The Last Letter, Part 2
10th Nov 2021, 10:58 AM in Ch. 43 - Liriel's Daughter
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The Last Letter, Part 2
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Author Notes:
This is kind of a very real and personal story for me. This page highlights a lot of why Rain as a whole even exists. I've talked in the past about how my earliest memory is very close to Rain's. I said I wanted to be a girl, and I was shot down. But unlike Rain - and more like Liriel - I saw that this was "unacceptable" behavior, so I didn't bring it up again. I didn't want to rock the boat. I knew what I was and what I wanted from the very beginning, and a day never passed where I didn't think about it. But I truly [wrongly] believed that transition meant "losing everything and everyone", so I forced myself to become a pro at keeping that secret.

Under a great deal of stress and anxiety, I did eventually break out of that (it took decades). Part of what brought me to that breaking point, though, was the fear that I would spend my whole life never getting to be myself; that I'd leave this world never having felt like I lived. I was still terrified to rock the boat, but it was the only way I thought I'd ever love myself. And even if I lost the love of everyone else, I needed that more than words can express.

I'm ultimately very fortunate in that my immediate family and close friends stuck by me, and ironically, all my fears were self-enforced and largely unfounded. But my heart goes out to those who still live in fear, who are still bottling themselves up because it's safer or "easier" - all those people we meet every single day, and we'll never really know them. You shouldn't have to hide. No one should have to hide who they are.

So Liriel's words to Rain, I paraphrase to you:
I love you all, and I hope you get everything you want in life. I pray you fight for what you want. Don't wait for permission. Don't let anyone tell you "you can't." You deserve to be happy. You deserve only the best.

Rock that damn boat.

Rain, all characters and all other aspects of the story are copyright material belonging to me.
User comments:
Skydream (Guest)
So Liriel was quite possibly a trans guy?
Oh man, that's awesome...and also so sad that she went through what she did (he did?)
jgrace (Guest)
Kinkajou (Guest)
Oh my… I wonder how Rain would react. And Fara, who’s known Liriel as her sister her whole life. I wish Liriel wasn’t dead so that he could live a better life :(
Holy crow, I had to stop for a second and my mouth was agape. That's certainly a twist. I have no idea if it was intentional, but this was foreshadowed years ago when Rain was told she had met trans people before, she just didn't know. It's so sad that Liriel could never express the man or the Dad he was. I'm glad Rain knows who he really was. I'm a bit choked up not gonna lie. I'm happy Rain is gonna be her best self, not just for her, but her Dad too. The father that actually deserved to be called Father.
Don Edwards (Guest)
I strongly suspect that the foreshadowing was intentional.

But, short of our beloved author-artist plainly telling us, we will never be sure.

Just imagine that, say, your dentist's receptionist is trans, and not vocal about it while at work. What would you know or see that would let you know this? Approximately nothing. It doesn't matter if they are (a) in self-denial, (b) in the closet, (c) "passing" and maybe in the processes of reassignment surgeries, or (d) completely through those surgeries, the answer is the same.

Genderfluid people who are "out" at least show, over time, something recognizable. Which is one reason I'm writing a genderfluid minor character, not a trans character. (Not being trans myself, in fact pretty close to the emotional opposite - agender - I don't feel that I'm the person to write about being trans. So if any of my characters are trans, even I probably won't know it.)
from what i know, technically genderfluid is trans. it falls under the trans umbrella, as well as the nonbinary umbrella, which itself falls under the trans umbrella as well. genderfluid is just a highly specific term for a certain kind of transness. (source: i am genderfluid and this is what i learned about it, some people will disagree though and that's fine :3)
Like Absentia, I am also genderfluid and nonbinary and I consider myself (and nonbinary, genderfluid, and agender identities in general) to be under the "trans" umbrella. It's fine if people disagree or someone identifies as nonbinary but dislikes the label trans for themself! But transgender just means not being the gender that was assigned to you at birth - it's more than only binary trans.
Sorry, I'm not sure what the second half of your reply is referring to. Nor do I really understand your point. I'm not angry or anything! I'm just confused as to what you're trying to say.
Leah (Guest)
I've heard some people say that "trans" covers all gender identities that are different from your "assigned at birth" one.

