Comic 1408 - Protagonist

6th Sep 2021, 9:16 AM in Ch. 42 - One Day at a Time
Average Rating: 5 (12 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 6th Sep 2021, 9:16 AM edit delete
Boy, oh boy! Have I got the webcomic for them! XD

Jokes aside, this page was written with the Summer 2013 mindset in mind. And if you think queer representation is sparse in mainstream media now, just remember that the in-comic date of this page predates even Legend of Korra's final season by over a year (which, while I have the unpopular opinion of not being particularly impressed by how that representation was handled, I do credit it a lot for allowing better representation to come since).

This comments section will probably be filled with people shouting out their favorite queer reps in popular shows and stuff, and there is fortunately a lot now compared to only just a short few years ago. But also, it still doesn't feel like a lot. Getting representation - especially good representation - is still extremely rare. And that why I'll keep doing my small part in writing gay and trans characters, even after Rain

(Seriously though, trans protag in something besides a webcomic when?) :3

For the more plot-focused part of this page, we still don't know Rain's orientation. We know she likes girls (and of course, is dating one), and we know she's dated a boy once, but none of that really narrows anything down much at all. I see a lot of readers default to describing Rain as lesbian, but she never said that (and there's lots of other things she could be). Maybe we'll find out for sure sometime before the end, and maybe we won't. Discovering one's self-specific orientation takes time, after all. For example, I may have always known I was trans (long before I knew the specific word), but I didn't figure out I was ace until my thirties.

And of course, she's already in a committed relationship, so some might argue, "does it matter?" It depends, really. I'd say if it matters to her, it matters. If she's okay with it being ambiguous, that's cool too. But the point is, there's still a lot of unknowns.

Busy page for also being kinda fillery. What's your takeaway today? ^_^

Rain, all characters and all other aspects of the story are copyright material belonging to me.

My next round of dental work is currently slated for November, but as I've discussed, I've still got a lot to save. If you can help, I will be very grateful. If not, no hard feelings. Thank you, either way.
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bgb16999 6th Sep 2021, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
And this, folks, is why I read webcomics and don't watch big-budget media.
Chloe 6th Sep 2021, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
I think there was a sitcom called Root on BBC with a trans protagonist played by a trans actress, not sure if it was any good since I don't watch tv these days.
Ais 6th Sep 2021, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
Well, there is a netflix adaptation in the works of a comic book with a trans protagonist, so i'm crossing my fingers
Lilian Tyra 6th Sep 2021, 10:01 AM edit delete reply

LoK actually continued in comics after the show ended, just like ATLA, and clearly shows Korra and Asami having a very obvious and open relationship with NOTHING left ambiguous or open to interpretation about it. In fact, right after they enter the spirit portal on the last episode, they end up kissing in the spirit world. There’s a lot more than that, and they have a relationship that lasts the rest of their lives, but I’m trying to hold back a ton of info so as not to completely spoil it, lol.

LoK, just like ATLA, had a comic series running alongside and after the show, so as to allow for more detail. Not to mention the comics they made about Kyoshi, whose animal companion STILL has not yet been confirmed, though numerous theories abound.
Fox 6th Sep 2021, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
Won't spoil much either, i'm personally not liking the dynamics of their relationship in the comics. Hope they'll grow in further comics...

Either way, want a mainstream queer relationship that is really wholesome: The Owl House got you covered, even though they don't get a full third season because in all fairness, viewership ratings for the show are terrible, and we live in a capitalist world :P however don't let that fool you it's really good. The gayness has been hinted at very obviously from season 1 onwards and for the rest i won't spoil specifics but it will be good. But it's not a 'let's pull it in at the last moment' type of show, which is really refreshing and a big step forward for media. We're slowly getting there.
Some Ed 6th Sep 2021, 11:59 AM edit delete reply

You're on the Internet. It's virtually guaranteed that someone will read this who is not familiar with this acronym.

I myself was actually not aware that there was a show for Legends of Karinth. I'll need to look for that.

