Let me tell you a quick story about Pyro-Sith/Retro-Specs. Some of you got to know me as a shy young man, married with a few cats, living isolated in a small Northern Ontario city. And that is all I thought I was as well.
I didn't go on about my health issues back then on Deviant Art because I saw no point to that, but I'll mention them now. I have had chronic abdominal pain for 20+ years, and an extreme sensitivity to light, and hot & cold temperatures that most normal people can tolerate.
Two years ago my marriage ended, the cats had to be adopted out, and I went homeless. It was very depressing and I was on the verge of self harm. Seeing no point in staying in that backwards, jobless city I lived in, I moved to Toronto, where I currently live. Right in the downtown core in fact. It was a sharp contrast going from small communities to the middle of the fourth largest city in North America. And I came here on my own; no relatives, no friends, no money. And I made it on my own, finally having an income and places to stay, and a plethora of new friends and business contacts.
Now, the big part. After getting settled in, I decided to search for a doctor. A good doctor at a good clinic who knew what they were doing. So finally a hospital down here decided to actually check on the cause of my internal pain, and I got an ultrasound for the first time at 32 years of age. And it turns out the cause of the pain is MENSTRUAL CRAMPS.
Yes. Multiple tests over a few months confirmed it. I am in fact a woman, with a variety of birth defects, and my parents were told to raise me as a boy and it was thrown on the back burner 34 years ago. It was a lot to take in, while at the same time an affirmation of something I knew in my heart all along (There was a reason the majority of my comic characters are female and are based on my appearance and personality; that way I could relate to them). Suddenly thousands of past puzzle pieces came together, and all this sudden nonsense caused life to make sense.
Now, this was over a year ago. I have gone out of my way to change how I present myself. I had physiotherapy and discovered that I was not even standing or walking properly. After some prescribed muscle relaxants and exercises, my skeleton sunk back to its proper positions and I lost four inches of height (Sounds crazy but it's true).
I'm a different person altogether - except in art. I've been continuing to work on my same characters and story, and they exploded into an enormous series. After all, I was homeless and unable to work a normal job, so drawing and writing became my daily therapy. My old comic, "Super Nipper", with its dozen characters and episodes became a proposal for a 33-episode series with 70+ characters, called "The Tenth Guardians", and I'm anxious to start posting it online again.
As for that sun sensitivity, I just recently got diagnosed with "actinic prurigo" - extreme sensitivity to UV radiation, natural or artificial. In other words, I am allergic to light. I actually have to avoid the outdoors on sunny days, and keep myself as covered as possible. It's annoying in some ways, but easier to deal with than it sounds like.
So, to conclude... I went from being a shy small town guy to a big-city freelance businesswoman in a matter of two years. Funny how life works out that way. I mostly focus on cartooning, but also have started a jewelry business, and do other odd jobs on and offline. I am sick of using pseudonyms and hiding who I am online like I always have. After some discussion with family, and remembering a nickname, "Moxie", given by my now deceased grandparents, it seems my name is supposed to be Maxine - which I am perfectly alright with. I absolutely hated my old name.
I'm establishing my new online presence now. My new official dA is 0-Moxie-0
I started a Wordpress blog yesterday, Moxie's Complications
It will take a while to get all this stuff organized, but I've always loved getting websites together anyway. Lastly, here is one recent photo of myself - purplized:
TL;DR: I moved to Toronto, hospital found out I'm actually a woman, and am allergic to the sun. How was YOUR last year?