Comic 504 - Our Own Prom

9th Mar 2014, 5:14 PM in Ch. 20: Just a Quiet Weekend
Our Own Prom
Average Rating: 5 (15 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 9th Mar 2014, 5:14 PM edit delete
Wait. What? Did... that just happen?

Great. Now we still have to wait for the next update for her to elaborate on what exactly she means by that. Sorry today couldn't be a two-pager. It's 'cause next time had to be. Theories are always welcome though~! ^_^

Either way, now I just sit back and wait for all the "I did NOT see that coming" comments as well as the "I knew it" comments to come in. And who could forget the classic "there are officially too many queer characters in this comic to be believable anymore" comments. (Silly gooses). XD

Honestly though, the next update feels far away for me too... XD

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

Also, I've said this before, but I'm trying to raise money for SRS, and I'm still struggling with it. If you can help, it would be most welcome. If not, don’t worry about it. I totally understand (you don't need to feel bad or apologize if you can’t).
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Nightsky 9th Mar 2014, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
"there are officially too many queer characters in this comic to be believable anymore" (just kidding!)

More seriously, though, "I did NOT see that coming" applies to me. I suppose this means that Emily's bi or pan. Though the question is who's the lucky girl?
ranger_brianna_new 11th Mar 2014, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
Indeed. It makes sense to explain why she knows so much, but it caught me entirely off-guard to have read, too.
Aislinn 9th Mar 2014, 5:48 PM edit delete reply
It's not too many to be believable! ...I have discovered over time that most of my social circle is either not straight, not cis, or some other variety of queer. In fact, there's probably only two people in my circle who are actually cis and hetero.
Jocelyn 9th Mar 2014, 6:03 PM edit delete reply

I agree. Same with my friends. There's something about queer people that just draws other queer people together.
Aislinn 9th Mar 2014, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
Birds of a feather, and all that.

Also, I think a lot more people are "quietly" queer in some way than most realize, but when you know your friends are gay or lesbian or trans, you're more likely to be willing to share such little details about yourself...
Jocelyn 9th Mar 2014, 6:09 PM edit delete reply

Fair point. ^_^
Aislinn 9th Mar 2014, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
I'm studying to become a psychiatrist (or maybe a clinical psychologist... haven't decided yet) with a focus on LGBT stuff. Stuff like this is kind of my bread and butter. :D
j-eagle12212012 9th Mar 2014, 9:07 PM edit delete reply
My friends consist of (Maybe someone knows the proper term here) {my best friend who identifed as lesbian but is curently dating a transman(who is also a friend) and he is the second transman she dated but she has also dated woman so is she Bi or something else...}
several of my other friends are bi including all 3 ex-girlfriends.
Jen Done 9th Mar 2014, 10:30 PM edit delete reply
I still haven't met that many transsexual peeps in my everyday existence, but I noticed that in the few years I spent at college, bi/pan peeps went from being one of the most underrepresented groups on campus to the most prominent queer group on campus. This was before I even came out as trans myself. I socialized mostly with girls (big surprise XD), and within a month of going out with my girlfriend, she came out as bi (she considers herself more pansexual now) and so did pretty much all of our female friends. When I asked why they identified themselves as straight, they said something to the effect that they didn't want to be bombarded with lesbian dating ads on Facebook XP Obviously not the only inconvenience to coming out, but you get the idea.

Also a *lot* of genderqueer people too :o I said I didn't know many transsexual peeps, and I meant that in the strictest sense of the word of needing to transition medically from one sex to another. But I do know plenty of trans peeps who don't identify with the binary in any way. Again, it seemed like they were waiting for the opportunity to come out. To bring up coming out on Facebook again, once the new gender options became available, I was genuinely surprised when people I knew were queer but assumed were cis actually self-identified as genderqueer. I'm glad they get more opportunity to do that :)
Guest 9th Mar 2014, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
But...but the characters page says she's straight!
And I did NOT see that coming :P
Jocelyn 9th Mar 2014, 5:58 PM edit delete reply

Ah, but it also says, "All information is intended to be as spoiler-free as possible. If something seems to be inaccurate, it is because the description is based on the earliest information available." She presents herself as straight, so there'd have been no reason to imply otherwise on the character page. ^_^
Guest 9th Mar 2014, 10:39 PM edit delete reply
THAT'S UNFAIR (joking)
Btw, Rain, what are you waiting for to come out to Emily? ;_; (though I understand not wanting)
ranger_brianna_new 11th Mar 2014, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
Mean trick.

