How do you feel your confidence has changed over the past 10 years?

My confidence has increased a great deal over the last ten years.

Why do you think that is?

I know myself much better and I have come out as a woman in 2020.

During the same period, I have survived relentless harassment which happened at university and which forced me into homelessness and poverty.

My enjoyment of life severely deteriorated during this ordeal.

However, I took steps to increase my writing skills this spring and I am now able to write complex documents which explain the mechanics by which my university was able to persecute me without so much as a peep from any of the staff.  

I have started to figure out how to defuse the “blame the victim” tactics used by senior staff at the university, and my life is now on the rebound.

Do you feel invisible in some aspects of your life? How does that show up?

The university’s impulses to harass the intersex female-leaning student that I am, were based on a desire to hurt and isolate, but also to censor novel ideas I was developing while examining my own minority of being XXY. These ideas could help alleviate significant health issues among the XXY population, children especially, but they also run counter to current explanations about gender, sexuality and misogyny on which the careers of countless Gender Studies academics depend.

I am currently invisible because of my deep isolation (no friends, no family, forced to abandon my studies and thus be forgotten by my classmates, plus the inability to make friends in unstructured environments). I am also invisible because I have been unable to pursue a research career in which I could expand on what I had discovered during my undergraduate years.

I am countering this invisibility by publishing articles about XXY, sports, bullying and gender on LinkedIn. I also ask people to include the letter “I” in expressions such as LGBTQIA to ensure that everyone is reminded that people like me do exist and deserve their share of happiness.

I eventually plan to write essays which tackle some of the misogynist issues which affect both XXY and XX individuals (women).

Tell me about a woman who is older than you, inspires you and why? Describe how she makes you feel.

Germaine Greer continues to be an inspiration for me. I like her perspective on what constitutes a woman: you are a woman because you experience being a woman.

What worries you about ageing?

I worry about my ongoing isolation, and my inability to make friends. Right now, I need to survive in a very difficult and lonely situation.

I am confident that I can win this fight, but I don’t know how long it will take to win: 2 years, 5 years, the remainder of my life?

What excites you about ageing?

I look forward to bloom, as a woman.

I am not yet sure what this sentence means, because in my past, I’ve either tried to “pass” as a male, or I’ve come out as a woman just as the bullying was becoming extremely intense.

Even though I enjoy being a woman, I have not yet been able to socialize with other women, nor have I been able to experience new friends perceiving me as a woman as well.

It will be exciting when this happens!

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Be confident. If you doctor tells you things that make no sense or that make you unhappy, trust your instinct.