am faced with the binary world, male and female. Not a day passes that I don't wonder if perhaps it would be easier to pick a side and just be, well one or the other. For now, I skate along the edge of male, and it works well enough. The wonderful USA does not recognize an intersex gender, so its one or the other for documentation no matter how poorly I fit into that category this decade. Because like anyone I change with time. When I was 10 years old, I looked more female than male. When I was 20 years old I was living as a young woman, because it was easier than trying to explain to people that I wasn't female. When I was 30 years old, I was living as a male, because I'd gained weight (my health was also critically challenged) and presenting as a male was easier.

To understand why I say this, you have to start with who I am:
  1. Intersex person.
  2. Klinefelter's Syndrome 47,XXY person.
  3. A person that chooses to use estradiol (an estrogen) rather than testosterone.
  4. Someone that has read countless papers, documents, concepts, biology texts, etc... and come to a conclusion that these doctor's are on the wrong track.
  5. I have both male and female sex markers.
  6. If I wear loose clothing, people pick a sex based on my voice high for female, low for male. But if I wear tight clothing, form fitting, they usually pick female regardless of vocal range.
  7. At one time I had osteoporosis.
  8. I still have dyslexia, that never really goes away.
  9. I naturally have less testosterone (4% of scale), and more estradiol (20% of scale or more).
  10. Gender identity disorder, oops, sorry I'm intersex I can't have a gender identity disorder because I'm an intersex person this doesn't really apply. Ergo I'm simply confused, or perhaps you are confused. Deal with it.
In the group of people that have XXY, that is 47 chromosomes, where a "normal" person only has 46 and is either 46,XX or 46,XY; There are people whom identify with the gender of neither, both, male and female. In the United States law only recognizes male and female, the gender binary, so we all have been assigned to one side or the other. The United States is one of the least progressive countries in the world in regards of gender, being phobic of just about anything related sexuality and gender. This creates a number of problems for people like myself, whom can be either sex.

I'm personally concerned about my own medical health. That is really all we have in this world, our own personal health. And like most intersex people, I have my own set of challenges. For example, I have a nearly shut down endocrine system, I do not naturally produce progesterone, or cortisol for that matter. This is similar to the condition Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, but because I have Klinefelter's Syndrome the other condition does not apply. So say the doctors.

The challenges I've faced, or continue to face:
  1. Osteoporosis: This is where the bone density tests put you in the -3 medians category. They claim that this can effect anyone over the age of 18 years old, but generally only affects people over the age of 70, whom are small, old women, whom smoke, don't eat balanced diets, and never get any exercise. At 35 years of age, tested on both male and female charts, I was told I'd better fix my life to try to fix this. What the doctors did not tell me is that osteoporosis is caused by a lack of estradiol (retains built bone), and progesterone (builds new bone). Whether you are male or female, this mechanism is clear. The human body needs estradiol (converted by aromatase in males, and made naturally in females) as well as progesterone (made naturally in males and females) in order to build new bone and retain the bone. In addition I needed to take alot more of calcium (primary building block of bone), vitamin D (used to convert calcium into bone), and other trace elements (thank you multi-vitamins).
  2. Gender Identity Disorder: Okay so I don't qualify, for a long time I thought I did. In the American Psychological Association's Diagnostic and Statistics Manual, commonly called the DSM-IV, it is clearly stated that intersex people cannot have the condition known as Gender Identity Disorder. Only males and females can have this condition, which I'm not. Many people are pushing the idea that 47,XXY is male only, which is nice, but not so helpful. Especially to people like me whom identify as Just Not Male. I don't have to be female or male, but I run into trouble trying to be male. You see, the problem is that I do not understand men. Talking to males is difficult because I don't use the right forms of obedience or whatever it is that allows them to trust one another. Being perpetually ignored by people, or considered someone they can't "trust" simply because I don't understand the mechanics of male relationships should be reason enough to allow space for us "not so masculine people" to be "Not Male". I'm sure some XXY people really want to be males, I wish them the best at it.
  3. Sexual Identity: This is a hard one... I'm a somewhat effeminate person whom can be either an effeminate possibly gay male or a butch lesbian female based almost entirely on the pitch of my voice. Silly I suppose but its one note difference, and people make assumptions about me based on their own views. I grew up homophobic to males, too many of those males tried to be a bit too close (mix that up with martial arts and we have a recipe for disaster). In my 20's I tried to be a woman, and like guys. That didn't work too well, though I did meet one boy... and thats a story for another time. Then you have to understand that the whole concept of male sex with a girl, the activity of the male, is a turn off to me. I can go through the motions but its cold, repetitious, and boring. So what does that leave me, interested in girls but not as a male. Lesbian? Currently living on the male side of the gender binary, butch lesbian.. ? Go figure...
  4. Physical Shape: Hi guys, yes I have breasts, and no I'm not a girl, but I'm not a guy either, so deal with it. The hour glass shape of my 20's was really hard to suppress, eventually I got tired of explaining I wasn't female to people. If I'd been paying more attention back then, I probably would have chosen to be a transsexual and taken the Male to Female route. Many people with XXY choose the Female to Male route and take large doses of testosterone. Others are like me, and have breasts; Those whom pick Female to Male have to have their breasts removed. I chose to avoid that question, I mean, seriously who would want to have their breasts CUT OFF? Are they crazy? The intersex people whom identify as male probably don't think its crazy to have their breasts removed, but I don't identify as male, so why would I do that? Much less take testosterone....
Its been several years now since I was diagnosed, originally seeking answers to extreme fatigue, bone/muscle pain, gender identity crisis, etc... I no longer have any of those problems. The solution that I found was estradiol, progesterone, and vitamins. Understanding why I experienced these problems and addressing the problem not its symptoms have enabled me to live a better, more healthy life. By stepping out, and I do in my personal world with people that I know and work with daily, I am working to make a change. One small piece at a time. For now, this is enough.