So that includes nonbinary genders, like genderfluid, agender, demigender, etc. All those would count as trans.

I think that's what Absentia is talking about here?
Uninvited Guest (Guest)
If I remember correctly the comment about having met trans people before was made by Fara. In the light of subsequent events I assumed it was a reference to Vincent. Rain met Vincent before his transition, in comic 481 - Lady (434 in the archive numbering)
Sara (Guest)
That was Jessica in . I'm pretty sure that she didn't knew that Rain and Vincent already met, so she hadn't a specific persion in mind.
Allyyy (Guest)
Man, as someone who lost their mother right as I was figuring out I was trans, this hits hard. I wish I could have had the same happen with my mother, but perhaps that is why I love this story so much. This is the first time I’ve commented, but I want you to know this story is very important ti me, and I can’t wait to see more of it.
Aria (Guest)
.....reflecting on the past can be difficult and painful for me. The amount of trauma and abuse and gaslighting I've gone through.. *Shakes head* The thing is, sometimes.. sometimes I have to remind myself that I've known all along I was a girl. How often I would daydream about being one. Wearing pretty clothes. How often I'd look at women's clothes in the stores from afar and feel ashamed for wondering if any of it would fit. How people "joking" about making me wear makeup or dresses for Halloween made me excited, not embarrassed (jerks never followed through).

But then I think back to a few months ago. I've been out for years now, but I bluntly asked my father how he would have reacted had I actually come out as a kid. He was honest... And I don't think I need to go into detail of how poorly he'd have taken it. And considering my mother's reaction when I came out as an adult...

I suppose my self-preservation was powerful enough as a kid to realize certain things. These days I struggle with transition due to finances and lack of insurance, and my dysphoria is a constant companion whether I like it or not. And every time I wonder if the closet will fit me anymore, I look around at my people and realize, I made the decision to be visible and vocal so that others might feel safe enough to come out. And a few have. So I can't in good conscience even try to go back into hiding who I am.

Like you said.. I gotta keep rocking the boat.

I just hope there aren't any icebergs in the way... 😅
Athena (Guest)
I'm sorry to say this, but... yeah, I don't know.
Liriel accepting Rain and giving her the blessing to be her own self is great, and I really appreciate this. Hell, Rain absolutely deserved this kind of closure and having finally something this good happen in her life.

But Liriel being trans as well? This is the point where I just stop buying it. The odds are too much for my suspension of disbelief.

Sorry. Still an amazing and super heartwarming comic, though.

You say that, but it's probably way more common than you think. I know at least one trans parent/child combo in my offline life. And a fair few more online.

What you're willing to believe is up to you, but I assure you, you might be surprised. :)
Allison (not that one) (Guest)
Jocelyn wrote:

« I know at least one trans parent/child combo in my offline life. And a fair few more online. »

Trans parent with trans kid here. I'm a trans woman and my oldest child is non-binary. They came out to me (at age 25) shortly after I got back from the Phila. Trans-Health Conference in 2015[*]. They were the person that gave me the shove to actually make an appointment to start HRT.

There's a family in Ottawa where one parent is a trans woman and they have a trans girl. The cis-mom wrote a book about the experience: _Love Lives Here_.

[*] I reacted by saying that if they had come out a month or two earlier, I could have taken them along with me.
King In Green (Guest)
Funnily enough, the "cis" mom came out as non-binary earlier this year. So it's a trans kid with two trans parents.
I'll chime in with a slightly different case

I'm a Trans woman and my biological niece is also trans
Naomi (Guest)
Trans woman with trans parent here! (hehe, transparent.) It happens! We exist :)
Eva Grimm (Guest)
Not a parent/child combo, but I figure it's worthwhile to chime in here. My bio brother and I are both trans.
Star (Guest)
This hits hard. As I come to realize that Dad's 'protection' of me has hurt me my entire life, I look back on things and see also that Mom (divorced him when I was a kid) has been pressured by society to see herself as unable to take care of herself and to be a doormat. As we've grown closer in recent months she's admitted regret at not standing up for me to Dad more.

