Comic 802 - Interruption

28th Feb 2016, 8:18 PM in Ch. 28: Love, Trust, and Respect
Average Rating: 5 (13 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 28th Feb 2016, 8:18 PM edit delete
Damn kids...

This page is a little personal for me as it's very closely based on the first time I'd ever gone out by myself presenting female (as in, with no wife or friends or anyone I knew with me). The setup was a little different obviously (seeing as I was by myself), but the random kids' dialogue and Rain's reaction are exactly how I remember it. Unprompted and very much in a public place and all.

As heavy as this all is, I tried to throw a little bit of humor in there with Maria's non-sequitur in the first panel (I've been waiting a long time for an opportunity to use that one), as well as Chanel's remark in the last panel. Things have been pretty dramatic in the comic for the last few weeks, so I thought breaking the tension just a little might be welcome.

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

SRS is booked for me for May 3rd. As such, your support has never been more welcome. ^_^
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Em 28th Feb 2016, 8:45 PM edit delete reply
That was definitely a heavy one :(

Jo 28th Feb 2016, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
Congrats on getting the surgery booked - you are in my thoughts <3
Jacy Em 28th Feb 2016, 8:58 PM edit delete reply
Loved the fourth panel. Fangirling big time.
But I was laughing pretty hard at Chanel's remark on the two boy's potential fate.
I have a friend like Maria, but he isn't around much.
mecaterpillar 28th Feb 2016, 9:00 PM edit delete reply
I always hate it when anyone thinks that other people's medical circumstances (or really any life circumstances outside the person's control) are a good source for humor or entertainment. Whenever I see something like that I just think, "what the frack is WRONG with you people?". Sigh. *shakes head*
defo18 28th Feb 2016, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
Ahh I'm cringing
Lemonado Girl 28th Feb 2016, 9:26 PM edit delete reply
Lemonado Girl
If I were in Maria's place, I'd be lecturing them during the whole chase as well. That's an incredibly rude thing to do. I admit to seeing some people and wondering about them, especially if they're particularly androgynous, but I would never say anything, mostly because lol what is social confidence but also because it's mostly just because I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person like me that I'll know in real life, and sometimes my brain sees someone and thinks that maybe I've just seen someone else like me, in desperate hope of assurance that I'm not alone in how I feel. Of course, I'll never be alone in a literal sense~ *hugs Guy*
thatguyinthecorner 1st Mar 2016, 6:09 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, can't say I can imagine how that feels. Feel kinda awful we'll have to separate for college, especially considering my laziness is entirely to blame.

Welp, we'll stay together by THE POWER OF THE INTARWEBS! Hopefully.

Still wishing I'd caught on sooner, I hate the thought of you feeling lonely like that ;w;

Also Maria here is my spirit animal


Shutting up now.
Noelle 28th Feb 2016, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
Hi... know that this isn't what you necessarily do, but this is a comic I often read because I want to feel good, because the characters are often so nice about trans issues. Can you start trigger-warning these seriously transphobic ones, because now I want to cry and self-harm and I really like this comic and don't want to have to stop. Sorry, thank you, this is a great comic.
Guest 28th Feb 2016, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
Rewind a few pages and read something more positive. Realize that moments like this can happen but it isn't necessarily a pivotal point of anything, either of life or in entertainment.
Guest 29th Feb 2016, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
That's kind of just saying "oh grow a thicker skin". Which is a really insensitive thing to say. I'm not saying ridiculous warnings about minor things, I'm saying that the ONE thing this comic should be sensitive to is people who have severe, genuine PTSD reactions to such blatant, public, CASUAL transphobia like that. Some of us have clinically significant PTSD that DOES need a trigger warning for that kind of content. So it's hurtful as hell and VERY disrespectful to tell me to just "get over it", because that's not how PTSD works.
Guest 29th Feb 2016, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
I completely agree as someone with ptsd
Silanael 29th Feb 2016, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
That's not how the world works. It is a place of both niceness and darkness, and you have to be able to cope up with both if you're to prevail in here.

Going through the trans-process requires great strength, and that strength is not obtained by hiding from harmful things.

That said, not "passing" is a thing that indeed hurts.
Guest 29th Feb 2016, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
I never said anything disrespectful to them. I merely told her of a way to cope with it better. How about I told her the opposite of it, let's say "Grow a thinner skin"? Would that help.
I said it because I was there once, and focusing on the more positive aspects WOULD help.
Jenifer Swinging 1st Mar 2016, 3:22 PM edit delete reply
This is being said later on in the conversation but worth noting again.

You were given a coping mechanisim, a way to get out of a triggered state. Your reaction was because you were in a triggered state.

It is a valid way to get out of a PTSD attack. I play FPS shooters, when a veteran is playing, every so often you hear on voice chat. "Sorry I got to go, something came up" "Come on dude, we almost got them creamed!" "I am having a PTSD attack and can't be here" "Oh ok, be well"

That is how standard millitary PTSD victims deal with an attack. Change subject IMEADEATLY! And since it is based on Trans stuff, best thing, is to do something non trans related. This is where not going back and reading something more positive would be perhaps not the best thing.

