I’m Joy. I have gotten acquainted with some of you over the years, to my benefit. Here’s a little bit about me. I was diagnosed with Klinefelter’s at twenty in 1974 through Oregon Health Sciences University. I was offered Testosterone, which I declined. Information was in short supply and no internet then. I have the standard male XXY package and the optional female body package with breasts, hips and curves… that appeared at age sixteen.
It was always frustrating trying to be more male and hide my feminine self. I was alone in my thoughts. I felt stunted in my emotional and social growth. It’s been a nagging feeling through the years that I didn’t always fit. I felt more isolated with my family, as mom was an alcoholic, dad was the enabler and my older brother was my personal tormentor. My dad knew about my KS at fourteen and wouldn’t discuss it with me. He gave me a testosterone injection a few days later. He was an Obstetrician. He seemed to believe that if you lie and deny, the problem will go away.
At twenty-three, I finished college with a Bachelors Degree in Corrections, worked at a minimum-security prison and got married. Five years later, I was paroled, lol. I transferred to a field office as a Parole & Probation Officer, for twenty-four years. As I worked, it felt like I put my XXY in a box and placed it on the shelf. My elf on a shelf. No new information. No one understood and I wasn’t going to talk about my KS. There was a sense of isolation and loneliness with that. I had a probationer with KS. I read information about his KS in his Pre-Sentence Investigation and spoke with him. It was weird talking with him and recognizing his signs of KS. I couldn’t tell him anything about me. I had to maintain my professional distance and my secret.
At thirty, my wife and I adopted siblings, a boy and a girl when they were ages four and five. We knew they had behavior issues and sought out counselling for everyone. Our kids had challenges throughout their lives. At times it was unpleasant and I felt reminded of why we couldn’t have our own children. Our son was with us until the age of twenty-two when he died in a motor vehicle crash. Our daughter is now forty-one and lives on the East Coast. She calls us weekly.
I always thought I would meet someone like me and we would talk about all the things we have in common.
At age sixty-four, in August 2018, I spoke with a friend about our XXY lives and all we had in common. I was so excited to finally meet someone with similar traits. I was elated. As we spoke, it made me realize that XXY wasn’t the big deal I made it. I don’t have to struggle anymore. I could love and accept myself. I was released to explore my feminine self. Joy was the emotion I felt. The body I held in contempt, is the one I now embrace. I have found my place in the world. I have lived full-time as an Intersex woman for twenty-one months. I have found joy!
Post Script: A few observations:
In a room full of people, I can feel alone or feel I don’t fit or be fully engaged. They seem to be fleeting feelings with no rhyme or reason.
A year or so ago, I attempted to write my story, but it was too emotional and overwhelming. With a different perspective, I wrote my story.
I have an XXY friend who lives forty miles away. She is quite amazing and has overcome adversity to become her feminine self. I admire her.
My faith is important to me. I rely on the Bible for direction and clarity in my life, through the fellowship I attend.
With retirement comes interests I enjoy and some things I couldn’t do if I weren’t Joy. I’m a firearms instructor and co-leader with a women’s shooting group, a Deacon in an affirming and accepting church, and I help an Intersex friend navigate life.
Thank you for your indulgence,