It’s Pride month and it’s no secret that I am unquestionably queer. It happens to be 50 years since Stonewall** has occurred. They say that it all started with the throw of one brick. That’s how the story goes, but when the police were treating people the way they were, a riot broke out. Can you believe that they tried to take anyone dressed as a woman to the bathroom to check their biological sex? Let’s just say that anyone with a stick in their pants would be arrested. Humankind can be completely disgusting and horrible. What a violation of privacy. I’m sure that numerous people were not out at the time and their lives would have been ruined if the riots didn’t happen.
By the way, any words that are italicized with ** after them will have a definition for them at the bottom of the blog. Hope it helps!
When I went to see my gastroenterologist, we ended up talking about the pride parade and he said: “you know, it’s going to be world pride this year”. I had no idea what that was and it sounded exciting. The annual pride parade in the city is also WORLD pride this year. I asked Lindsay the other day about how they are possibly going to fit so many people. The answer was: “You don’t. They just have to kind of deal with it”. I’ve been to a couple pride parades and I love them. It’s a day with 5 million gays in the city, and it is an excuse to go home (I live upstate now and I miss trains so much I want to cry. Okay, not the point of the story, back to queerness. Bye. I love trains.). What? I don’t know what you are talking about. Me crying about trains? I didn’t mention my longing for trains at all! Back to pride then…
I’ve been to one in a wheelchair. You do not want to go through those crowds in a wheelchair. Instead of bobbing and weaving through the pain, something my mother taught me when I was little (minus the pain part), I have to rely on the person behind me, my fiancée, to plow me through bowling pins of people. She isn’t from NYC and bobbing and weaving isn’t exactly her thing. It’s my thing when I’m well enough. I might be exaggerating with the bowling pin thing, but “excuse me, sorry” does get tiring, and I long to celebrate how fabulously gay I am at my core. I am gay in the gay way, and gay in the joyous way!
My gender-thing is confusing. To cisgender** individuals, I usually explain it as “ANYTHING but female”. I try to make it simple. Many people do not understand my gender because it isn’t the “norm”. The thing is, my body is female, so my sex is female. Biological sex and gender are two different things, if I haven’t explained it before. Sex is the “gender” of the body. Gender is the gender of the mind. Although my sex is female, my mind is… Complicated.
Me: this is an attempted explanation of my identity!
I was assigned female at birth.
For many years I identified as a girl. I loved skirts and dresses because when I would spin around, they would twirl around me. Besides that, I had no interest in those things. I didn’t really talk until four, so I would supposedly just scream and point when my socks were not put on right, *GASP*, or they were tights and had a line that was so uncomfortable where the toes were. GAH, I hated that throughout my ENTIRE childhood. Yes, I hate tights. I was also told that I would destroy my earrings and throw them out of the crib as a baby.
When I went through puberty, I realized that something wasn’t right. Every time I looked in the mirror I would want to scream. I ended up harming myself, and this went on for years. It caused conflict with my family because they didn’t understand why I didn’t like dresses anymore, and why I would ever put a knife to my skin. They were concerned for me. I had vivid dreams about science advancing so much that I could get a bionic penis. Yes… a bionic penis (I can’t believe I am writing this right now). I didn’t ever want to get surgery though because the science isn’t quite there yet, and it wouldn’t be the same. That’s just my feelings though. Many people get surgery, and they are very happy with it. That’s wonderful for them!
Before we go on, I have more to tell you about me… I’m being self-centered, okay? So, I went to college and still hated my body. One day when I was on my way to class, I met my current fiancée, Lindsay. She opened my eyes and helped me. Her words, her friendship, her opinions, and her heart made me feel different about myself. I started to entirely accept my sexuality, my gender, and my body. After starting this relationship with Lindsay, I am able to look in the mirror and be fine. I don’t have those weird bionic penis dreams and although I have dysphoria**, I can cope with it. I opened my eyes to the world of Androgyny, and it gave me a big hug. It was waiting for me, and I didn’t know I needed it. The universe began to finally make sense. It was explaining it to the world around me that made things difficult.
My gender is not within the binary that society created. It is the in-between. I like to be called a sibling, a brother, a child to my mother, and a spouse to my future wife. How lovely would it be to not have to explain this to bigoted strangers my entire life?
I don’t want to be a guy, but I want to be masculine, every time I must explain it, I sigh. I am most certainly not a girl, but I want to be feminine. If I could walk better, I would definitely dance and twirl.