That is my advice, as someone who does suffer PTSD, but on a different subject.
Yevhenii 29th Feb 2016, 7:26 PM edit delete reply
"Going through the trans-process requires great strength, and that strength is not obtained by hiding from harmful things."
Well, I'm not trans, so your argument doesn't apply to me.

Even if I were the only person who reeds this comic, I'd still prefer to have a trigger warning.
So tired of everything 1st Mar 2016, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
I don't mean to be hurtful, but this is pretty much the reason I don't feel comfortable in the lgbt community. This inability to cope with basic storytelling and tolerate not everything being perfect in the world is why we are hated by a lot of people online. These attitudes are why the LGBT community is so often lumped in with otherkin and other "tumblr" things. I'm trans, and can't even talk about it in an lgbt community I am part of because so many people here believe trans people are all insane. I dunno about anyone else, but I want a world where being trans or lgbt isn't a big deal. Nobody feeling superior or inferior for being lgbt, no big celebrations and attention getting, no hatred or being shunned. Just "oh okay, cool" and from then they respect who you are without question. I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore, I'm just so fed up with not feeling like I fit in anywhere. Sorry for even replying, if you need your trigger warning for your PTSD fine. I don't care anymore.
Guest 1st Mar 2016, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
@Noelle: As somebody else who struggles with mental illness & self-harming (though for different issues), I am so sorry that you're having to go through this. I know how horrible—and how downright dangerous—being unexpectedly exposed to a major trigger can be. You have my full support, with cyber hugs (if desired) & prayers (if accepted). Being mentally ill or self harming isn't a sign of being weak, anymore than having any other "physical" illness, like cancer or diabetes, is. Whether you ended up following the urge to self-harm or not, I want you to know that I still find you incredibly for having the strength to stand up for yourself so publicly, especially while in such a distressing and painful state.

@All the people against Trigger/Content Warnings, or offering "advice":
Learn some basic human empathy. This isn't asking for advice, this is asking for trigger warnings, so that this doesn't happen again. Which is a completely reasonable request.

If you're having a party with a massive table of food, and a person at that party said "Hey, can you start including warning labels for common allergens for the food? I have allergies, and eating the wrong thing could make me really sick", and you responded by complaining about how people need to stop being so "over-sensitive", or advise them to go "eat something else whenever you have an allergic reaction", or how "food has ingredients in it, you just have to learn to eat everything", I think we can pretty much all agree that you would be acting like idiots and arseholes.

This is exactly what you are sounding like to anybody with even a basic understanding of mental health issues. Get off your high-horses, learn some basic human empathy, and when somebody says "I am hurting and need help: This is what will help me" actually support them by doing (or campaign for those with an ability to do to begin doing) the thing they've said will actually help them.

@Jocelyn: You're growing an online community, with yourself at the head. You've generally seemed to take this responsibility seriously. So follow up on this, by finding a way to trigger warnings in future (and retroactively, if possible, for new readers), so that those with mental illnesses don't have to fear Flashbacks, Panic Attacks, Anxiety Attacks, Self-Harming drives, or Suicidal Urges (all things commonly brought on by unexpected exposure to triggering material!) from reading your webcomic.

Also: Since you have actually been warned about this danger, yes, you ARE morally responsible for any future incidents like this brought on by your lack of Trigger Warnings, if they continue, the same way a builder is responsible for a house collapsing if they don't fix a structural weakness they've been made aware of.
Guest 1st Mar 2016, 7:16 PM edit delete reply

This is a comic which depicts real things that happen to real people in real life. Upsetting content shouldn't be "unexpected." While opinions differ on trigger warnings, pre-emptively blaming Jocelyn for anything bad that happens as a result of someone being upset by her work is extreme and a little cruel. To use your food allergy analogy, it's not the restaurant's fault if I go in knowing they may use soy in some of their food, go ahead and eat, and then have an allergic reaction. I so very much wish that life could be all peaches & gravy for the trans community and for everyone out there, but unfortunately, a realistic depiction of life as a minority all too often includes some difficult situations. Best wishes to everyone moved or affected by this comic, from someone with terrible anxiety... and food allergies. Jocelyn, you're doing a great job making this comic and fostering a supportive community. Keep up the good work.
Allee 2nd Mar 2016, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
Also using your food allergy analogy, most of the time, restaurants will list the ingredients of each of their meals on their menus, or will have them provided by request. That way, you don't have to avoid an entire restaurant because they might use peanuts in their cooking, and instead you can just avoid the specific dishes with peanuts in them, or even take something in advance so that you don't feel as bad if you do end up eating peanuts.

If I had to stop going to my favorite restaurant because I sometimes got severe allergic reactions to the food and they wouldn't tell me what was in it, I'd be pretty bummed.

I've never been triggered by this comic specifically, but I know what it's like to be triggered unexpectedly, and it sucks. Trigger warnings would be nice for more of the heavier pages I think, but I would leave it up to Jocelyn as for how to implement them unobtrusively.
Jocelyn 2nd Mar 2016, 2:19 AM edit delete reply
@Those requesting trigger warnings...

