At age 16 and a half my mother moved us to the city. We had lived in the city when I was young, but I did not remember much of it.
The worst of it, was that I had to go to school as a boy. I hated it. I had to wear boys outer clothing and no pretty things and had to act tough. Needless to say this was nearly impossible. I was picked on relentlessly, I did poor in studies and dropped out of school. I ended up moving out of home, living by myself and working a variety of jobs for several years.
I hit a big low after being sexually assaulted one day while out bushwalking wearing a dress. The rapist was furious that I was not a woman and threatened to kill me. I was left in tears alone with ripped clothing. I made it home okay, but fell apart in tears. I then discovered there was almost no support for men who have been raped, and that my story generally was not believed. The police were unsympathetic and kept saying that "some people make up these things to get attention." I was given no counseling at all and generally I only handle the incident by trying to forget it. I hurts me a lot to just write this even though I'm just glancing over it. This combined with other factors has lead to frequent depression in my life, although I admit I have the occasional good day.
I then went through the stage of doctors wanting to use me as a guinea pig or a subject of an academic paper. This is where I gained my distrust of doctors. This is where I learned that a doctor generally has their own self interest at heart, not yours. For quite some time, having become shy to show my breasts, several doctors thought I was making them up. I was accused of having severe mental problems. And I'm sure that maybe I did, but not the ones they thought. It was at this time that I was finally correctly diagnosed with Klinefelters. Not that it mattered to me. It did nothing to change my spot in life.
Perhaps one of the most frightening episodes in my life also happened when I was about 23. I developed a large and painful lump in my right breast. It was initially attached to the wall of the breast, but as it grew larger it seemed to float up towards the nipple. I did what many women would do, and hoped it would go away at first. When it did not I went to see a doctor. She immediately tried to send me to see a specialist. To my great anger the specialist refused to see me in a public hospital and insisted wait three days to see her in her private consulting room.
I had to put up with three days of pain and fear because she was worried that the sigh of a man in the waiting room of a women's hospital might put off her other clients. I also had to pay an outrageous cost to pay for her services instead of using the free public hospital.
Anyway, it turned out that I just had a cyst, which responded to antibiotics and aspirating I was sent off to have a mammogram and an ultrasound which were surprisingly normal procedures. Mind you, after that I did a bit of research and found out that there were NO specialized resources to care for or even diagnose breast cancer in men. Not only that, but men were actively discouraged from using any of the services set up for men. Some of these even happily told me that breast cancer does not happen in men. And this was the Nineties!
After living my life as a man for quite a while I now live my life somewhere in between. I dress on the outside as a man, but at home I wear women's clothing. I always wear women's underwear, because men's underwear is just so ugly, poorly fitting and uncomfortable. I do sometimes worry that I might wander into a work colleague while shopping for clothing, but don't worry about buying the clothing. I have used change rooms to try on bras several times. I don't worry about it too much. To my surprise, neither do most of the staff.
I do remember one funny incident where I was trying on a bra in a shop and asking the assistant for different styles and so on. It was only after I had made my purchase that I realized I had been talking in a male sounding voice while there was a girl in the changing booth next door also trying on bras. She would have heard everything I said. I just realized this point and turned towards the change rooms as I saw the girl walk out and look me over. She walked over and said "You're wearing a bra."
"I know." Rather stupidly.
"Why?" She asked. "Are you.. You know?" And waved her hand in that way that suggests you are gay.
Luckily the sales assistant knew my story and came to my rescue, explaining that I had developed breasts since I was a child.
"Oh." Said the young woman. She looked at me in another light. The thought had obviously never occurred to her. "Do you want to come around to my place?"
"What for?" I asked. (By now I was even more shy that I was as a child).
"I want to talk more about your breasts." She said, and took me by the hand to pull me after her. I did have to stop to pay for my purchases.
I ended forming a loving relationship with this woman, who's name it turned out was Melissa, the same as I used. But it did not last long. She was a bit of a high flyer. She moved in circles I had no interest in. She also used drugs, which I steer well clear of . When she went overseas, I stayed behind. She was the only real adult relationship I have ever had.
I eventually became fed up with the idea that I had to live a reclusive life and have virtually no rights just because I was a male with breasts. I took control of my life and decided to stop being a victim. I also discovered the Internet and thus, that there were other people out there with my condition. It appalls me that so many of them are victims of society. But at the same time I can understand the shame and guilt they have gone through. So many of them are so eager to get rid of their breasts and see them as a deformity. This is only because society has impressions of what is normal and what is not.
It is strange that people who have gender reassignment surgery have greater public knowledge and understanding than people who have ambiguous gender or are Intersexed.
In my country I know of NO government public funding dedicated to the support of Intersexed people. I suspect it is simply because we don't form a big enough voting body to have any deciding say in any elections unlike bigger minorities. Unlike the gay community there are not enough of us willing to reveal who we are and thus no cohesive group to become any sort of political force. No representation equals no support or resources.