A former professional photographer in London & the United States for over a decade. Late diagnosed with congenital intersex variation XXY aka Klinefelter's Syndrome or KS. Currently a novelist, illustrator.
I am not very well educated, but even with a poor education I managed to write books, but being uneducated limits your choices in life & damaged my self confidence & mental health. For decades I was convinced I wasn't related to my siblings, that my parents must have picked up the wrong baby in the hospital (at my birth) or I was a secret love child (of my mother's indiscretion). In 1977- red flag missed- My parents took me to the doctor as I had behavioural issues. This was waved away as the doctor said as I was left handed, my brain works differently. In 1985 I felt forced to leave school aged just sixteen. I suffered years as the victim of bullying that impacted my mental state, I had noticeable red flag anatomical variations that doctors, parents & teachers waved away as 'just puberty.' In 1987- red flag missed- I had gynecomastia surgery, yet the cause was not investigated.
During my childhood & photographic days I was also an avid scribbler. I wrote my first novel Oh Bug (as I call it) whilst waiting for a visa for a US cruise ship photographer role. I had recently resigned after eight years as an advertising photographer. My doctor said it was too stressful for me, so, like an idiot, I believed he was competent. I switched to an different type of photographic job, but it wasn't the same, it was pretty poor considering I used to photograph models in central London. So anyway, I had a spare few months before my contract began as I wondered where my life was going, you see. My children's trilogy: Louis the Furred came to me between contracts as I had suffered tonsillitis. (From the ship's air conditioning!)
In 1997- red flag missed- I gave sperm to a hospital but there was an issue, but my GP simply waved this away as a mistake, 'Your brother's got kids, you'll be fine,' he said & told me to simply ignore their advice. In 1999 I had issues but the GP said my lifestyle was the cause. In 2001 -with red flags missed again- doctors in the UK (wrongly as it happens) advised again (a second time) I change career as it was causing me stress and my photographic dream ended forever. A decade passed and whilst frustrated in menial work, I was fortunate to be made redundant and this gave me time to think. I rewrote these books in 2011, adding my own illustrations and chose my best short stories for the Asylum Years. They were all published by 2012/13.
In 2017 I was diagnosed with Klinefelter's Syndrome: a congenital intersex variation (I have 47 chromosomes not 46 aka XXY)
This explains the daydreaming and education issues but with no support I suffered decades of harm. Also such a late diagnosis only causes frustration as I reminisce about an awful childhood, poor education & lost career. Ironically KS is the reason why I have never been a big reader as my mind wanders, but imagination is, for me at least, the inspiration of my life.
I was made a trustee for the Klinefelter's Syndrome Association Charity in 2019.
Our aim is that every individual born XXY has the Human Right to an early diagnosis & treatments that improve quality of life (something that I didn't have myself). We offer help & support for those born XXY & their carers/parents. We are in negotiations to someday get population screenings and guidelines for doctors and local governments. Currently tens of thousands are undiagnosed in the UK and with millions undiagnosed worldwide; so many people are missing out on help. I know that many of us lucky ones (the diagnosed) have been told we are on the autistic spectrum, but there will be many who are not diagnosed with ASD only. There many late diagnosed & undiagnosed with diabetes, cancer, obesity, pulmonary embolisms, osteoporosis etc where doctors blame the individuals lifestyle without following their remit by finding & treating the cause, early in life.
No XXY Diagnosis = No help, WHATSOEVER!
In 2021 the UK Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman confirmed I suffered decades of preventable harm.
Please view the Klinefelter's Syndrome Association website: ksa-uk.net We are a volunteer run non-profit charity, donations accepted.
I have a variety of other books too, as yet unpublished and I am currently writing a new contemporary novel entitled: At 23:23 Someone Will Die! I intend to have this completed by the end of 2022.
To Conclude: I am grumpy, I'm not going to lie. Having late diagnosed Klinefelter's has definitely limited my opportunities. But it just shows that if you keep going & follow your dreams, avoid the suicidal thoughts, you can achieve even with this. The photographic skills & imagination play a strong role in my personality, but it shouldn't be possible that- in this day & age- so many people are undiagnosed & suffer preventable harm.
I understand this statements now: the older the wiser When I was young, I was naive. When a doctor me told me stuff about my health, I foolishly believed them. I really didn't realise they didn't understand basic human anatomy & that they are actually pretty clueless.
And I will finish with my of plagiarism taken from the film: the Usual Suspects
The biggest trick the Devil ever made was convincing the world that doctors can be trusted...
Anyway- after that grim bit of reality- I hope you enjoy my site!