J/K. But more seriously, there's only 17576 three letter acronyms, and 'lok' is entirely composed of commonly used letters. There's bound to be a lot of hits on this one. Lord only knows...
Lilian Tyra 6th Sep 2021, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
Well, considering my comment was in reply to our favorite author, Jocelyn, who wrote out “Legend of Korra,” I thought it was pretty obvious what “LoK” meant. Context is usually a very helpful tool like that. But whatever. If anyone were confused they could easily ask, since making a comment doesn’t require an account or anything.
Some Ed 6th Sep 2021, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
Sigh. I'm clearly getting old or too distracted. I tried looking for such a reference at least twice, including looking in the authors' comments section, and missed it every time. And somehow, I even managed to reply to another of your comments on the first attempt.
Tramuntana 11th Sep 2021, 4:38 PM edit delete reply

We also got She-Ra
Tan 6th Sep 2021, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
I think the main reason we default to lesbian for Rain is that when she was breaking up with Rudy in and ensuing comics, she expressed not just that she was probably into girls, but that she probably wasn't into boys (mostly by lack of disagreement with Rudy's assumptions, but in 420 she specifically thinks "I don't know if I'll ever have another boyfriend" (also the author commentary on that one says "She's coming out about being maybe lesbian")). Now certainly she is entitled to reevaluate that as time and new experiences go on, but we haven't been privy to that until now.

As for Korra... I only actually watched it for the first time very recently, and one of the primary things I knew about it going in was that Korrasami was endgame. And then I watched the show and I was like... That's it?? I'm aware there are follow-up comics, but as far as the show itself, you have to squint pretty hard and cross your eyes a bit to read that far between the lines. So I'm with you on that one.
Lilian Tyra 6th Sep 2021, 1:30 PM edit delete reply
It was ambiguous like that because Nickelodeon is notorious for censorship or threatening to pull the plug on anything that would be obviously LGBTQIA+. Cartoon Network tried that bs with the creator of Adventure Time over the relationship between Marceline and Bubblegum, but at some point the creator was able to weasel something in to serve as kind of a middle finger to CN, and then of course there was Steven Universe, where the gems were an all-female race anyway, so complaining about same-sex relationships there was a bit difficult to pull off.
b 6th Sep 2021, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
exactly why she-ra is so significant!
AshleyTheTaguel 6th Sep 2021, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
Not to mention The Owl House
Aisling 6th Sep 2021, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
It's not manga or anime, but a few years back, Sense8 [spoilers]

...featured a trans protagonist played by a trans woman, with really seriously realistic care (like, vaguely triggery for me sometimes). Which is not too surprising since one of the show's runners was one of the Wachowskis, but still :) Oh, she was also an open lesbian, and that relationship was explicit enough on screen to make an ace girl squirm (heh), but there it was.

Share 6th Sep 2021, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
I will say that manga such as “Love me for who I am” have had nb protags, and scholastic is publishing Magical Boy, a story about a trans guy. And of course let’s not forget about Wandering son, a manga that could have done better, but for the 2000’s was great and got an anime.
Kittysoup 6th Sep 2021, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
To be honest, not even sure how many years ago, but when a FB group was taking nominations for best LGBT piece of fiction, people were trying to nominate your comic, which is how I searched it out and started my second wave of webcomic reading. The first was back in the days of early 2000s.
Evie 6th Sep 2021, 12:30 PM edit delete reply
There was a movie in 2014 called "Boy Meets Girl" where the protagonist is a transwoman played by a trans actress.
EllieTaylor 6th Sep 2021, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Do try to keep in mind, with the Korra representation, they legit could not have done any better, because Nickelodeon wouldn't let them.
Jocelyn 6th Sep 2021, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

Oh, I know. But the show being stuck with limitations to have to work around, doesn't mean I have to be satisfied or complacent with a queer romance haphazardly tacked on to the last ten seconds of the last episode. Don't settle for table scraps; we deserve better!

That's actually why I decided to work indepedently in webcomics. It's too important to me that I be able to tell my stories the way I want to, without someone forcing me to compromise away from gay romances and trans characters because they won't sell in certain countries or to certain families. I might never gain immense popularity or wealth taking this route, but I know I'm proud of what I do, and I'm glad that this unfiltered take can be accessible to those who might need it. ^_^
Bippy 6th Sep 2021, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
Sounds like Maria needs to watch The Owl House.
SometimesIReadComics 6th Sep 2021, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
In b4 Koizumi reveals one of the Kaminari protags is trans and Rain suffers a near-fatal squeeurysm.
Absentia 6th Sep 2021, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
on the topic of bisexual protagonists, i have a question for you.

have you seen The Owl house, and if so, what do you think so far?
Chrissy 6th Sep 2021, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
I sense cracks in the 4th wall in that last panel...
Lauren 6th Sep 2021, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
Full Fathom Five, a fantasy novel by Max Gladstone, features a trans protagonist. I especially like it because the novel isn’t about her being trans - it’s about her being a competent protagonist who defies authority to do the right thing.
Allison (no, not that one 6th Sep 2021, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
To my untrained eye, all the Kaminari characters have somewhat ambiguous gender presentations. And it doesn't look like their gender restricts what they can do -- e.g., is there anything that a male character can do that they wouldn't be able to do if they were gendered female? And from what little I've seen, most animé aren't constrained by our mundane reality, anyway. (Well, maybe by our society's prejudices? Or Japanese gender prejudices?)

