Devin a cool trans person of color, with a dash of androgynous.
He's a native New Yorker by way of Harlem, a working professional & am currently a graduate student. Transparent Gender focuses on the social implications my transition.
I’m featured in the Gay Times Cover story: They Power: Our Identities are valid no matter how they are expressed. Excerpt from the interview below!
JW: Across both the UK and US media, trans and non-binary people are misrepresented and spoken for instead of allowed to speak. How can media outlets get it right, or do you think LGBTQ specific sites should just continue to own that territory? D: I believe moving forward, we can have both. LGBTQ specific sites are crucial for starting the conversation and leading by example. Yet, at the same time, we need to normalise reporting LGBTQ narratives on non-queer sites. We could achieve this if hiring LGBTQ people in media was standard. I’m not implying we should fulfill a quota. Imagine if LGBTQ people made up half the workforce because we didn’t take issue with their queerness. We’d make fewer mistakes in our reporting of queer people, spend less time apologising for misgendering folks, and even display some form of empathy in our journalism. We have several LGBTQ sites as our resources. We have thousands of qualified queer journalists waiting to be hired. What are we waiting for? This could be our watershed moment.
JW: You’ve spoken about TERFS on your socials last year and their ridiculous views – how do you think trans/GNC people like us should combat that level of non-inclusive feminism? D: We should continue producing literature and creating spaces where we put into practice that which we preach. Intersectionality is a difficult concept for so many others to grasp; when holding space, others can learn by observing. I also believe many people are unknowingly TERFs. A couple years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie expressed her belief that trans women and women were not one in the same. When it was brought to her attention that this opinion was transphobic and that she was wrong, she denied that it could have been transphobic and, instead, doubled down on her belief. It’s disheartening to witness one of your idols, a champion of feminism, invalidate trans women. Consequently, I began to ponder if someone so informed, like Adichie, lacked exposure to trans people. Calling out ignorance can be effective, but perhaps we should also consider producing more narratives that could truly paint the richness of the trans community. Adichie’s grouping together of all trans women and their experiences really speaks volumes about what specific trans narratives are disseminated and praised by mainstream media. Trans women are not a monolith. If stories about trans women who were raised as women circulated as widely as stories about women who transitioned in adulthood, perhaps Adichie, and people who shared her beliefs, would recognise that trans women are women. Furthermore, this information could be better distributed if we hire more LGBTQ people in journalism, as previously mentioned.
Some people leave this world without ever knowing who they truly are. I can’t say that I know myself entirely, but I’ve discovered a part of me every day for the past 6 years, and honestly it’s been scary. I’m finding parts of me that well, I’m truly dislike. I realize that subconsciously, I hadn’t been vulnerable with myself or others; I didn’t want to confront the ugly sides of me and instead blamed this as being a personality trait. I’m learning compassion for my imperfections, my shortcomings, & my flaws. It’s a long, arduous, and painful journey but has brought me so much happiness and freedom. I don’t think I ever realized how miserable I had been living while trying to achieve a level of unrealistic perfectionism. And I wonder, if I never made a promise to myself to step up and stop hiding in my shadow, would it still be eating away at me. Today I celebrate a day I opened a window, a path, a door to my emotional self-discovery. Happy Zaddy-Versary to me. Scroll down to see my transition over the years. Repost from Instagram.
When I first began transitioning, I believed I couldn’t ever be androgynous. I’d only come across images of superrrrr skinny white/white passing folx. These images of what society wants us to believe is androgyny contradicted the aesthetic I desired & hoped to look like someday.
Androgyny encompasses a variety of bodies & people. Brown & black people can be androgynous. People with curves or disabilities can be androgynous. Trans people can be androgynous. And unlike what I was led to believe, people with body structures that typically denote a binary gender can also be androgynous.
As my body shifted, I was happy to view an image of me that only appeared in my childhood dreams. Yet, I was also insecure that people referred to me as a man, defined my body as masculine, & laughed at me whenever I expressed myself as being Androgynous. I knew who I was, yes, but I worried too much about how other people viewed me.
