DC Comics’ new Knight’s gender shines forth

The Shining Knight, also known as Ystin, has said: 'I’m not just a man or woman. I’m both.'

DC Comics’ new Knight’s gender shines forth
17 November 2012

DC Comics has outed one of its characters as part of the LGBTQI community, but it has a few readers scratching their heads which one they meant.

In this week’s Demon Knights, an ongoing comic set in medieval times, the Shining Knight has seemed to come out as intersex.

Also known as Ystin (pronounced Justin), he says: ‘I think you like one…aspect of who I am. But I’m the other too. I was born this way. I’ve kept saying, whenever anyone asks.

‘I’m not just a man or woman. I’m both.’

Writer Paul Carnell told Newsarama that he did not want to say exactly who Ystin was, saying it was ‘down to what each individual reader wants from that exchange, or most identifies with.’

‘Why shut down any of the possibilities?’ he said.

Clarifying his own position on Twitter, Cornell said: ‘It’s great that a DC character can come out as transgender and it not excite much comment. Very refreshing.’

As it is set in a medieval period, it is suggested if Ystin is trans then he has a biological female body but identifies predominantly as male.

Ystin, a hero who rides a winged horse and wears a knight’s armor, has appeared in previous versions of the DC Comic universe before.

Before the 2011 reboot, the Shining Knight was revealed to be Ystina, a female who was posing as a male so she could be a knight of Camelot.

In the current version, it became a running joke for team members to ponder Ystin’s gender. But for many issues, some members suspected he was a female pretending to be male.

DC Comics was widely praised for outing one of its prominent superheroes Green Lantern as gay in June.

Since then, the comic book company has pledged to add more diversity to the DC universe.

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