1st Mar 2017, 12:22 PM in Ch. 31 - A Symbol of Trust
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Average Rating: 5 (13 votes)
Author Notes:
The script called for this to be a two-pager with the next page, but I split it up. Sorry if this scene feels incomplete because of it, but there've been a lot more two-pagers than I think I realized lately when I'm already kinda busy.

Anyway, I know a lot of you called it. I'm gonna be drowning in those comments, I'm sure. ^^;

But more importantly, what does this revelation mean? Even if you predicted Ana's past - whether it was 3 pages ago or 300 pages ago - what does this mean for her now? What does it mean for Rain? Can they be friends? Or will their varying degrees of openness lead to them butting heads?

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User comments:
Well, I know Rain is neither careless nor spiteful enough of Ana to out her against her will, but I do imagine there might be some friction going forward nonetheless. I actually kind of wonder if Rain will end up being jealous of Ana... Like, Rain's decision to out herself to Ana makes sense, but I wonder if her reasoning represents what she'd see as a loss of control. A secret only one person knows and that you only talk to that person about is very different from a secret you feel obliged to tell every new member of your group so that it isn't something you're cleverly trying to beat around the bush with everyone else about. And Rain might regret or fear that her friends aren't able to see her as "just a normal girl" due to the fact that they know. It sounds cruel, but Rudy and Gavin are both still feeling double-edged attraction towards her in a way that's easy to interpret as being BECAUSE she's trans, and she suffered early on from Chanel shying away from her in her "fear of boys" way.

She might long for the way everybody, from the conscious to the unconscious level, sees Ana as "normal girl," no strings attached, etc. Trans girls ARE normal girls, of course, and I think Rain would be overplaying her friends' reactions, but I do recognize it as a very human and Rain-like response.
Callisto (Guest)
You are very right - Rain sees the best in people. That's totally a big part of her charm, even if she's super shy about it. :)

The good part of that is that I think, throughout the plot, that encourages the other characters to be the best versions of themselves.

Of course, it doesn't always work out that way...
Idk what intersex really is but i dont think there "butt heads" Rain didnt want to come out to her friends at frist anyways so she should no (more then any otgere on in this comic)
Sammi (Guest)
Someone who is intersex is the same thing as a "hermaphrodite," though the later is considered inappropriate and politically incorrect. The only reason I'm even using it is to try to explain.
Mouse (Guest)
Actually you aren't totally correct. Someone who would have been called a hermaphrodite DOES now fit under intersex, but it is not the only thing. Intersex includes many other things, like androgen insensitivity disorder (or pretty much any innate disorder that messes with hormones). Having both genitalia is only one possible outcome of intersex.

Hermaphrodite is still used medically and with doctors when SPECIFICALLY referring to someone with both genitalia but, yes, in general vernacular, hermaphrodite is considered to be rude and, to many, out right insulting.
Lyn the Mysfortunate
Yeah, it's is basically an umbrella term for anyone who's sex is not strictly male or female. (Intersex I mean, not hermaphrodite) This can refer to genitalia, hormones, reproductive organs, and/or sex chromosomes.
Fox (Guest)
I'm glad Ana chose to be polite, but that surgery has a long recovery time and I doubt the "accident" excuse will hold out forever. Also, it bothers me that Ana say, "I'm sure you know that feeling TO SOME Extent" when referencing feeling wrong being called a boy. The capitalized part bothers me because it seems like Ana's saying Rain's experience is wildly different or Rain is less of a girl or not a "real" girl. I may be over thinking this, but that choice of words just really doesn't say good things to me.

No two trans people necessarily have the same experience. Ana's not implying Rain's anything less. Rather, I included the wording of "some extent" because I wanted to stress that she's trying not to assume anything. Ana doesn't know what Rain's been through; she's knows they're both trans, and so some experiences might be shared between them. But she doesn't know which ones or to what extent. She doesn't know if Rain is intersex or not (or if Rain herself even knows that). She doesn't know if Rain has been aware of her transness her whole life, or if she only realized fairly recently. She doesn't know if Rain has experienced trauma over being trans. She doesn't know if Rain experiences dysphoria the same way.
Fox (Guest)
Ah okay, thank you for clarifying. I've just heard that phrase used a lot to mean, less valid, so I wanted to put out there how it came across to me.
Dream of a Pebble
Not less valid but a little different. Many intersex people – including Ana – share the gender incongruence with transsexuals but have the additional trauma of having had a forced medical transition in a wrong direction.
Fox (Guest)
True, but as I said below, it was the experience of being misgendered verbally that I was specifically referencing.
So, I think I know why Ana was assigned the gender of male. In many parts of the world, men are the only one who can hold any political power. Even in North America, most people speak of men a lot better than women. So the doctor thought he was doing her a favour in a sense. That or the doctor genuinely thought that men were better. Speaking as someone who as straight as a circle, I don't really get what's so great about guys. (If you honestly couldn't tell, I'm a girl.)
Fox (Guest)
Also, I know no two experiences are the same, but I'm fairly sure being misgengered feels wrong to the majority if not all trans people and other people of non typical gender identity and sex combinations. That's what I was referencing specifically.
blurg (Guest)
feels like a "freaks like you make it harder for people like me with a legit medical condition" is coming in rebuke of rain wanting to be friends :|
Fox (Guest)
According to Jocelyn above that wasn't what was meant, but I got the same kind of impression, so I can see why you thought that.
So glad this has finally been said, but now I'm super nervous about where it might go...
hope (Guest)
I don't see much of a problem with Ana choosing not to share this with the rest of the group. If it's what makes her comfortable, let her keep it to herself. Maybe if she gets more comfortable she can tell Gavin or even the others. But there's no reason that she should tell anyone else, especially since she doesn't want to.
Kris (Guest)
We literally just went over the genetics of intersex individuals today in my class! Could also possibly be the reason she has heterochromia if she's a genetic chimera? (If anyone's interested in that kind of stuff :P)
The subject of genetic chimeras both fascinates me and frightens the hell out of me. I need to get a karyotype test done but I'm scared to find out what it might reveal. I've got some physical characteristics that mosaic DNA would explain too well.

