I have experience with this, I have two very close friends with the same gender identity issues as Sir Ystin. It's clear at this point that Shining Knight is not hiding gender due to wanting to be a knight, but is in fact fully Transgender. Shining Knight is effectively a man with a woman's body, and thus should be referred to as 'he.' I don't know if this applies as much to the Morrison Miniseries version, but it absolutely applies to the current character.
Shining Knight's Gender
@The Mighty Monarch: In Demon Knights 4, Merlin said "You have two natures"... meaning the shining knight has got to be a hermaphrodite.
Body of a woman, soul of man.
I read "two natures" to mean man and woman. I believe Shining Knight is genderqueer. Back in the 10th and 11th centuries, they might not have had the words to articulate this, but I think Ystin is non-binary and simply prefers male pronouns.
He might be intersex, too.
To quote Newsarama:
Newsarama asked Cornell to clarify — asking point blank, “Are you saying he/she is anatomically both male and female? Or just in his/her mind? Or what?”
Cornell’s answer: “I think that’s down to what each individual reader wants from that exchange, or most identifies with. Why shut down any of the possibilities?”
I'll admit I'm biased, being genderqueer myself, but I think it lines up with the given evidence?
That said, it's not exactly like there's an overabundance of trans* characters of any sort in comics. And it seriously sucks that genderqueer people, transmen, and intersex people have to fight over a single character for representation.
But yes, Sir Ystin absolutely should be referred to with male pronouns and identifiers, because they are what he clearly prefers.
As far as I can tell, Ystin is intersexed. He admits to Ex that he is "both a man and a woman" -- considering that he fully identifies as male, with no feminine leanings, this strongly implies that he was referring to himself in a physical sense. Anyway, that's what I'm going with. He has ladybits as well as manbits.
I'm not saying Ystin isn't intersexed. He very well could be (it's kind of my headcanon that he is). But I'm talking about gender, not sex. When he tells Exoristos “I’m not just a man or a woman. I’m both," I took it to mean that he's genderqueer. When Merlin says he has "two natures" that immediately made me think two-spirit.
@Z3RO180: A genderqueer person is anyone whose gender identity falls outside the socially imposed gender binary. (That is to say, some one who is not all male or all female all the time.)
And no; Sir Ystin is not transsexual. He is intersexed, and the given evidence suggests that he is genderqueer.
I also was under the impression that Sir Ystin was a hermaphrodite or intersex in a biological sense, but upon re-reading I think it was just a roundabout way of describing themself as queer or third-gender. But I don't think they'd be considered "trans" because—biological component or not—they describes themself as both male and female.
The emphasis on "born this way" could be another roundabout way to hint at a physical component, but that's ambiguous because if you accept that logic then you assume that those who identify as gender-queer aren't born that way which is inaccurate, even if it's not something they notice until puberty. And besides, Sir Ystin's naughty bits really aren't important to the story, how they identify themself in terms of gender identity is. The biological component doesn't impact their romantic relationships as much as their gender.
As @quietwolf: says, I'd describe him as gender-queer or just queer, which is a pretty broad catch-all for anything outside the gender binary, including gender fluidity, neuter gender, male & female gender, or third gender.
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