Can I Trust You?
27th Feb 2017, 2:17 PM in Ch. 31 - A Symbol of Trust
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Can I Trust You?
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Average Rating: 5 (15 votes)
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User comments:
Rae11017 (Guest)
That was...interesting. It's following the general idea of what I thought was going to happen but I'm surprised as to how it's happening. I just want everything to work out and everyone to be friends. ._.
Sapphire Shield
Yeah in a perfect world everyone could be friends... though sadly this isn't a perfect world, terrible I know.
This is the part where she turns out to be a superhero or something, right?

Right? ;w;
ElsweyrFondue (Guest)
Ana pauses for a few seconds, clearly weighing her choices, could she trust Rain with her secret? What would she say? Maybe it would be best just to say nothing?

Eventually she relents, looking Rain directly in the eye, she says with a deep gravelly voice "Rain, I...I'm Batman!"
Pauline (Guest)
First! :D

But what a heavy page... I can totally relate to Ana. But I'm sure those two will work everything out :)
Lemonado Girl
>risk being outed by association

Hmmm, do you have something to tell us, Ana? >:3

I think we all know that whatever happens next is a long time coming. Which is going to make the wait for Wednesday all the more painful! At least it's not one of those Friday cliffhangers!
Avary Gorall (Guest)
GAH another cliffhanger! Time to wait until wednesday.
Heavy stuff indeed.
What a rude little so and so, I would have walked off on her. Ana just lost all my respect.
Sarah (Guest)
Ana's a teenager with a history of experiencing actual physical violence against her because of who she is. I wouldn't blame her for being paranoid because of that.
Jessica Bright (Guest)
considering that if she's outed she could be kicked out of the school or worse, her concern is pretty legitimate.
Lyn the Mysfortunate
Yeah, I get the, "but she doesn't have to be a dick about it" thing, but I think she's so upset right now that she's not even thinking about how all this sounds to Rain. She probably has some ptsd from when she was attacked and I wouldn't be surprised if she was fighting flashbacks right now.
Fox (Guest)
As a person with PTSD, I really don't like when it's used to excuse rude or otherwise not okay behavior because I feel it gives people with PTSD a bad name and further enforces the stigma against mental illness. Especially because trauma doesn't guarantee a person will develop PTSD and we have NO evidence that Ana has PTSD. Reasons also aren't excuses. Even if she did have PTSD, that wouldn't make it okay to be rude to someone who has done NOTHING to her. Finally, come on, Ana knows what would happen to Rain if the school found out about her, it's glaringly obvious Rain doesn't walk around telling everyone or she wouldn't still be there.
Fox (Guest)
Also, Rain has suffered trauma as well, including implied abuse by her father and Kellen committing assault by cutting off her hair in her sleep so they are on an even playing field here.
Doombird (Guest)
Exactly. They're on an even playing field, and the playing field does include being a teenager and not always choosing to be your best self in every moment.

Pointing out both of those things, plus all the other crap going on, doesn't need to be an excuse - it's an explanation. If we were speaking to the actual character after the fact, there would be lessons to dispense. But in that kind of moment we've all chosen drahma over leveling with someone, we've all chosen to be snotty over being kind, we've all chosen to be guarded jerks instead of forthcoming, and we've done it for Reasons. Sometimes the reason is as simple as "I was worked up about something else and felt like sticking a needle into somebody." Sometimes we aren't aware of it at all. People just don't always choose, or have the ability to choose, to be fully present and fully outside our own heads in every situation. Sometimes expecting better of them is appropriate, and sometimes understanding is appropriate.

