James Nimmo: Born This Way


James Nimmo explains what it means to be born an XXY male.

Have you ever wondered why you were different?

This was a question I started asking myself once I entered my teenage years.


Throughout high school, I was bullied and teased. I was a shy kid, with no confidence, and completely unsure of myself. On top of this, I had body issues. I was skinny, with no muscle or shape to my physique.

Going through puberty, all of my friends started getting body hair but that didn’t happen for me until much later on after I started having TRT injections. I often asked myself ‘what is wrong with me?’ After noticing I didn’t really have testicles. They were there but, like little peanuts. This was something that made me extremely self-conscious at the time.

At 17, I came out. A lot of the bullying I endured through school had been because I was different. Coming out was finally a start to me being true to myself. Even though I was shy and had no confidence, I did have thick skin. And because of this resilience, I never sought medical advice as to why I had such small testicles, I just accepted that was me.

At 20, I joined the gym for the first time. I remember flicking through the fitness magazines and wishing so badly that I looked like the models with their ripped abdominals. I convinced myself that if I looked like them then I would be liked and accepted. The gay world can be such a vain one.

For four years, I yoyoed through a fitness journey of group classes and working out. From 24, I started weight training but struggled to gain any muscle mass at all. I tried every protein shake on the market and tried every diet imaginable.

At 29, with much persuasion from a close friend. I decided to see a doctor and finally start asking all my ‘why’ questions. I had numerous tests and my doctor even thought I may have cancer. Luckily, that turned out to be false, and instead, I was diagnosed with Klinefelter syndrome (known as XXY), something I had never heard of.

Klinefelter syndrome is a genetic condition in which a male is born with an extra copy of the X chromosome. XXY is not an intersex condition, it isn’t inherited but rather occurs only as a result of a random genetic error after conception. Males born with Klinefelter’s syndrome may have low testosterone and reduced muscle mass, facial hair and body hair. Most males with this condition produce little or no sperm. Treatment for this condition may include testosterone replacement and fertility treatment.

Suddenly everything started making sense. I started taking TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) and decided to heavily invest time in learning and understanding health and exercise that works for my body, so I could take control of my life in a positive way.

I changed the way I lived and treated my body by eating real, nutritious whole foods, and strength training with a purpose. I set goals to compete in fitness competitions, which in turn inspired me to return to study and complete a double diploma in Fitness, Nutrition and Business.

Creating awareness around Klinefelter Syndrome is important to me as I know speaking about it can help and inspire others to know that you will be ok, and still achieve whatever it is you want in life.

I know there are other XXY males out there reading this story, and I want to tell you to never give up on your dreams, whatever the struggle is. You are so much stronger than you think you are, you matter and you are enough! Love the body that you are in.

You can follow James on Instagram @jamesnimmo_fitness or through his website: jamesnimmo.com