She recently told me she has dysphoria symptoms, though she didn't seem to know they were such...

No matter what happens, we're both working towards a brighter future now...
TallMist (Guest)
It's honestly really not as unlikely as you may think.
Prezombie (Guest)
Being transgender isn't a purely random thing. While we don't entirely understand the causes of having a divergent gender, there are plenty of cases of families with multiple trans people, suggesting that there are inheritable elements that contribute to dysphoria. Transgender identical twins happen at a rate hundreds of times higher than randomness would predict, and you can find many examples of a parent coming out with or after their kid does, simply because they realize that those feelings of dysphoria they had are not just your typical intrusive thoughts that everyone has, and there's a way to fix things.

If anything, this actually helps explain *why* Rain had dysphoria strong enough that she was able to identify what was wrong at such a young age. For many trans people, the dysphoria is just this unsettling feeling that something is *wrong*, and only later manage to figure out the cause.
Lilly (Guest)
My mom has had feelings of being a boy for many many years and my sibling is non-binary, I am trans myself don’t tell me this is impossible, I suspect genetics make things more likely in families
Selix (Guest)
Did your mother ever get to transition?
not parent/child, but i'm genderfluid and i have a nonbinary sibling. so it does exist within immediate families lines. honestly, parent/child seems like one of the most believable ones because the parent might be able to recognize what their child is feeling early on and help them through it.
BethofDeath (Guest)
Hi, trans woman whose mother identifies as gender-nonconforming:

Imma just chime in along with the chorus and say that this "doesn't seem likely" thing is entirely because our cultures were forced into acting entirely cishet, suppressing any hint of queerness into the back of the closet, for so long it massively distorted our sense of what the actual odds are and how they're distributed.
Fox (Guest)
Another trans parent with a trans child here. I knew from a very young age I felt different, but it wasn't until puberty that I really realized I'm a man. I later discovered I'm also intersex, so there's that too. I gave birth to a child while still figuring myself out and one of the first things my child said, "I'm a girl". I supported her, and still do, to be herself. She's 9 now and getting ready to go on puberty blockers. She had a name change at 6 and lives fully as the girl she is with the whole family knowing.

So you may not believe it, but it happens more often than you think.
TK-Dragon (Guest)
While I disagree that its impossible to happen. I can kind of see where you might be coming from in a story perspective. It kinda makes sense Liriel is trans but I dont think it was something a lot of us thought would actually happen.
melior (Guest)
every single time someone comes out theres always a comment thats like "well thats the breaking point for me" its like clockwork
Your name comes from a character who literally bursed out of her father's head, and this is where your suspension of disbelief breaks?
Nibelung (Guest)
I'm a cis man, but after I discovered myself ace, my mom also started questioning if she also would fit the label. Talking to her and comparing experiences and feelings, I believe she do, but she don't seem too worried about finding out. She is happy just being a single old lady for the rest of her life.

Sometimes parents also learn and get encouraged to question rock solid foundations from their children. It's a two-way road in open-talk families.
Merrie (Guest)
I'm acespec and after learning about it, I think it's likely my mom is as well, though I haven't discussed it with her. We have shared the same general inability to comprehend why people might have casual sex :D
Ever-Present (Guest)
Have you considered that there might be a genetic component?
Some Ed
Even if there isn't a genetic component...

Something like 1% of people are sufficiently trans to risk the society backlash against trans people. Considering people get killed for this, that's pretty trans. There's probably a lot more who weren't out enough to admit to whomever did that now fairly ancient survey.

There are over seven billion people in the world. That's 7,000,000,000. If 1% of those people are trans, then there's over 70,000,000 trans people in the world. As much pressure as there has been historically to keep trans people in the closet, as long as most trans people stay closetted before they come out, as many trans people as there are who don't feel the need for surgery or even hormones, as recent as surgical options have existed, and as many options for being a parent even despite surgery, those people of age to have children aren't that much less likely to have had children. So we're looking at somewhere near 700,000 trans parents with trans kids.

