Published on January 3rd, 2012 | by Wild Gender0
Naked: Q&A With Leader of The XY Movement
Recently, a video (posted below) of the upcoming rapper talking to his local news network about gender presentation went viral. The video features him wearing lipstick and tights and calling it the “XY Movement.” DPhil Spanglish talks about it in detail with Wild Gender.
E: Was there a tipping point with your gender identity when you all of a sudden felt like you needed to express yourself more fully?
D: Yes. One day, I started to notice that people I knew were becoming so seriously homophobic about how other people dressed and presented themselves. It was getting out of hand. I decided, I’m going to cross that line. I’m going to do me. I know what I am. I know what I like. Why can’t I be confident in my skin and do what I do?
E: Have you found that the gender binary is harder to bust up in a place like Dallas? (I’m from Dallas too).
D: The south in general is a very traditionalized place. But people all over America are becoming more free, like with the Occupy Wall Street movement, and all these uprisings. It’s kind of like we’re freeing ourselves. That’s what I want to spread. Dallas (Texas) is very conservative for the most part. It’s effected me in some ways. People that I thought were my friends just fell off because how I want to express myself.
E: I’ve noticed that the XY Movement has spawned a lot of support and attention from people who are posting pictures of themselves wearing lipstick and tights on your Facebook, posing like you. Has there been any one response has stood out from you through all this?
D: One memory off the top–shout out to TJ–one of my friends was talking to me about the whole thing. And he said something like, everybody that has done something for humanity, something positive or a role model, had to break through a glass ceiling. When he told me that, I realized that once I’ve broken the glass ceiling, there’s no holding back. People think a person can’t dress like I dress and still be man. I don’t like labels. And through this, I found that a lot of people like me feel the same way. I love getting all the photos and the messages. The attention that XY is getting is beyond amazing.
E: Is there one thing you’d suggest to somebody who is trying out a new gender presentation and might be a little afraid to do it?
D: Just do it. With gender specifically, anything thats been laid in history has flaws in it. With so many things, we look at history and we say, ‘oh we can do this better,’ ‘we can advance that technology.’ But in relationship to gender, we have a fear of evolution. There’s a fear of growth and a fear of the dying period that would happen to certain traditions. I really just think some of these traditions need to be looked at. So, I’d just suggest to keep being inventive. Keep finding new ways to live better and to live healthy. And to be you.
E: Where do you see the XY movement going? Taking down the establishment like OWS?
D: I see us going to the moon, going to outer space. Really, it’s just about being the best you can be. I hope to inspire people. I hope to help people in some way. I’m learning. I’m learning that’s what keeps us young. We have to keep asking questions, questioning our systems, figuring out things. All I want to do is help somebody else.
E: How do you see yourself helping somebody else?
D: I feel like all I’ve ever wanted to do was to connect with people through my art. The only way I can do that is to be as honest as I can. People can tell from what I do who I really am without even asking. That’s how expressive I want to be. They see me and they know me. I have nothing to hide.
E: Is that how you feel about your gender identity? That some of it was hidden until you started expressing it more fully in your appearance?
D: Absolutely. That’s where all of this came from. I think gender is a big issue as far as what people feel. Assumptions about gender have hindered people from expressing how they want to express themselves. I believe that we’re just here and we’re just living. See, I’ve always been an artist and a dreamer. That’s why I idealized John Lennon, rest his sole, as a kid. I was always drawing and rapping, and just trying to find my place in life. I remember in high school, I always kept to myself. I liked to be in my own zone, my own world. Then, in 10th grade I discovered the Cool Kids. When I first saw them, it really struck me. I was like, they’re weird. But I like it. Listening to them helped me venture out and try different stuff. I like to experiment with fashion. Eventually, I found my way around. Since then, I’ve tried to continue venturing and exploring both personally and professionally.
E: So what’s coming up for you professionally in 2012?
D: I am working on my album right now and I keep creating things in between. The album called “Good Versus Evil” will be out on April 16, 2012. I’m also writing a book along with that. I’m coming up with all kinds of projects right now: keeping happy, staying free.
To find out more about DPhil, check out his twitter @dphillgood or his YouTube feed here.