Libby’s thoughts on living as a man, on her housemate, and more
A few months into living as Joseph Smart, Libby sat down for a confidential interview about her life studying medicine, her childhood, and her feelings about her housemate. Libby has finally allowed that interview to be made public.
Interviewer: When you met Ziyaeddin what was your first impression?
Libby: I met him more than two years ago at Haiknayes Castle, the home of the Duke of Loch Irvine, who is a particular friend of my father and me. I went to the library to retrieve a book and the strange man there teased me. He is a dreadful tease, actually. I tell him not to, yet he teases me anyway. At first it disconcerted me; I prefer direct speech. But I have become accustomed to it and have even learned to tease him, which I think he enjoys.
Interviewer: Were you offended when he told you your idea to dress as a man to study medicine was “absurd?”
Libby: I don’t take offence easily. I thought he was wrong to reject the idea so speedily (and look how well it has turned out, after all—so ha ha!). But mostly I felt desperation. I really had no other choice.
Interviewer: Do you think you as a future surgeon and he as a portrait painter have a lot in common regarding the human body?
Libby: Not particularly. But he does. He insists on it. He is exasperating. And very handsome. And kind. And generous. And unexpectedly fierce at times. But exasperating. It is true that I have come to see that he paints not only what is on the outside of a person, but also what is within that person—pain, longing, fear, joy. He is an exceptionally fine artist. I wonder sometimes why he wishes to paint me. What I am within is entirely on the surface for everybody to see.