There are enough more of them than that to consider the possibility that there is some factor that tends to put them together. People on the autism spectrum have a greater likelihood of being trans, and that is definitely genetic. But there's enough more trans parents who have trans children than that would explain to suspect there's something more.

If that something more isn't genetic, there's still other possibilities:

- Being trans is *far* more common than people realize, and trans people from families with at least one other trans person in it are more likely to come out. This one resonates with me.

- If x religion is correct, the deity or deities of x religion could guide trans people to families that would be more supportive of them.

- If reincarnation really happens and any of those people get to choose who they come back as, it would make sense that anyone opting to come back as someone of a different gender or species would choose to do so in a family that already has someone who has done so.
Since you mention reincarnation: I’m working with a healer/shaman, and our work is deeply rooted in reincarnation – to heal a part of us or someone else (😉) we’re looking for the original trauma, and that’s often many incarnations back. (My healer friend is very clearvoyant in that regard; myself I “see” so far only if I’m connected with her, but in the rare case of known persons I like to research and check if our visions fit the historical facts.)
I don’t expect you to believe that, but it’s an important part of my life.

In this context we met only one trans person so far (maybe we met others, but it didn’t matter): a 3yo apparently trans “boy”, who didn’t know about genders but expressed strongly “female” (the family accepted the behaviour at home, but lived in a Catholic rural area and was quite careful to “stay within society” while every member had some “magical” abilities – e.g. the eldest daughter had such a strong aura that I could see her with eyes closed, while I usually don’t see auras or the like). Anyway, my friend asked the little’s soul and got an answer like “I’m female, this body is wrong”. (I don’t know how this developed, they were just clients of my friend, and there was no reason for me to keep contact.)

We (probably) all had incarnations in different genders, but every soul seems to have a preference – most of my incarnations were male, most of my friend’s were female. But I can remember at least one female incarnation in 18th century (actually, maybe “she” was trans, I need to check that – I know she was quite nonconforming, but I don’t think she felt as a man, and she had no words for other genders), and I seriously questioned my gender for a while, when a part of a “female” soul within me came to the surface (in this case it was a foreign part that we exchanged during a ritual many incarnations ago; I could give it back to the owner and feel more like myself since then, but I can recall the feeling to be a girl).

Now, incarnation isn’t a carefully directed process – it looks like the more experience a soul has with a type of body (human or whatever), the more it can control their incarnation. Otherwise, mistakes happen – we say “they took the wrong turn” – so that you accidentally incarnate as a dog or in a human body that you (the soul) didn’t want.
OTOH the soul choses ”challenges“ to be able to heal past traumas, and while this is intentional in a spiritual sense, it’s usually not in the worldly interest of the person/incarnation. I.e. I (my soul) might have chosen to be a criminal or a victim or to be handicapped or genderqueer or whatever, because “I” “want” this experience to be able to heal a past trauma or just for the variety of experiences. (“God” split into many beings to be able to make experiences, wrote N. D. Walsch.)

So, why should any queerness accumulate in one family? Yes, probably genetics. But we (our souls) also tend to incarnate “nearby” – often within the same family. And I guess the proximity of other queer persons makes sense for the soul to have a chance of healing.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to say that any queerness is “sick”. But if it’s something that makes you suffer, there is a chance for healing. (There is a lot that we can’t bodily heal in this life, but I’m sure we can avoid to repeat the same problem in the upcoming incarnations.) My/our intention is to free people from suffering and let them live happily (with their queerness).

(This happens if an analytical mind stumbles into a spiritual world: I want to understand what’s going on, thus I challenge my clearvoyant friend to answer questions that she doesn’t need answered just to heal someone, until I can construct a world view that makes sense to me.)