My body, like my identity, is mine, & only mine to define. Muscles are not necessarily masculine. In instances when they are, it does not indicate a person is “man.” If I say I’m androgynous, then my body, like my mind, is also androgynous. My muscular structure does not minimize this.
I’m not a man, not yet a woman; sometimes I’m both, or neither. Many times, I’m all genders, whatever those genders may look like. And occasionally my gender is a black hole in space: nothing. At all times, in any shape my body takes form, I will always be me. I hope I can present to the world another example of what androgyny can be.
Perhaps one day, as a society, we will stop making assumptions about people’s gender or sexual identities based upon how we perceive their body. Maybe we’ll learn to stop gendering bodies at birth or during puberty. Maybe we’ll finally push back against the images media presents to us. Maybe one day we’ll cease policing trans bodies. Perhaps we’ll spend less time centering white or white passing bodies. Maybe we’ll stop glorifying “fit” bodies. Maybe we’ll start listening to folx with disabilities.
Taking time out of this beautiful day to kindly remind you that:
Not all trans people are “straight,” some trans people are gay, queer, or a plethora of other sexual identities.
Not all trans women are bottoms, many are tops.
Not all trans men are bottoms, many are also tops.
Many others are switches.
If as a lesbian the woman you’re attracted to happens to be trans, yes you’re still a lesbian.
If as a gay man the man you’re attracted to happens to be trans, yes you’re still gay.
If as a straight man the woman you’re attracted to happens to be trans, yes you’re still straight. (stop killing trans women)
If as a straight woman the man you’re attracted to happens to be trans, yes you’re still straight.
If you only sleep with trans men for their *cough* bonus hole, then you’re probably fetishizing them. Remember not all men use that area, and if they do, sometimes they prefer the back.
If you only sleep with trans women because they have a little something extra, you too are probably fetishizing them. Again remember not all women identify with those parts, but if they do, there are other ways to use them as well.
Please use the language you trans partner uses to identify those parts.
Stop assuming what bits someone may have just because they say they are trans.
Trans women and trans men do sleep with one another; this does not invalidate their identities.
Most of us don’t care to be cis… we’re quite fine breaking down archaic, hetero-normative gender norms about sex.
All the above applies to non binary people on the trans masc and trans femme spectrum.
Sex is really all about communication, and trans people are especially good this, so please listen when they explain what they do and don’t like.
People that says trans people are not attractive or that they personally aren’t attracted to trans people have obviously been locked in a closet all their life and we don’t want you or anyone that thinks as ass backwards are you do anyway, so please carry on.
I have to poop now so I’m gonna go.
But if you know the person who took this photo, please tag them so I can credit them.
Then follow me on on IG and the shirts on both IG and Facebook!
There are several pressing matters that transgender people face on a daily basis. For some, surgery is unattainable or an afterthought. Transgender people have a plethora living expenses that can’t be met. This might including paying bills, buying food, buying hormones or even paying to update an ID. I’m also providing financial assistance to anyone who desires a name/gender marker change on their passport.
Funds are limited; I encourage anyone that is financially capable of contributing to/sponsoring a trans person to donate money via paypal.me/WerkThosePecs or venmo.com/Norelle-Devin (to avoid fees).
Thank you to anyone and everyone who has purchased a shirt or has been supportive of the platform and goals.
Please share this post far and wide this will reach folx who can benefit from this.
Happy to announce I’m in yesterday’s episode SafeWord Society, hosted by Kristen and Lamika
“It’s a #VYBE, said it’s a vybe… QTPOC doing our thing, yes we THRIVE!” …It’s SEASON 5 Y'all!
We’re back with a brand new format and it includes our very own discussion-based game, the #VisibilityPacks!
On this episode, we chatted with Harlem NYC native, Founder of Transgender Fund, Trans advocate and model Devin Norelle! We talked about community struggles & strengths, social media’s impact on our self-worth and what representation really looks like for us in the media. We got into it, as we always do and are pretty confident you’ll feel this too.“ Link in my profile for the podcast!!!