Waterford, KY: Every since he was a young boy, Peter Johnson had been told he was special. "I didn't know why or how, until I took my shirt off in public. I was special all right." Peter, like over eighty percent of Kentucky's male population, suffers from gynecomastia, or "man boobs" as it's commonly known on the streets. But what is special about Peter's case, and a growing number of others, is that his gynecomastia is also bilateral and asymmetric. Not only are both his breasts inflamed (bilateral), but one of them is significantly larger than the other (asymmetric). "I used to think God was just shitting on me. It's good to know he's shitting on a few others too", says Peter.
Having bilateral asymmetric gynecomastia can lead to severe psychological disorders and even trauma. "Summer is a horrible time for me. I hate getting in and out of pools." Peter recounted an incident in Las Vegas when a colleague jokingly placed a hand on his asymmetric breast and developed an instant erection. "It's a source of amusement to everyone…but me."
Environmental-socio-economic factors have not made coping any easier. With global warming on the rise, Peter says he can no longer rely on long winters and thicker fabrics and layers to deceive the public about his milk distribution problem. Leading fashion designers have also recently taken to sewing pockets, which can mask and hide an inflamed breast, on the right side of shirts. "My left boob is the problem. I'm running out of options"
With surgery both costly and painful, leading health physicians have suggested increased exercise and a healthier diet. Neither, however, has worked for Peter. Instead, he credits his family with helping him open up and deal with his chronic bilateral asymmetric gynecomastia. "I learned to love his little perkers" lied Katie, his wife of eight years. "We're both b-cups so we can share tee-shirts, which is convenient." Peter also has several close family members that suffer from mild forms of gynecomastia that understand his plight. "The guy belongs in a circus sideshow, right next to the bearded lady and two headed dog" mused his brother Bob. Clad in a snug designer shirt proudly displaying two identically shaped unilateral breasts, his cousin Dean had this to add "I thank god everyday my twins are identical, and not fraternal like that poor bastards."
The situation is not without hope. Attitude can play a big factor in dealing with chronic bilateral asymmetric gynecomastia. "I'm learning, over time, to accept my lopsidedness." Peter mumbled feebly.