Sorry for the rant. But I’d like to discuss with some of you if your feelings fit our limited experience.
i want to know everything about your beliefs and practices....
Really? Or is this ironical? (I’ll delete my rant, it’s too much...)
i am entirely serious. i love hearing about other people's belief systems, especially ones that are relatively uncommon.
Tokuben (Guest)
Like mother like son(or daughter now) I guess
Oz (Guest)
You mean like father like daughter now
Sam (Guest)
Like father like daughter, I think you mean :)
Oz (Guest)
Oh god when i saw Liriel with that low ponytail something screamed to me "Liriel is a trans guy" and i read the letter and HE IS A TRAMS GUY and this is so awesome for Rain in a way but it is also the saddest thing, he never got to live as himself, and now he is dead... this must have happened to so many people. I am just happy there are some of us that gets to rock that damn boat.

Now even if it would be super dramatic and unrealistic I just want Liriel to turn out to be alive and to have disappeared so he could transition nsajfjiafso
Ariadne (Guest)
gods i wish. but that kind of thing only happens in comics and fictional stories
Sessy (Guest)
Plot twist; Liriel has been Frank the whole time!
I know this is a serious page but your comment Sessy made me giggle.
Chrissy (Guest)
Pretty certain that Gavin and his parents would have realized that. And I don't think Simone would have been fooled into thinking Rain's last name is Bryer as easily.
Sessy (Guest)
Their ages also don't match up, I just thought it was a funny idea playing off what Oz said. Glad I could make you laugh bgb ^^
Ever-Present (Guest)
Liriel is a proponent of public transport. Buses are ok, trains are great, but what he likes most of all are trams. He is a trams guy.

Sorry, I couldn't help but make a pun out of that typo
1602F (Guest)
Holy S...spirit. I can't imagine all the stress of Liriel, a trans dad with a trans kiddo, with an ultratransfobic family. I want to see Kellen reaction when she knows that Liriel was trans.
Tanny (Guest)
Archer Xanthorg
Kyla (Guest)
I wished my bio dad done this for me.
(I could make a whole comic about my life lol)

My dad left my bio mom when I was a baby because he was gay. Well... Technically before I was even conceived. But that's another story
I know very little about him as he hardly ever seen me. The last time I ever Saw him was when I was 10 years old. He died when I was 16 and I never got any answers as to why he never wanted to see us or get any real closure. I'm glad Rain got the closure that I didn't.
Caitiemew (Guest)
This is very wonderful news for Rain and I'm so happy for her. But it's heartbreaking that Liriel never got to be the person they knew they always were.

I believe i knew i was a girl at a very young age, but my parents did something traumatic to cause me to forget about it for a good 20 years, and when something happened that caused things to click into place, i realized what they had done to me, and decided that once i got away from my family i would cut them out of my life, becauze it was the safest option, they had at one point threatened violence if i transitioned, around the time i was starting to wake up/ my egg started to crack.
Oh man, the emotions, the feels...

I feel so bad for Liriel, never getting the chance to be the person, the man he wanted to be.

Now I want to know how things would've turned out had Liriel chose his happiness over his parents and husband's. Man.
many pages have brought me close to crying. the previous page was a good example, as well as Maria's flight from the school. but this...

you finally broke me down Jocelyn (in a good way). well done.
Vessyra (Guest)
What pronouns should be used for Liriel?

There's no real official wording in the comic at this moment, but I think it would be appropriate to say he/him going forward when referring to Liriel. :)
Long-Time Lurker (Guest)
Should we also refer to him as her Dad or still as her Mom? (I know some trans folks prefer to keep their original title, regardless of pronouns and "Mom" is the only title Rain has ever known about. Canonically, Liriel never came out to her or -- as far as we know -- anyone else.)

Also ouch. That gives a whoooole 'nother layer to Liriel's feelings regarding Vincent and Fara...
Leah (Guest)
Thank you for letting us know this!

I always feel uncomfortable seeing people immediately assign other-gender pronouns and other-gender nouns (son, etc) when there's a reveal that a deceased historical person might have been secretly non-cis.

I get that it's trying to be respectful, yes. But one is still assigning pronouns without consent. And also making a decision for someone who never got a chance to explore beyond "there are 2 gender boxes and the one I'm in feels like the wrong one."

