well tonite on the show I have Devin Hellfire a multitalented transman who is a writer, artist and performer he quotes:While my Mother was pregnant with me, my Parents wanted a boy so badly that they only had a boy's name picked out. When I was born & the Doctor announced that I,"was a girl" they were shocked & surprised. Of course their instincts were right in the first place. I was supposed to be Donny Junior but they named me Denise. I've always hated that name.
I remember my Mom asking me when I was 5 why I played with boy toys. "Because I’m a boy." I told her. She laughed & said, "You’re not a boy! Boys have penises & you don’t have a penis!” I looked down even though I was clothed, contemplated the missing penis, & said, "It just hasn’t grown yet.” Thirty-nine years later? I’m growing my penis finally & I’m proud of every millimeter!
Even though I grew up in the ghettos of Connecticut with a single Mom on welfare. I spent my childhood drawing, painting & getting art scholarships. I attended Wesleyan University's Art Program C.C.Y when I was 15 and 16. Studied at the Educational Center for Arts in New Haven, CT from ages 16 - 18.
In 1987 I came to Baltimore to attend Maryland Institute College of Art & spent the next 20 years as a free-lance artist, poet & performer. I was first published in 1991 in Cry of the Invisible, which received International acclaim. A collection of my poetry & illustrations were published by Shattered Wig Press in 1994. In 1998 I was nominated for an Artscape Literary Award. During all this I toured the drag king circuit as the glam- rocker Devin Hellfire.
At the height of my career I suffered several serious injuries. Excruciating, debilitating pain not only stopped Me from doing what I loved but I was having difficulty just doing every day tasks. My body was falling apart & I needed several surgeries. I could barely walk never mind perform & I was losing the use of my right arm from the spinal injury. I could no longer paint or draw and Doctors were telling Me that I would never be able to use my arm again. During all of this I was coming to terms with the fact that I was Transgender.
That realization is partly what saved my life. I fought hard for my life as Devin Cherubini so that I would have a chance to live it! Now, after two years in transition & a successful spinal surgery that gave me the use of my right arm back; Devin Cherubini is making Art again & re-emerging into the light. It hasn't been easy. My family & many friends rejected & abandoned me. Some even abused Me. Watching a loved one in severe chronic pain & transitioning at the same time is a challenge many weren't able to cope with. But a couple of old friends have stuck by me & while in Connecticut for a year, I made wonderful & supportive transgender friends through the Connecticut Outreach Society. Now back in Baltimore, I have founded the Trans* Baltimore Outreach Society in order to pass on to Trans* people in Baltimore the kind of support I found in Connecticut. So that they too can be happy & proud to be who they are in the World.
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