In real interpersonal relationships, we brush off a lot of this stuff from others, and we're fortunate that others cut us some slack. Here, we're outside observers and we have the luxury of total detachment.
Fox (Guest)
We haven't "all" done anything, I expressed my feelings in a civil manner and by my count so has most everyone else. Also, boundaries are important and healthy, letting it slide imo is not. I ask that people tell me politely I've done or said something that upset them and I do the same. If someone has been a jerk or hurt someone they need make it right imo, you don't just let it slide because then you send the message it's okay and if it's not okay with you then anger and resentment will build each time it happens until the relationship sours. Imo it's always better to be polite and up front than to let it sit there. Plus, imo you teach people what kind of treatment you will put up with. If you let it slide when they hurt you, they will keep hurting you, even if they don't mean to, because you haven't told them and set a healthy boundary. This is my opinion after many years of bad relationships and abuse and more still of therapy to learn how to value myself and keep from falling back into that pattern.
Lyn the Mysfortunate
I didn't mean that having ptsd could be a carte blanch to treat people however you want, just that I think she's being triggered right now. I've got generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder and sometimes when something triggers my anxiety or my depressive side I say stuff without really thinking about the consequences because I'm so upset and in my own head. I mean I still have to take responsibility for my actions afterwards and work to get to a point in my life where my disorders don't have that kind of hold on me, but in the moment, I'm scared or sad to the point where those emotions overwhelm me and it's hard to think about anything else. As for Ana having ptsd, I admit it was a guess, but it was a guess based on her behavior. She's put up walls, and even after finding out that there's no danger in telling the group, she still won't. When Rain came out to her, that look on her face... It stopped her in her tracks. She looks terrified. She had to leave to regain her composure, and even then, she'll barely look at Rain. And it might just be me but I can see the tighness in her shoulders as she talks in the third to last panel. Maybe she doesn't have ptsd per say but she's definately going through some shit and it was definately triggered by Rain coming out. I think that reminded her of a time when she came out, or when someone found her out, and she got hurt because of it. Possibly the attack she mentioned to Galvin. For me it's very reminicant of some of my own experiences, that's just how I interpurted it.

~Anna is like the Maui to Rain's Moana.
~T-t-t-t-title drop!
~Some deep things are about to go down. I predict a temporary rift between Ana and the Raingers.
~Rain's expression in the third panel reminds me of a curious cat.
Guest ;-)
mecaterpillar (Guest)
Is this going to lead to one of those scenes where two people go to the bathroom together and check that all the stalls are unoccupied? That's where it feels this is heading.
In my experience those scenes usually end with the two people climbing into an air duct. But I really doubt that this is what's going to happen here :D
Fox (Guest)
While understandable that Ana would be worried, she is being extremely rude and unfair to Rain. What Rain chooses to tell people is her buisness and while I reserve overall judgment until I know more I am NOT okay with how Ana has handled things so far.
Lastrik (Guest)
Wow. I just finished reading every page of your comic and it's just great. It must have taken like 10 hours but those where amazing.

Thanks for this. I will be looking for more !
You know, if I was stealth, I could see myself reacting like Ana... It's understandable, Rain threw out the one thing she never wanted to say again so casually, it had to put her off to hear it thrown out like that.
Fox the shiny one (Guest)
I live stealth and can realate to Ana's fear "outed by association". I'd not act similar to Ana in that situation but I'd probably tell Rain politelty my own situationm thank her for her trust and openess but also tell it would be too much for my own fears and triggers to stay close. It's a terrible thing to say and do but sometimes you got to be selfis to stay safe and sane.
Fox (Guest)
I think it's admirablethat you practice self care (which imo isn't selfish) and set polite, healthy boundaries. There's nothing wrong with being stealth, but being rude or angry at others for living more openly as Ana seems to be doing is not okay imo. I'm glad you would handle things in a way that meets your needs and still acknowledges the right of others to have different needs. I wish more people would respond that way.
Seikueon (Guest)
Remember when Rain got mad at Rudy for dressing like a girl?

It makes it easier to clock Rain. I have friends that are transwomen who don't like hanging out with me and my transmen friends for the same reason. Or thinks that anyone who cross dresses is trash. Not all of my friends are stealth, but of the ones that are...

The heavily implied hints imply that Ana isn't trans like Rain or Jessica, but was intersex at birth, assigned male, turned out to be wrong.

Like Rain was defensive about being outed by association, whatever has happened to make Ana fear implies the same.

I have a cousin that was assigned female and it might have been wrong. But they sort of feel like I have no right to pursue being male if they don't.

Guessed this already, but never posted.
Samantha (Guest)
Seikueon, in response to you post, I am a genderfluid person who identifies as female. I am also mostly conservative, and have found that I experience transgender erasure (the idea that I am not "one of us" because I disagree politically. In fact, I was told flatly "no such thing" as a conservative LGBT person at a Pride fest, despite you know, hey I'm here).

The take of a conservative ally to LGBT is different from that of a liberal. A liberal tells you "I was born this way". The conservative LGBT or ally, dismisses that idea of inborn determination and their argument goes something like this.

For (lesbian/bisexual/gay): "You two are consenting adults, right? Well, then you don't need to explain yourself to me. You can do anything you want."
For transgender ppl: "You can be anything you want to be. I don't believe that God made a mistake though. I believe you should do what makes you happy."