(Of course with fictional characters it's a bit easier because the author knows what's really up. ;) )
Fourth Nate (Guest)
Thanks for the clear response Jocelyn. I feel very similar to Leah. It's sad for Liriel that he never really got a chance to try different gender expressions and forms of address to see what fits - I know many trans people don't need to try things, they just know what's right for them since always, like you, but I sure needed to! and I'm not the only one. So it's handy for Liriel that he's a fictional character with an author who can say what he might have learned about himself, even if he never got the chance to. <3
Kerry (Guest)
This is the first comment I've made since the restart, mostly because I'm reading on ComicFury now and it would mean I'd have to register...but this is important.

Like so many of you, I've known my whole life that I am female. I knew at age 3, but I also knew—precocious little shit that I clearly was—how the world (of 1960) would react to it. So I never told a soul. At age 12, I tried to tell my mom, but she shut me down, and I never tried again. Instead, I shut *myself* down, believing that I just had to deal with being a "guy."

So I married and had children, transitioning only when I was 40 and simply could do nothing else. Eventually, after a tumultuous young life, my son (then 17) informed me that he too is trans. I've done a lot of research about this (naturally) and it is not at all uncommon for this to run in families.

I certainly did not see Liriel's truth coming, but it is perfectly reasonable...and yet another moment of joy and pain in this marvelous webcomic.
Oh man, I wonder if that’s why her dad reacted so negatively, whether Liriel came out to him before that. Definitely was not expecting that reveal tho, holy crap.
TK-Dragon (Guest)
It's kind of funny how this whole time Rain hated her dad but now is realizing that she also kind of didn't if you see what I mean. Liriel is definitely the real dad assuming he'd be called that? Because I know even some trans parents still go by their original parental title after transition.
Kinkajou (Guest)
After reading the comments, now I can’t stop thinking… HOW IS KELLEN GOING TO REACT TO LIRIEL BEING TRANS - I see the drama in this comic might not be over even though it’s the penultimate chapter.
Selix (Guest)
Was wondering this too. Only time will tell…
TK-Dragon (Guest)
Since the letter was for Rain, and she doesn't really care for Kellen anymore, would she actually tell her about it?
Dave The Squirrel (Guest)
Rain is under no obligation to share that letter with Kellen. If she ever does, I expect it would only be if Kellen went backsliding into her earlier hostility, and Rain needed something to shock Kellen shitless. I don't expect that, though. What I do expect is that Fara will pass along the gist of the letter to Kellen to help her reconcile with Rain.

Now, if you're looking for plot twists, Page 3 of the letter could be where Mom confesses to killing Dad, hiding his body in a swamp, and claiming he left them.
I can't help but wonder that Kellen already knew..... and that was the crux of why she went so far overboard with her reaction to Rain...., and this was also the thing that Vincent was trying to get Kellen to face and deal with in the counseling session.
K. Steele (Guest)
That would explain SO much about her intense and destructive transphobic reaction to Rain's transition. After a parent dies those hurts can never be fully addressed, explained, explored or forgiven. Even now there are things I would ask both my parents that I was not brave enough to ask while they were alive. I would start with the lacerating comment my father made about my gender identity when I was seven or eight, which drove me to closet until it was too late to even consider transition...

...and that is if I'd even known what transition WAS at the time.

Anyway, thank you for catching that.
Lucy (Guest)
As someone who constantly worries about whether or not my late grandmother would accept me or not, this chapter really hits home for me. <3
Pseudonym (Guest)
What are the right pronouns to use about someone who never did ask to be addressed differently than she was?
Selix (Guest)
Jocelyn said to refer to Liriel by he and him from now on :)
Pseudonym (Guest)
So she did, thank you. I didn't use "he" above as deciding someone's pronouns without hearing from them felt... wrong. Transgressive, and not even the fun kind of transgressive.
Casey K
Well, Little Lynn... Those of us who read your comic are all happy that you are here with us. You have inspired and brightened the day for so many more people than you may know. You were actually my inspiration and still are to this day. I'm almost two years into my own transition and I couldn't be happier. Yeah, there are still bugs that need to be ironed out, but all in all I am happy where I am and where I'm heading. And I have you to thank for this.
NonbinaryWeirdo (Guest)
Colorado (Guest)
Me, reading the first paragraph: “wouldn’t it be interesting if Liriel was a trans man?”
Irene (Guest)
Wow, just as I remembered yesterday that I didn't really come out to my deceased dad.
I'm pretty sure he knew I'm queer as I kept being myself and including not really asking permission but I don't think I ever explained things.