I've also used said character page as a guide. :P
GigaNerd17 9th Mar 2014, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
Does taking a same-gendered person to prom necessarily imply sexual orientation? What if she's homoromantic? Or what if she just wants to bring a platonic friend?

If not, I personally feel this comic has hit the believability threshold. The average comic tends to be a microcosm for human experience, and in this case, I feel you're implying with Rain that pretty much everybody has buried sex & gender issues deep inside. I was really loving the current dynamic of keeping Gavin, Ana, and Emily cishet, because the moral was placed off of the actual orientation of the cast (e.g. "We're all a little queer inside.") and more on the unadultered friendship despite an oppressive environment and varying identities. (e.g. "Everybody's cool and lovable regardless of orientation.")

I dunno. Maybe it's because I'm definitively cishet myself, or perhaps it's because I just barely woke up from an achy nap, but this strip is causing me great concern for the verisimilitude of one of my favorite webcomics.
Jocelyn 9th Mar 2014, 9:08 PM edit delete reply

I can't tell you how to interpret fiction (even if I am the creator), but I will deny that implication of my message. Of the 39 characters listed on the Characters page (not including Puddle), more than half of them are both straight and cis (and that is including that there are still a couple surprises). The main cast is largely queer in some form or another, but they're actually still the minority overall. And this is all despite that it is in fact absolutely plausible for there to be so many queer people gathered together (from personal experience, and many testimonies I've read and people I've met over the years).

I understand and accept that there are people out there who are undeniably straight and cis. I mean, of course there are! My story is not intended to deny that or challenge any notions of the sort. My story is intended to give a voice to groups of people who are not normally represented or understood, while educating those who might not even be aware that such people even exist (and the reality is, I'm still leaving a LOT of demographics out). If a straight cisgender person wanted to read a story about straight cisgender people, they really kinda have their pick. However, if a transgender person wanted to read a story about trans people, those choices are MUCH fewer (and even less if you weed out all of the insulting or inaccurate portrayals out there). Then take even lesser known groups of people like demisexuals and genderfluid folks, and you will probably find it harder still to find competent representation.

Is everyone queer? No. Are many people? Yes. Do these diverse assortments of people deserve to feel like they belong somewhere (including within fiction)? Yes. I can't claim to be the best person for the job, but that's all I really want to achieve with this story (in my own way, of course, with love triangles and plot twists), and I just try the best I can.
GigaNerd17 9th Mar 2014, 9:46 PM edit delete reply
Thank you for the fantastic response. I guess in my newly awakened stupor I failed to consider that perspective, and I apologize if I came off as crass. Perhaps I'm just a little too attached to the schema I've assigned Emily.

Keep up the good work. <:)
Guest 9th Mar 2014, 10:40 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn, I just want you to know that this comic of yours has helped me understand who I am. I identified as straight and cis when I stumbled upon Rain. I knew I had feelings for another girl at the time, but I didn't know what I was. I first came out as bi, but then thought I was pan after I realized I was genderqueer. I looked at genders differently, but then went back to the conclusion that I was bi. As far as being genderqueer, I'm still not sure if I'm bigender or agender. I don't think I'm genderfluid, but I'll be open with myself. It might seem strange tbat I cant figure out if I'm both or neither gender. It feels strange, like I feel like I'm bith genders, but neither at the same time. I'm a tomboy, but I also like wearing dresses(on special occasions) and wearing eyeliner(although I'm also goth so I enjoymy dark makeup). On the other hand, I can't call myself a guy, but I feel strange when I call myself a girl, too. All I want is to know who I am and be comfortable with it. I would prefer just to be a tomboy, but I can't change who I am, so I should embrace it. Once again, your comic has really helped me find my way, and I thank you for that.
No name 9th Mar 2014, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
The girl she's taking with her is just actually her kid?
The Chessmaster 10th Mar 2014, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
The Chessmaster
She doesn't have any other kids yet, and the one she's pregnant with will be seventh months in by then (see a few pages ago). Unless she was being a bit less literal than the others, I'd say that's extremely unlikely.
Jen Done 9th Mar 2014, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
:o !!

Well. Now I'm even more anxiously awaiting the next page >u<
MarianLH 10th Mar 2014, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
I'm going to stake out a position of "just going with a platonic friend because she's not yet ready to do anything romantic again.

We'll see if I'm right on Wednesday. ^_^
MarianLH 12th Mar 2014, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
Aaaaaand I was totally wrong. =P
amanda_7682 20th Sep 2021, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
No spoilers, please!
rachelevil 10th Mar 2014, 2:14 PM edit delete reply
drs 10th Mar 2014, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
Going down the character page.