So why can't some character have no gender at all? Or some third gender? Or whatever?

Down with the CIStem!
cooltv27 6th Sep 2021, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
young justice s3 has a character who "doesnt feel like a boy or a girl" which is pretty cool. granted their gender identity doesnt play a big role in the story (even if the rest of their identity does) but it was still cool to see that bit of representation
spaghetti bolognese 6th Sep 2021, 6:59 PM edit delete reply
theres actually a kids tv show i know if (it might just be in my country) that is about a trans girl.
Amelia 7th Sep 2021, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
whats it called?
spaghetti bolognese 16th Sep 2021, 2:23 AM edit delete reply
If i remember correctly, i think its called “first day”
Amelia 7th Sep 2021, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
trans protage do happen in books. I know of 3(at the moment)
Fourth Nate 7th Sep 2021, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
If I could wish on the popular media stars:
A mainstream movie with a prominent trans character (protagonist, love interest, best friend, mentor, whatever, but a main character,) whose trans identity is established within the movie without reading extra material, in a story that isn't about being trans or LGBTQ+ or about childhood trauma, rated PG-13 or lower.
What I'm seeing lately is Netflix adult family dramas, and ~edgy~ R-rated ensemble casts, and very-special-episode one-offs in children's cartoons. I want trans rocketship captains and nonbinary knights in shining armor and lesbian action hero vigilantes who aren't then obligated to also cuss and show skin. I know it's come so far, but hopefully it's still got a ways to go.
CalmFusion 7th Sep 2021, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
I was thinking about the lack of accurate portrayal of "non-standard" characters, and remembered how often I am annoyed at the unrealistic portrayal of SO MANY people, especially in "comedies" or "reality shows", but even in most shows. It's not like cis, hetero, mundane people get portrayed in a realistic light, either, and it is OFTEN actually a pretty insulting light if you pay attention. Which is why I spend so little time watching television anymore. Even something like "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" can be dreadfully insulting in the creation of it's "normal" characters. And that is one where Native people and non-hetero people have been cast ins a mostly favorable light ( Example, the Walt Whitman episodes. ) So, on a certain level, the unrealistic portrayal of LGBT+ people is pretty much "treating them normally", based on current trends in the 'entertainment industry'. Hey, we are getting insulted in the same ways; what an improvement !
Mavis the Rain Beau 8th Sep 2021, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
A surprising amount of manga and anime have well written queer relationships considering the amount of times that they're written by a straight person of the opposite gender
EmilyCtheMC 8th Sep 2021, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
I literally just realized that if this takes place Summer 2013…then I’m the same age (or thereabouts) as the protagonists! Om gosh. My trans lesbian heart is exploding!
bandana_girl 9th Sep 2021, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
Trans protag? Might I suggest Sense 8. Not only a trans protag, but played by a trans actress with trans writers/directors/producers
Tepro 9th Sep 2021, 4:19 PM edit delete reply
They'd probably love the She-Ra reboot, The Owl House, or Love me for who I am.
Anon 27th Sep 2021, 2:01 AM edit delete reply
Reading this after just watching an episode of The Owl House >->
confusedthrowaway 31st Jan 2022, 11:05 PM edit delete reply
I remember really itching for a trans woman protagonist in an otome game, and then "My Sweet Zombie" on itchio came out and i was just
so happy when that happened and the games great please play it (it has a female + poly ll and a poly ending)
Chrissy 17th Mar 2022, 7:26 PM edit delete reply
I was just re-reading this chapter, and realized... Didn't Rudy point out that he found this interesting webcomic called "Snow" to Rain a while back...
Ron 4th Jul 2022, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
One of the main characters in Soul Eater (anime and manga) has no gender (but the English subtitles sometimes wrongly give them one). The creator has stated they have no gender, and they aren't referred to by gendered terms in either anime or manga. It's 51 episodes and came out in 2008!
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