As for the likeliness of sharing queer status or more precisely trans status between family members, I think it's also still quite realistic, my brother is gay and I think one of my cousin might also be somewhere around the rainbow.
Wow. I am completely shocked by this reveal. Monday's page was happy and heartwarming, but this page is spectacularly exciting, heartwarming,and sad all at once.
Vikki McD
...Holy carp.
Oh...Liriel only having that kind of people around him for so long got me mad for them. At least Rain got the circle of hate broken and certainly won't continue it.

Having those who are supposed to love you unconditionally and those whose love of anykind is supposed to be freely given mutually fail to do so always gets me.

Its from knowing my parents certainly won't turn on me for something that minor, they already hinted they thought I was into guys before I even realised, and if I was trans my dad would probably quickly turn to the joke that he's now one of the ones at that side of the family gatherings who can say he's got a daughter (something in our genes that tends to go "Nah needs even more gamete with a flagellum producers") since he makes it clear loving his kids is number 1, that kind of support and knowing that should be the standard for parents and saying anything else I would consider slander gets me angry others don't meet the bare minimum to be a mother or father. They already prioritise me being happy and healthy over any pressures both outside and inside, like my honestly unhealthy academic actions of pushing myself too far and hard.

And for those outside family like friends...well they are even less subtle about knowing and joking about it in good fun, making a ship name between me and mutual friend I was into (pretty obviously for years, slightly less years for me than them, for anyone who would pick up on male to male attraction....or hearing our flirting like one of them did by the time I had realised it) during school. They always have my back and they always have mine. Fears of losing them in other more permanent ways may come to mind but never for that.

That I had those meant I could mostly overlook any outside views on the matter I can't understand logically even in our very traditionally behind the times Northern Ireland and especially areas I lived in (just added as another reason to hate the unionist parties outside the general typical flaws of our parties) knowing the people that mattered didn't hate it. If they didn't I might have tried to accept the lies around me to fit in and be way worse off or very more worse off given other issues put me on the edge. Having people who by the time my slow with emotions self realised what I was already accepted me is one of the rare ways I've avoided the real luck of the Irish, which is having bad luck.

Man you managed to hit the few ways to get me to cry in quick succession. And hits more that its a truly good parent that had the worst support around them.
Lyne (Guest)
"Too afraid to rock the boat [...] quiet and suffered alone" I know way too much that feeling and now I relate way more on liriel's story than rain's
Yeah this is a lot more common than people think. My spouse came out as a NB trans (bigendered) person more than 2 years ago and I followed them as a trans woman a few short months later, our child had mentioned being NB nearly 4 years ago. Queer identities are SO much more prevalent than we give credit for.
LunaTheLuma (Guest)
Out of curiosity, what does everyone think Liriel's name would have been if they had transitioned? I personally think it would be Lucas.
Lucia Ogilvie (Guest)
Ever-Present (Guest)
Jocelyn, can Rain see the pictures with the letter, and if so, can she see what is being said? Because we're "a lot alike" and "I wanted to be something that this world told me it wasn't ok to be" are hardly enough by themselves to figure out that someone is probably trans imo

Christa Mactíre (Guest)
Thanks, Jocelyn. (And Liriel.) Like you I experienced a disastrous coming-out, though mine was a bit more recent: I came out as trans to my parents in 2015, when I was 20, after exploring the feelings I'd been having while in college, away from them. They were shocked and horrified, and demanded I come home as their son rather than as their daughter. Since then I've refused to talk about my gender stuff with them, because (I thought) it'd be easier not to.

