Comic 774 - Trans Man

30th Dec 2015, 8:30 AM in Ch. 28: Love, Trust, and Respect
Trans Man
Average Rating: 4.71 (7 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 30th Dec 2015, 8:30 AM edit delete
Vincent is probably the most laid back character in this comic. If I had to ever depict a situation where he got mad at someone, I feel like I wouldn't know how to write it. XD

Anyway, it's interesting that in response to my last page, I actually had a few readers say they would rather people directly ask about their trans status than just guess or talk behind their back about it. I had to bite my tongue because I knew the next page would cover exactly that premise. I'm very much like Vincent (and those readers) in this regard. I like talking about my experience as a trans person. I like answering questions. I know I'm not obligated to, but if people confront me directly, at least I can help get the facts straight.

Of course, like Vincent also points out in panel two, I know not everyone is like that. I've mentioned this before, but it's generally seen as more respectful if you don't bring it up unless the trans person in question does. In my experience, when people ask me trans-related questions (particularly personal ones) without me initiating, I usually just preface my answer with "You can ask me this, but not every trans person will be as happy to answer your questions. For future reference, to respect their identity you should let them start the conversation." And then I'll answer them.

I might add that the last three panels might be more of a me thing too. I hate the person I was before transition, but I can talk about it. I can't change what happened in my past, but that doesn't mean I'm any less what I am now. So I can, will, and do talk or joke about my past a lot. And I'm so open about this, the people in my life know they can too (to me, that's more comfortable than having my friends feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me). I know my friends aren't malicious or mean harm, so it's no issue for me. I can perfectly understand why it WOULD be an issue for others though.

This is reflected with Fara's panel six remark. Some readers might be mortified by that line, but I'm hoping that showing Vincent joke about it as well shows that he's fine with her saying it. The general rule remains the same though: not everyone is fine with this, and you shouldn't assume they are. Out of respect, don't talk/joke about it unless they tell you it's okay. Nonetheless, because I'm so open (and so is Vincent's character), I really wanted to depict this as a contrast to Rain and Jessica's more closeted natures.

Finally and less seriously, regarding panel four: lots of people refer to Vincent's old band as "The Flaming Toasters". It's "Toaster on Fire". I mean for it to be the more grammatically awkward thing to say. XD

This blurb was WAY longer than I thought it would be... >_>

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j-eagle12212012 30th Dec 2015, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Everything Jocelyn said in her blurb is perfect
Zii 30th Dec 2015, 1:57 PM edit delete reply
I don't know if it's needed, but I'm one of those who get uncomfortable if confronted, even by well meaning people. One place I worked for a short while had two other transpeople there, and I always wanted to talk with them about it, but I couldn't really find a way to broach the topic politely or in a way that I would feel comfortable if I were to receive.

Then, after becoming a bit more acquainted with one, she asked me which pronouns I prefer... Which caused a complex series of emotions. I felt upset that the question even needed to be asked, with how femininely I presented myself, and I was confronted with a lot of self-doubt about how other people see me. (I'm relatively stealth). But there's also the idea that it would be nice if absolutely everyone thought of that as a normal question, that it was just a polite thing to ask, like if you had a preferred nickname, or a nickname you didn't want someone to use.

So I told her that it kind of bothered me that she had to ask, but female pronouns... Mostly because that's my honest reaction. I don't like the idea of people second guessing my gender, when I've tried so hard to make it obvious.

But I know there are others, like Ky, who have much more complex gender experiences, that absolutely would take it as a mark of politeness to be asked... And there's no good way to know whether the person in question would be happy to answer, or upset that you asked.

Catch 22. V_V
Jay 30th Dec 2015, 3:25 PM edit delete reply
One gaming convention I go to is generally very open and friendly, without being explicitly aimed towards anything. And one of the GMs opens any game with asking everyone there to introduce with their name and preferred pronoun. Like what you said how it might be nice if it were just a normal question, that really changes the context. No one's pointing at any one person and implying they don't present.. it's just this thing everyone's saying when introducing themselves.

I've got to say, it felt/feels pretty wonderful going through introductions that way. I'm internally agender but don't say anything about it due to social anxieties, and present more or less as my sex (though friends who I've shared with have commented that I do give some mixed signals). But that had me strongly considering actually just being honest for the weekend. Things came around to me before I could decide though, so I went with my defaults.

Unfortunately, it's really hard to get to a place where that's just a non-loaded question in general society. It'd be great if being asked didn't imply anything but caring about a person. I do hope that we can get somewhere like that place, someday.
Zii 1st Jan 2016, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
I know that it does feel fine when it doesn't single anyone out. I've been asked my gender preference as a matter of course at a panel, and there it felt fine because everyone who went up was asked, so it didn't have to imply I was trans, and that felt fine.

Gender is weird, in general. A lot of times, I feel like this video (slight possible Undertale genocide spoilers?) Everything is so arbitrary, and when I get down to it, I don't understand why I feel the way I do, why I want to be a certain way. Would I still want to be female if what society considered feminine changed? Would I still want the same things? What parts of "femininity" do I want just because of society and their definitions of "feminine," and what would I want regardless?

Gender is weird.
Mina 30th Dec 2015, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Vincent now has a non-cleavage of noticableness. That's a thing, right?
Sobi 30th Dec 2015, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
I'm kinda on the fence about being open a lot of the times i have not shame in being trans and I'm pretty open about it but at the same time i don't really advertise it. if some one asks me if I'm trans then yeah I'll admit it because i am proud of who i am, but i don't advertise it because frankly i want to be treated like a woman, even though that has yet to happen even with people that don't know I'm trans :/
Sobi 30th Dec 2015, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
except with close friends, they treat me like a woman
Jax Rhapsody 31st Dec 2015, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
To me, that seems perfectly reasonable, no need to throw out ones personal business, unwarranted, for no reason. I'm not trans, but I am pansexual, and I don't think it's something to throw around, unless asked by certain people. It's not really the same thing, but as far as the principle goes, there's a relation. I only once outed myself out of anger, because of who was talking, and the subject. I don't like having to sit and take people talking about people like us in a negative way. Makes me kinda feel ashamed, and disrespected.

Anyway; I get it, not everybody needs to know your personal business, and personally I don't think a transpaersons old self is anybodies business, that's not who they are anymore.
Lemonado Girl 30th Dec 2015, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
Lemonado Girl
As much as I want to be open on the topic, I just can't bring myself to really talk about it-for example, if my parents do something insensitive or that bothers me, it's not often that I can just say it, my confidence just goes AWOL right when I go to speak up 90% of the time-and that's just with them. The day after I figured out one of the friends I wasn't out to had me figured out, it was still an awkward conversation, despite the fact that he was accepting and supportive. In part it was due to their personality in conversation, but even then, I just felt awkward. I guess another part of me I've regained is my old bashfulness-at least only as regards this, but still.
TigressNicole 31st Dec 2015, 5:20 AM edit delete reply
If someone talks about you in the past, before transition or 'out-status' and uses the phrase, but you were an '___' then. Would you be annoyed/hurt/other and/or correct them?
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