Tomorrow is an autobiography by Nathan Bowker, an XXY individual. The book is comprised of many subjects, including intersex, LGBTQ, prison, drugs, body dysmorphia and graphic descriptions of sex. The author set out to tell their story as one of the pathological sides of having Klinefelter’s Syndrome. While there are lots of books, blogs and social media pages dedicated to people having Klinefelter’s and identifying as heterosexual men, this book is not that story. The author often dealt with fear, shame and embarrassment with anxiety, lies and secrets. The purpose of this book is to find a neuroscience institute who’d be interested in studying the author’s brain both during life and donated post-mortem. Being diagnosed with Klinefelter’s Syndrome answered a lot of questions, but also created many more. This book is the science behind the author’s lifetime of research.
At my most vulnerable points I reached out for knowledge, first on why there was a problem, then what it was. The words I’ve found have violated me even further. It was like trying to catch falling knives. There are words in everyday usage with secret intentions embedded within them. Once I realized that derision I could never unsee it. The word “man” for example. It means an adult human male. Already redirected in a maze I look up ‘male’ to find numerous dictionaries define it as: an individual of the sex that is typically capable of producing small, usually motile gametes (such as sperm or spermatozoa) which fertilize the eggs of a female. Physically I cannot fit this definition. I’m categorically exiled from masculinity. (As an interesting side note, Dictionary.com’s social media page the words male and female aren’t even related. Male comes from the Latin masculus and female comes from the Latin femella.)
The definition of species is “a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding.” They can either actually breed, or have the potential. According to this definition, I’m not a member of a species either. Sex exists for reproduction and nature decided I don’t get that reward. It’s equally distressing to be left out of both of our social constructs concerning gender and language. It gives me a sense that my life is intruding on the reality of others. I cannot easily define myself to fit into boxes. All I can say is I have a heartbeat and I feel.
I got into etymology during my stay in prison. I didn’t even know what it was called back then. I started looking up words and noticing the historical references. The more I looked, the more I saw how words can share the same root. It’s fascinating to me. Coming from Greek are both parts of the word etymology. There’s etym for true and ology meaning the study of. If etym can lead me onward, then I can use the ology to better understand what’s being said to and about me.