But this year, I had a revelation: I can't live like that anymore. I don't want to spend years and years living in a body that doesn't feel right, trying to make the best of things so that other people will be happy. I need to do what makes *me* happy, and that means starting HRT and beginning my gender transition. I don't know how my family will react, and it will be something I'll need to talk to them about. And I will. But one thing at a time. Right now I have an HRT consultation set for the end of the month, and honestly I'm really excited about it. And that's what I'm going to focus on for now, I'll talk when I'm ready.

What I'm *not* going to do is deny my own happiness for the benefit of others. Never again.

So, again: thank you, Jocelyn, for this comic and all the messages you've shared down the years. I've changed a lot since I started following it back in high school, and while I'm sad we're coming to the end, I'm happy too. In a lot of ways, Rain helped make me into the person I am today, and I'll always be grateful for that. I'd like to think she'd be happy for me, too. :-)
Namine (Guest)
Heya Jocelyn! I stumbled upon this webcomic back in my university years through deviantart. My online handle at the time was “KentaMaeba” (weeby, I know :P). Your webcomic is absolutely wonderful and had been extremely impactful in helping me learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community and to be a better ally.

That was 5 years ago.

I fell off sometime in 2017 during one of your hiatuses, and since then I had been questioning and learning things about myself that I had never known before, as well as things that I’ve buried deep within my self for longest time.

Recently, though, things have been so hard for me. My family was nearly torn apart after a feud, my work has been increasingly stressful, my grandfather passed away, and I miss my friends. But through it all, each of my loved ones have continued to tell me the same thing over and over again: to start living for myself and not to neglect my own happiness for the sake of others.

So here I am years later, no longer a cismale-presenting ally, but a bisexual, demiromantic, demifluid enby who is about to start their first steps to transition.

I’ve recently returned to this webcomic and finally caught up, and let me say that I’ve only now realized just how deeply your stories and characters resonated with me all these years. Rain’s courage has become my courage, and I’ll always be grateful to you for that. Thank you for everything Jocelyn, and I hope to rock that damn boat just as you and many others before me had!
catlife333 (Guest)
WAIT whaaaaaaaaaaat
girly (Guest)
ok im crying now i did think liriel was going to accept rain as his daughter but i never saw this coming omg i love this wow just wow
Tepro (Guest)
Not the twist I expected, but still a nice one nonetheless!
Lana (Guest)
A powerful message, and one I wish I'd heard years ago. I want to show this series to anyone who's even *thinking* about being another gender. They need to know it's okay to be yourself.
oinkymoo (Guest)
do the photos canonically exist, and if so how does the dialogue exist

The only thing Rain can see are the actual words in the letter. All the panels and dialogue within them are simply the magic of fiction. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
This is the second time I read this and it hits home more than the first time. I really relate to not trying to rock the boat and to do what has expected of me and not what I wanted. I even married the wrong person who was controlling and didn’t really care about me just what they wanted me to be. I spent so many years denying who I am and hiding myself despite most my early memories being related to wanting to be one of girls and not being able to. I am feeling much freer now and will never go back to that place.
I really thank you for sharing this part of your story and I’m glad you are in a much better place now
Waffle (Guest)
"my husband [...] couldn't bear to [...] be around me" - does that mean LIriel came out to him, and that was the immediate reason he left?
Mattie (Guest)
Man… this hits really, really close to home. I’m in the exact same position as Liriel when they were a kid. I fear that I will never have acceptance and I’ll just be a mother instead of a father, and die with my secret.
Oh, my god.

This is the one. Of all the pages in this entire comic... this is literally the one posted on the exact same day my egg cracked. I... words are escaping me.

I've expressed before how astounded I am that this story carried on for as long and into as many deep topics as it did, but knowing that it continued into the beginning of my own very real transition... and with this page, no less. I'm just speechless. No -- I'm crying. Which is not something I'm able to do very often.

Much like Rain, my tears actually became much less common / harder to elicit when I began taking hormones. It's been something of a sore spot for me. Both an emotional roadblock, and an arbitrary source of dysphoria. It's so rare that I'm actually able to cry these days, and often I want nothing more than to be able to let it out. Liriel's story is hitting me in just the right way right now to draw a bit of that out, and to know that this was revealed on such an important day to me... it just makes it that much more special.
His story is so sad