I may be called a boy, I may be called a brother, but I would not like being called a father, a husband, or a son. I like to pick and choose the words, the ones that I prefer. I like to be they/them, sometimes he/him, but most certainly not she/her.
I see my future with at least four children, but what would they call me? Didi? Baba? PARENT?
There are various troubles that come with being aberrant. Androgynous people are not able to be pinned down with a specific gender. I say I am transmasculine and androgynous. I am androgynously leaning towards the masculine side of the gender spectrum**, and it isn’t exactly defined, as I still wear earrings and wear feminine scarves. Society has taught us to know what feminine and masculine are. If you think about what gender really is, femininity and masculinity are found in almost every person. We are just taught to think of each one as directly associated with women and men.
Did you know that it is possible not to be born as female or male? There are 5 different categories of intersex**? At least that is the knowledge I have of it. Scientific understanding of the human body is growing every day. The unfortunate reason that intersex is not often heard of, though it is common, is because of what happens when these babies are born. You know the debate of circumcision or no circumcision? There are many reasons for both sides to be concerned, and I do not want to get into the debate, as I have my own feelings on it, but it is similar to this. Doctors who are pro-circumcision may tell the parents that it is medically necessary, even though there are countless people out there alive and well, without having had it done to them. There are doctors out there who will say that it is medically necessary to “correct” an intersex baby. I bet that there ARE cases where it may be medically necessary, but it is unfortunate that there are many occasions where it isn’t. There are probably occurrences of parents asking for their baby to be surgically “fixed”, and it is sad that it is something that they feel needs to be changed. Society does not like anything that is deemed “abnormal”, and they want to correct it. There are actually people out there who are transgender because of the fact that they were “corrected” to the sex that didn’t match what they grew up to be. If there weren’t drastic and unnecessary surgeries, regrettable decisions wouldn’t have been made. Trying to take the “weird” away, only made emotional issues like dysphoria and something along the lines of “OMG WHY DO I HAVE A PENIS, I AM A GIRL, DAMMIT”. Sometimes I cannot comprehend the actions that humans make. Why must we change something when the people effected by the “weird thing” are happy, healthy, and ALIVE?
Note: I had a friend proof read this and apparently it is illegal in some states to perform this type of surgery on a baby. It is a very important thing to add and hopefully it will become illegal in the entire country, excluding cases where it might be life threatening, of course. Lastly, intersex is also an adjective, so apologies for any grammatical errors!
I just learned that I am allowed to put photos in my blogs. Pride month is the perfect time for this… below you will see a picture of yours truly, Demetrious McMullen, from last year’s pride parade. If you were to ask me what I was doing in this photo, I couldn’t tell you. It just looks like I’m excited, I guess. This picture was altered as well. Just for your information, I am a painter. I am NOT a digital artist. My sister, Victoria is the digital pro with her art. I attempted this and did my best. Hope you enjoy it. I call it “Gay rainbows irradiating from Demetrious with ice cream cone guy spontaneously appearing on the side”. Yeah, I just made that up.
Take a minute to let it sink in.
I. am. so. proud. of. this. photo. It would have been so easy in real life, but on the computer, this was so COMPLICATED.
You can tell I started to get lazy after yellow. The white, red, and orange are nicely compact, organized, and detailed. Then you have a bunch of yellow and lazy shark teeth for blue.
Because I can put photos in here, I wanted to share one of my favorite gender related things: THE GENDERBREAD PERSON**!! Please see below, a picture of a genderbread person and multiple different lines that anyone can fall onto in any place.
For reference, I filled in the picture with what my identities are below:
The hearts are how I decided to show it to you! The genderbread person is constantly being changed, so gender identity** has “Woman-ness” and “Man-ness” as their scales in this version. I don’t prefer this, but for the example, I placed my hearts accordingly. There is a little bit more “Man-ness” than “Woman-ness”, as I am not either, but have some characteristics of both, I suppose. I wrote, “I am transgender and androgynous”.
For gender expression**, I put a heart at halfway for feminine and a little less for masculine. Although I do think of myself as closer to a boy than a girl, if ever to fall on a binary (which I wouldn’t), I am more feminine than masculine in my presentation. I wrote, “I present myself in various ways and incorporate both masculine and feminine things!”
For biological sex**, I placed a heart fully in “Female-ness” and at zero for “Male-ness”. I wrote, “I was assigned female at birth”.
