ManHOOD – (generic for genital development)

A very recent picture of my chromosomes and autosomes

Even though I was diagnosed with Klinefelter’s syndrome in 1976, and had all the descriptive letters from my doctors, I’d never once seen my actual karyotype. Earlier this year (2012) I had my karyotype done again as the lab that originally did it had misplaced my photograph, and they kindly agreed to do it again. I suppose deep down I was hoping it would come out different, but it didn’t, as expected in all cells examined, I’m 47,XXY.

 

Intersex is a generic term because it covers such a wide range of medical conditions, yes people they are medical conditions, or diseases, or anomalies, or abnormalities, or aneuploidies in the chromosomal sense.  Get used to it, it’s a fact of life, people HAVE diseases, not people ARE diseases.  So if you say to me you are intersex, they I interpret that as saying you ARE a disease.   The conditions covered in the medical books are all described with another phrase, “Disorders of Sex Differentiation”  which to me is a damn sight more palatable than ‘intersex’, as ‘intersex’ implies there’s something mixed up about my sex, or something representing how much I don’t know what my sex organs look like, or that they don’t fit within standard and desirable normal sex organs.   You can read below about my sex organs and how they were never considered mixed up or intermediate, or intersex.

I was diagnosed with Klinefelter’s syndrome in 1976. My visible symptoms at the time were very thin build, no musculature, no facial and sparse body hair, female pattern pubic hair, normal penile and scrotal development, small firm testes. No breast tissue was present, my span was greater than my height, I was not over 6 feet tall, merely 5’8″ and I had broader hips than chest. My complexion was very pale, anemic almost. By mid 1977 I had testicular failure and had no testosterone production from my testes. I was 18 years old. It is estimated I developed Klinefelter’s syndrome itself when I was 14 years old. I had azoospermia (no sperm in my ejaculate).

About my manhood, it is fantastic. I kid you not. XXY guys are supposed to have a small penis, some of the XXY guys claim to have a small penis. When I was first diagnosed all my doctors wanted to give me an erection as my notes say “….he has good penile and scrotal development….” and I agree. At the time I never thought I had anything special, it worked, did the job it’s supposed to do, no big deal really.

After I started taking testosterone though, at a rate to age me, I noticed substantive increase in penile length and breadth. It was amazing what the right level of testosterone can do, even in someone who has “good development.”

Of the XXY men I know who claim intersex as their identity, often they claim they were either forced to take testosterone therapy, or that the therapy didn’t work for them. For many years it didn’t work for me either, I didn’t shave over my whole face, I had no body hair, no under arm hair, almost no pubic hair and what there was of it was very thin or sparse and fine, not in any way course. In my mid 30′s I had the appearance of a 15 year old in regard to hair growth and muscle tone.

Then I decided, with my wife, to complain to my endocrinologist about my lack of masculine development. I didn’t see myself as intersex, I saw myself as immature. I was treated as immature. When involved with outside work and all the men I’m with are hairy muscular beasts, compared to me, I needed to look the part, or be ridiculed forever! I’m sure you do realise the stress of not being taken seriously, and the stress of not being able to perform physically in the working environment.

The upshot of it all was 500mg Testosterone injections weekly, however that meant 2X250mg injections, which were painful, way too painful for me, so I cut back to 250mgs testosterone weekly, and 5 years later I was fully mature, and being quite successful in my job.