The difference between that and a non-ally is the acceptance that it isn't their business. The non-ally is a busybody, regardless of their politics (and there are liberal homophobes too).

Why am I telling all of this? It's to explain a difference in mindset. The average liberal is kind of Calvinist. They believe in predestination. The average conservative is Protestant. They believe in free will and grace. In grace theology, accepting yourself is first and foremost. If you pass or not, most people don't care.

What I found during my transition (no-binary transition being what it is, it is more about feeling comfortable than something physical) was that other people are typically fine with you unless you are more nervous than happy. That the average person will accept someone who is happy and friendly, alot more than they will someone who is secretive and surly. So the question is, what do you need to be embarrassed of? If anyone asks, I tell them who and what I am. Nobody ever even asks.

Seen in this way, Ana is being completely unreasonable. This is about the same mentality as "Jerry used to be a bank robber. If I hang out with him, people will assume I also like to rob banks." Uhhh, one if you seem like not the type to rob a bank, nobody will ever assume that. Two, guilt by association isn't really real as evidenced by the fact that all of us have friends who has pasts, but we haven't done those things ( ). All of us have pasts, and the only thing wrong is hiding them. And three, that's dirtbag behavior. A friend told you their deepest secret, and you turned your back on them because "what would they say about me?" That's self-centered.
Fox (Guest)
I agree with a lot of what you said Samantha, I do think Ana has a right to not want to hang out with Rain, but she doesn't have a right to be rude to her, no one ever has the right to be rude,a jerk, etc. Imo.
Kara (Guest)
welp, hope this one gets nipped in the bud

With trans folk transitioning more regularly than ever you can't reasonably expect to like, not have other trans folks in your social groups. the steady selection of excluding the folks who make you uncomfortable inexorably draws you toward social clusters that serve as attractors for other trans folks as well. At some point it stops looking like a fractional percent and a lot more like "oh, wow, half of my friend group turned out to be queer", when you look back 15 years later, or you realize that the non-trans people you were following on twitter? half of them turn out to have been trans (oops).

Deep stealth seems like a bad strat these days? Though I can see a lot of value in not advertising your trans status, and norms around not disclosing someone else's status are obvs super important to hold onto
However, in this specific environment (a Catholic school), being outed could lead to expulsion. Thus, stealth, at least among the general public, is the best option for Ana.
Samantha (Guest)
BlackSocks, "could" and "are" are two different words. From what we have seen of this guy so far, he has a reputation that is probably way worse than he actually is.
Consider Emily's pregnancy. He gave her detention, which you normally get for talking back to a teacher or refusing to do your homework. He took away her Valedictorian status, which sounds kinda douchy (until you remember the newspapers report the speech and would take a picture of her baby bulge, btw Catholic schools have had a problem of the priests being accused of molesting, so this might be a matter of them immediately accusing Father Quentin), and he offered the sweatshirts if she needed it.

Father Quentin is not overly likely to be thrilled that Rain gave up her reproductive rights, but seeing her act as parent might change his mind.
Samantha (Guest)
And for those who ask why I brought up Rain's reproductive rights, pro-life is key to most Catholicism. This is the main issue I can see him having with her.
I can definitely say that my friend group has migrated towards each other seemingly randomly, but we are a huge group who only came out AFTER knowing each other, because we're the one table at the school who literally doesn't judge others. We get called freaks, but you will never hear us call anyone else that. Because we all understand.
Samantha (Guest)
Hey Kara. Yes, deep stealth is a failing model.

In actual fact, you risk violence by being insecure about yourself and treating this as if it were a horrible thing. And in fact, this is what it becomes. Suppose you are dating a guy, and you have had sex many times, and you are about to get married. Isn't this going to more likely cause something bad to happen than if you told sometime before the second date (especially since they now how your address and can harass you)? Whereas if I tell you upfront, there is no fear of trying to "trick you" and as long as it doesn't sound like a rejection excuse, the person will either reject you (and you can move on) or they will accept you, in which case you have just told your deepest secret and everything else will be cool.
This is the most serious we've ever seen Ana, it's quite the change.
I think Ana's really afraid-- for herself, and for Rain. Since Rain's just starting transition, she hasn't gone through all the stuff Ana has gone through (which was implied physical abuse for a long time) and as far as Ana knows Rain just lets anyone know. Which has worked out well for her so far-- she hasn't suffered a lot for being out as trans, the worst I can think of was that short period with Gavin at the beginning but compared to most things that is very, very mild. If Rain's the type of person who just drops "trans" to anyone she meets, she's not going to be okay for much longer-- and Ana knows this more than anyone. There's also the risk of, since Rain knows more about transition than any cis person, she could recognize Ana as trans-- which she has-- and if she keeps running her mouth it will be really, really bad for Ana. She's worked so hard to get away from this! She's finally got the surgery and for all intents and purposes looks like a cis girl! And she won't let Rain ruin that for her. It's understandable.