I'm not against using them, but Comic Fury doesn't have a function for that as far as I'm aware. If you click on the link for the page, it jumps right in. I could put the warning in my blurb for the page, but that appears AFTER the page which you'll have already read (not to mention, not everyone reads the blurbs). If there is a way to work in something like that, I'm willing to consider it, but I'm not aware of such a thing on this site. Otherwise, the trigger warning is simply on the comic's front page as a general warning for the story as a whole (which has been there since the end of Chapter 23, if I remember correctly).

I'm afraid of this coming off as insensitive, but the point of Rain is to tell a story about people facing rough situations and overcoming them. It's a story of growth. I absolutely mean to move toward an ultimately happy ending, and to keep what I still feel is an above average level of positivity for a trans comic. But I also wish to keep a degree of realism in there because that's how people grow and overcome things. What this means is that there ARE going to be more events in the future of the comic that some might consider triggering. It's not for the sake of upsetting the readers though, but to hopefully portray that recovery afterward is possible, because you don't need to let that own you.

(For the record, I have PTSD too, and speak as a cancer survivor, a rape survivor, someone who was once suicidal, someone who has lost people to gun violence, and someone who still deals with anxiety, depression, and debilitating self-esteem issues). No, it's not easy, but yes, you CAN fight through it.)

Honestly, the last thing I want to do is hurt someone or make them feel bad. But while I see the value in purely uplifting stories as an escape, I don't think they help in the long run. I'm an optimist to a fault (because I have to be), but I've got my fair share of traumas to cope with and I'm not blind to the injustices in this world. I'd just much rather people see these things exist and know they can be defeated, than have people pretend they don't exist and be unprepared for them should they actually encounter these situations. It's kind of like a trigger warning for life, because believe me when I say nothing and no one ever warned me before I suffered the things that have happened to me in reality.

I feel like I'm getting circular here, but I want to stress again that I'm not unsympathetic and I don't wish to hurt anyone. I'll try to use trigger warnings if I can. However, individual warnings or not, I'm telling you right here and now there will be more rough scenes in the future of this comic (and the warning on the front page has been there for some time and isn't going anywhere). And those rough scenes will almost undoubtedly be plot relevant stuff you can't really skip to follow the story. My hope though is that people will read through the hard stuff to see the more positive aspects of the story as the characters conquer these rough situations. Whether you can or can't handle it though, is your call to make. I'm not forcing anyone to read the comic, and I trust my readers to know themselves well enough to be aware of their limits and make their own decisions. If you can't keep reading, I understand; do what you need to do for you. The warnings ARE there though (especially if you've read this far into the comic, you should know by now I don't sugarcoat my writing), so I do not accept blame. You know yourself and what you can handle. I don't even know you. As such, you are responsible for you. So please be mindful of yourself and take care of yourself.
Reimi 29th Feb 2016, 4:14 AM edit delete reply
Moments like this are not something I look forward to once I start presenting in public.

Poor Rain, she has been through so much these past 3 days. ;_;
Sobi 29th Feb 2016, 4:35 AM edit delete reply
Ive had countless moments like this, even when I'm presenting female i still get called sir or dude or whatever 99% of the time, the times where they call me miss or use the right pronouns i literally pinch my self to see if I'm not dreaming
DocMesa 29th Feb 2016, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
"Dude you're right, it's totally a guy!"

Well, that just makes both of you wrong *and* assholes.
AmbiguousMouse 29th Feb 2016, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
Well, they are children. At this stage, even the ones that turn out to be alright people in high school and general life are still going to be ignorant, boisterous shitlins like 90% of the time.
Lex-Kat 26th Nov 2016, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, the problem with children is that they don't yet have a censor in their brains. They are sponges, soaking up the rights and wrongs of the world. Which is why most don't start changing their views until they have met people with differing views.

The thing is, if they are not taught how to be better people, they will be horrid. And yes, even adults can change. You just have to be patient and teach, not condemn.
Niceguy Eddie 29th Feb 2016, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012 29th Feb 2016, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
I hope Maria Destroys those two idiots
AmbiguousMouse 29th Feb 2016, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Those kids were just jealous of Rain's fashion sense. I think she's about as pretty as a girl in this comic style could be... Allowing an exception for your artistic renditions of yourself, of course :3
Jennel 29th Feb 2016, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
This hit me right in the feels because I had some random guy tell me today i looked like a man and that really sucked :(. First person to say that in over 3 months :/
Guest 29th Apr 2019, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
This is something that I fear a lot, and I make sure to come back to this page every now and then to fuel my emotional masochism
Share 27th Oct 2020, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
Rereading, they were colored, they’re important
Mila 1st Dec 2022, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
This definitely strikes a nerve. I'm now 17 months on HRT and still having troubles with how I present myself in public over fears of something like this being my experience. Lack of self-confidence and all that.
I do appreciate Maria's response and Chanel's remark to close it out here though.
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