Sexually attracted to and Romantically attracted to have their hearts set accordingly and are exactly the same where they are. I wrote, “I am pansexual** and demisexual**”. Based on where I set the hearts, you could say I am demiromantic** as well!
Don’t worry, these definitions are at the end of the blog in case you are completely confused right now! We don’t necessarily need labels in order to feel how we feel. The reason why we have them is to aid us in explaining our feelings to people who have no knowledge of the specific person’s sexuality or gender. It is also to find other people who feel the same way that we do. “Oh, you are pansexual too? Cool! Let’s relate to each other!!” Also, wouldn’t you rather say: “I’m gay”, instead of: “I’m a woman who is attracted to women” or “I am a man who is attracted to men”? It makes things easier to understand in the long run. I felt like I had to address labels because I know some think they are unnecessary. For some they are, and for others, they aren’t.
I am the most excited I’ve ever been for a pride parade. It will be historical because of the 50-year anniversary of Stonewall. Today, people are still fighting for their lives because of their gender and sexuality. According to thetrevorproject.org, LGB youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth. According to GLSEN, Surveys of transgender people consistently report markedly high rates of suicide attempts. I don’t have any statistics, but the worst thing of all is that trans women of color are being murdered or harassed at an alarming rate! We need to take a stand and create a healthy and safe space for the LGBTQ+ community. There aren’t that many safe places in the world for people who are oppressed. We need to create them and obliterate the oppression. Stonewall was the first step and we need to continue the race to equality for all.
**Definitions below to all the words I italicized in this blog:
The Stonewall Riots: The Stonewall Inn was a bar in Greenwich Village and it was there, very early in the morning on June 28th, 1969 that the riots started. The Stonewall riots were run by the LGBTQ+ community and they were to protest against a wrongful police raid.
A cisgender person is someone who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Dysphoria is distress that is caused by the conflict between a person’s gender identity and their biological sex.
The gender spectrum (according to The Queer Dictionary) is a way of describing gender without conforming to the gender binary. It denotes gender as a continuum that includes male and female, but without establishing them as absolutes or polar opposites. The view of gender as a spectrum allows for the inclusion of identities besides male and female– specifically, it allows for the inclusion of intersex people, nonbinary gender identities, and nonbinary gender expressions. A person can fall anywhere on the gender spectrum regardless of their orientation, gender expression, or biological sex.
According to plannedparenthood.org, Intersex people are born with some biological characteristics that are considered “female” and others that are considered “male.” Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male. So, an individual with a penis and ovaries, for example, would be intersex. A person born with a vagina/uterus/etc. and XY chromosomes (instead of XX, the indication that one is female) would be intersex. Any combination of the sexes would be Intersex.
The Genderbread Person is a diagram meant to help people understand the difference between gender, sex, and sexual orientation.
Gender identity is…a person’s perception of their own gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex.
Gender expression is the way in which a person expresses their gender identity, typically through their appearance, dress, and behavior.
Biological sex is the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics.
Pansexual is a type of sexuality. Pansexuality is being attracted to all genders and is usually associated with being attracted more to the person than anything else.
Demisexual is a type of sexuality where a person doesn’t really experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. According to asexuality.org, a Demiromantic person is a type of grey-romantic who only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. Demiromantics do not experience primary romantic attraction, but they are capable of secondary romantic attraction
Demetrious McMullen is currently a college student. They are taking online courses at Westchester Community College for now, but the future is a slight mystery with many directions to take. They are a human services major now, but used to be a theatre major until taking classes online.Demetrious is a vocalist and pianist. They also play baritone ukulele, guitar, violin, xylophone, djembe, hand percussion, and more! Demetrious is also an actor, photographer, and painter. Demetrious is a caregiver and loves to teach. They want to be a special education teacher one day, and at some point, perform the arts they love to do. They want to combine their knowledge from music, theatre, caregiving, and human services to become the ULTIMATE teacher for the young students with special needs in this world.Demetrious is part of the LGBTQ community. They are Pansexual and Trans-male/Androgynous and uses pronouns they/them or he/him. Demetrious is chronically ill and two of their most debilitating conditions are Ankylosing Spondylitis and Asthma. They only listed those two, because they don’t want you to be reading this all dayDemetrious lives with their chronic illness every day and it is tough, but giving up is not an option. Chronic illness will not win! Demetrious’ plan is to break stereotypes and exist freely. Let’s break the gender binary, tell ALL of the stories, and shut down fallacies about people with disabilities!