Ana's experiences were really bad, and she's seen being trans as something negative by association. It's not something you can just talk about to anyone. Ana is not proud of being trans, she does not want to talk about it, and she would not mention it to anyone. That's why she says she'll "never repeat what [she] heard"-- she'll never talk about it, because if she talks about it, someone will overhear, and it will get very, very bad for Rain. I don't think she's being unreasonable here. From her perspective, this makes perfect sense.
Being trans has lead to a lot of negatives in Rain's life too, the implied abuse by her father who she still has nightmares about, Gavin's initial anger, her brother's initial mistreatment, and Kellen committing assault and cutting off her hair in her sleep. She has less support from her family than Ana seems to and Ana knows nothing about Rain and shouldn't be jumping to conclusions and passing judgment.
Fox (Guest)
^from me
Ah, right. I am very tired and completely forgot about those points! Sorry about that.
Definitely, being trans has lead to negatives in Rain's life. But we're assuming that Ana has been outed multiple times, had to move schools multiple times, and has tried very, very hard to avoid those in her past because she had been mistreated pretty badly. Rain definitely went through a lot, and I'm not trying to say that she didn't suffer (because she certainly did) but she also didn't go through quite what Ana did-- and we're assuming that Ana has been presenting as female for fifteen years (I believe, should probably fact-check that) and Rain only has this year. Ana has a lot more experience being out and has had to rearrange her entire life multiple times due to being trans, and feels the need to guard her secret with much more intensity than-- she thinks-- Rain does. That's what makes Rain's revelation so shocking, because Ana would never dream of doing that.

Yeah, jumping to conclusions does seem a little extreme, but we have to keep in mind that Rain has just come out to a girl who she has only had a few conversations with. Ana doesn't know anything about Rain's past. She doesn't know how Rain was outed to most of the lunch table. We also don't know Ana's past experiences-- she may very well have gotten excited and came out to people "as a symbol of trust and friendship" and ended up horribly for it. From Ana's perspective here, if she believes that Rain is pretty new to being stealth, Rain is making rookie mistakes. Anyone could have heard her at that table-- Ana could have reacted poorly-- any of her friends could have reacted badly-- and Rain would have to run from everything and change up her whole life again. My interpretation is that she is, at least in part, scared for Rain. Ana's bad experiences have taught her "don't talk about being trans or bad things will happen to you," and she sees Rain talking about being trans to someone she barely knows. She's jumping to conclusions, yes, but she doesn't really have a lot of time to think about it. I think her upcoming conversation with Rain will make her understand Rain's perspective a little more.
Fox (Guest)
In all fairness here we don't really know everything Rain has been through and we don't know anything really about Ana's experiences. Also you can't compare pain, they have been through different things so far as we know, but one isn't worse or more serious than the other, they are just different.
Fox (Guest)
Also, not knowing anything is even more reason for Ana to not jump to conclusions and makes it all the more rude imo. Not knowing someone isn't an excuse to be rude, it's a reason not to be.
While I agree with the idea, I don't think that it is very reasonable to expect Ana to instantly not judge. Judging is what people do, instantly, in order to make sense of things-- if Ana didn't form an opinion on Rain until Rain explained everything, that could take a very long time. These past three updates have occurred over a very short time span, and Ana is still in the "process + react" phase of thinking and hasn't had time to think about it and go "oh hey, maybe I shouldn't be jumping to conclusions here, here is x evidence to support that I shouldn't be making this assumption." It's been maybe a minute? Ana might be being a little rude, but she's also shocked and a little scared and hasn't had time to weigh her words or think about anything yet. She doesn't have time to not jump to conclusions or think about her reaction. She probably wouldn't have been like this if she had walked off on her own, thought about it, and returned as peppy as usual.
Fox (Guest)
Ana's reaction is understandable, but a person always has the choice to fact check, it is in fact part of healthy communication imo to say okay wait let me ask before I get angry. That is in fact the main principal of cognitive behavioral therapy (cbt), which is used to treat bi polar disorder, depression, and several other mental health conditions, which are chemical or physiological. My point is if a bipolar person can use fact checking and thought changing to stabilize the manic and depressive moods, even so well as to not need medication in some cases, then others can at least try. The only way imo to make a better less prejudiced world is to practice reserving judgment and fact checking. Ana having experienced judgment herself, which has lead to fear, doesn't then get a pass to pass the same kind of judgment on others, especially someone in a seemingly similar situation. Tldr; Emotions aren't logical and as such, though they are valid, they shouldn't be allowed to rule your behavior imo.
Sobi (Guest)
I dont like where this is going..... not because of ana but because of Debbie i feel like she's going to try and use this to destroy rain for "stealing" Emily away from her x.x PLEASE let me be wrong i dont know if my heart could take that
Callisto (Guest)
Wow - Intense comic today.