Rain: trans and lesbian; is main chracter so nothing improbable here.
Fara: bi, with past trans experience; is the friendliest of Rain's family, so not exactly a random selection
Gavin: cishet
Maria: lesbian, was attracted to Rain
Rudy: Maria's brother and gay, which is an unlikely coincidence, but not ruinously so
Emily: oddly knowledgeable or ??? If she is queer, well, she's hanging out with her new set of queer friends. WHAT A COINCIDENCE WAIT
5 straight chars
Chanel: asexual, I forget her original connection
5 unknowns and cishets
Randy: some bi guy
Ellen cishet
Brother Arthur: asexual? when did that come out?
7 more cishets
Trevor, Gavin's dad: gay; that's odd
Frank: Trevor's boyfriend, gay, obviously not odd
3 more cishets
Kylie: bi/fluid? I forget if she's just the closet neighbor or had some other reason for being friends.
Jessica: Rain's brother's fiance, trans, that's unlikely in itself, but she got pointed to Rain by Aiken because she's trans
5 more straights or unknown

So yes, lots of cishet people.
Crude stats: when I looked on Okcupid years ago, about 6% of men were gay, 3% were bi; 12-20% of women were bi, 2-3% were lesbian. From other sources, trans are maybe 0.5%?
Rain's a given, as protagonist. It's only mildly unlikely that one of the three older women in her family would be bi. It's pretty unlikely that two of her close relatives would have dated trans people, though less so for Fara given bi/trans social overlap.
Rain's new and cute, it's not at all unlikely that one of the few school lesbians would home in on her. It is unlikely this lesbian has a gay brother.
It's unlikely that Rain's old/new friend's dad would be gay, or that her upstairs neighbor would ge genderfluid
But if Emily's queer, that's not a random coincidence, she's chosen to hang out with these people.

So yes, the confluence is strictly speaking pretty unlikely. OTOH, unlikely just means low frequency, and out of the whole country it's likely something like this has happened. A similar confluence could have been gotten via a student/youth GBLT group, or casting a wider friends-of-friends social net; I don't think the mechanism matters that much to the story. Lois Bujold is a great writer with four Hugos for best novel, despite multiple plots that depend on rather less likely coincidences. ("I just bought an obsolete starship, then ran into a deserter from my homeworld who's an engineer for such starships!" "I ran into my runaway Emperor in the middle of a whole star system!") So, whatever. It's a cute story.
Jadelynn 14th Mar 2014, 7:50 PM edit delete reply
I don't think it's that unlikely. Using your list, there are 14 queer characters to 25 unknown/straight/cishet characters. I have a higher ratio of queer people in the list of people I know. Granted, it's a smaller sample size, but still. I'll even give a list . . .

Me: Lesbian/Trans
Mom: cishet
Dad: cishet
Brother: Gay
Friend #1: Bicurious
Friend #2: Lesbian/Trans
Friend #3: Bi
Friend #4: cishet
Friend #5: cishet

So yeah 5 queer people to only 4 cishet. This comic's rather believable.
Guest 19th Mar 2014, 6:33 PM edit delete reply
Ya my life is the same way.
Me:bi(pan?)/genderqueer(in the closet to my family about being GQ)
Guest 19th Mar 2014, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
Oh and my pan friend is also genderqueer. But I dont talk to her much. Other than that, the rest of my friends are cis
Guest 12th Feb 2018, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
my entire social circle is queer lol. i haven't made a straight friend since i was 9. it's really not unrealistic. remember, it's not just a random distribution everywhere; queer people tend to clump together in certain places as opposed to being evenly distributed throughout the population.
no 10th Nov 2020, 1:52 AM edit delete reply
thanks for the analysis, this was pretty interesting
jackrich 31st Jul 2015, 4:17 PM edit delete reply
But what about girls who don't want a hassle on prom night and take another girl out? Or like collectively go together? That's not too unbelievable in and of itself.
Or Em's has a sweet tooth. Who knows? Must keep reading!
Absentia 16th May 2021, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
There are officially not enough queer characters in this comic to be believable anymore.
ImGwendy 16th Apr 2022, 3:58 AM edit delete reply
The beginning 💕
skrbunny 13th Sep 2022, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
i've anticipated a lot of twists. This. nope. not in the least.

guessing now that she might be heteroflexible? just a guess.... would maybe explain why she seems to have known so much about LGBT+ stuffs...
ReneePrower 5th Jan 2023, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Oh my gosh. Panel 3. I just... wow. xD

Every single one of those things. I can't believe you managed to do this so consistently. It's insane. xD
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