On one hand, Ana's post may feel unsympathetic/rude to people who do not live stealth, and I am one of those, but it is also a very real viewpoint felt by a lot of people who live in more real risk of harm, and worse, from being outed on a day to day basis.

So while there is discussion to be had on whether she is right, and whether she could perhaps have phrased it better, it is coming from a valid place if you ask me.
Callisto (Guest)
Words, not post - Long day - brain not braining. -_-
Lia47 (Guest)
Drew (Guest)
I suspect that some of her past with physical abuse may come from her mother...think about it. We haven't met her mother yet. Her parents are divorced for some reason. She just moved here. Perhaps her father is the supportive parent and her mother is unsupportive? Maybe that's why she had to move here before having (possible) sex reassignment surgery? Just a theory.
Doombird (Guest)
Niceguy Eddie (Guest)
Layn (Guest)
While my first reaction is also WTF? I can absolutely understand. I grew up with the deep-stealth or you're dead/wish you were dead mentality. So every time I'm hanging with a queer friend (trans or in any other way) and they openly talk about queer things, I'm absolutely mortified. I panic, I try to change topic, I act super weird. I mean, I just want to live my life, and here's a person who could completely upset that!

Of course I'm in an environment where it's not that much of an issue if people know. It might be a tiny bit uncomfortable at first, but it'd work out.
Ana... not so much. At that school she's definitely not safe. And it's not like people don't know that that group includes queer peeps. Hope she sees how nice it is to have a group you can trust though.
This is a curiosity thing I am hoping someone can sort out for me; I have NEVER heard of "outed by association", much less someone actually having it happen to them. Is this something people worry about? I was always good at keeping my sexuality under wraps when I cared, and I never heard anyone thinking I was gay because I "hung out with the gay crowd."
This may be true for you, but a lot of people I know have been outed by association, and it can be especially true for trans* people, where you can see that something might be off about someone, or they look more feminine or masculine. I can pass pretty well, but, though my twin isn't transgender, people think I'm a girl because when they see me next to her, they see how my facial shape is very feminine because they compare ours unintentionally. It sounds weird, but it can be entirely possible.
jacob (Guest)
this is the part where Jocelyn switches scenes on us
I renounce all my earlier predictions. THIS is the truth.
Long-Time Lurker (Guest)
Ana is in the banner on top, so I predict it'll all work itself out and she'll become (if only tangentially) part of Rain's friend goup.

Also, I didn't consider that Jocelyn would scene switch but now I can totally see that happening... (Noooooooo, please don't!)
K (Guest)
I am "stealth" myself and if a person at my work came out as transgender to me I would have mixed feelings and in all honesty I would be scared of getting outed. I'm not sure I would even trust the person to tell them I was trans as well.
So, on the 25th, I went to a relative's 80th birthday. And I didn't hide in men's clothing. I presented as who I truly am.

Some in my family already knew. But those who lived in the North did not. And, well, they tend to be more conservative.

But you know what? As far as I could tell, they all accepted me for who I am. It was one of the happiest days of my life. :)
DandelionWishes42 (Guest)
ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! :)
Fuck the tone police. Ana is afraid and this info was sprung on her. She is plenty polite enough. What kind of prudish snob sees her as rude here?
Some Ed
At last, someone with a secret who isn't comfortable talking about that secret in front of the faceless people too unimportant for Jocelyn to even draw in outline!

I had that problem a lot in college. People asking me personal questions who I was willing to answer... but in the middle of a CS lab with two dozen other people I was *not* willing to tell about it. Sigh.
Rain, I love you, but you really are a bit slow on the uptake, aren't you?
Waffle (Guest)
Thought: Ah. That does make sense.
"It's kind of a symbol of trust-"
roll credits.
At least she has the common sense to talk about her secrets in private and not in a public area near someone who is currently the center of attention at school