EDIT: And as I found out from my new doctor shortly after I first posted this, I am XX/XY with central nervous aystem, eyes, skin, digestive tract a mixed blend of 70% XX, 30% XY and that’s why my wye color changed from solid brown to tri-color central heterochromia in both eyes after starting HRT.
Legitimate question for you Jocelyn, does Ana not like trans people or think being trans is bad because she said she would "rather not think of it that way"?
Samantha (Guest)
Alot of what Ana's going through boils down to not being able to forgive what happened to her. She basically sees Rain as a living representation of that. That said, she is pretty difficult to like right now.
Same Guest (Guest)
Yeah, I can get that but Rain is a person and shouldn't be treated as a personification of what happen to Ana.
Clockwork Cowboy
My ex was in a very similar position. At birth the doctor "fixed" him and said he was a girl. From what I've gathered this was actually a very common practice.
Lyn the Mysfortunate
Yeah, they call it "normalizing." It's ridiculous the lengths some doctors will go to to get parents to consent. I've heard stories of doctors lying and saying that the child's testies or ovaries were cancerous if they didn't match the gender assignment chosen for them. I even heard one story of a pregnant woman opting for an abortion after her doctor told her the "medical concerns" of her fetus being intersex. Like don't get me wrong, I'm pro choice, but scaring a patient into getting one is just plain wrong.
Megumi (Guest)
Seems to me that Ana has some built up internalized transphobia going on. I have an intersex friend who put things fairly well in that he saw being intersex and trans as being two sides of the same coin. One condition deals with how the body developed ambiguous genitalia and the other deals with how the brain didn't develop congruently to the body. Both conditions have the same result on the person where there is incongruence when things don't match up to the individuals identity.
Fox (Guest)
I agree that is how it seems. That's a good explanation from your friend. Though we have to wait for diffinitive proof on this I've always thought incongruent sex and gender is likely a result of an intersex condition of some type. Like for me, I was born female, but I had a mixed puberty. I grew breasts and wider hips, but I also grew male pattern body hair, facial hair that has gotten more plentiful as I've gotten older but is still patchy, and even chest hair. I also experienced a higher sex drive than would be typical during female puberty i.e. literally anything could turn me on back then. I've yet to prove it, but I'm fairly certain I am intersex, I am however also trans as I was assigned girl and am a man. Though I treat trans as a medical label and not a part of my identity, I am just a man, I respect the right of others to feel differently.
The mixed puberty part sounds a lot like polycystic ovary syndrome, which is pretty common. I knew a trans guy who has it, and he is quite a hairy guy. Unfortunately when he was teen and before he realized he was trans, he was pressured into getting his facial hair removed :(
Fox (Guest)
It could be idk. Wow that sucks that he was pressured into that.
Katherine (Guest)
As an intersex woman myself, I can definitely say it's not the same. I get why she doesn't want to open up more. The support structure that's there for trans? Not so much for intersex. Somehow, the idea of a genetic "aberration" is more of a "threat" to the norms.

Makes me feel a bit like the mutants from Marvel stories.
I'm really happy Jocelyn included this much about intersex. Intersex genital "surgeries" are really horrific, and it's appalling that modern health organizations still fight any attempts to end intersex genital surgeries. They're worse any other kind of genital mutilation, including up to full nullification of the sexual pleasure organs and castration, vastly worse than even the horrific variations for binary sexes. It's really nice to see a real exploration, and a proper response, to the most horrific element, a present dark history, of modern medicine.
I used to not understand Ana, but as I’ve progressed through life I’ve grown to think a lot like her. I guess I’m technically trans, but I really consider myself cis. Even with fully supportive people, I’d still rather be cis.
ah... same as me...

its interesting both the overlap and differences with someone who is trans. and to trans people i ... typically don't mention being intersex... idk how its relevant and don't want to be thought of as different.

i've also found that cis people tend to have no sympathy for the infant surgeries and are just as mad at me for transitioning as they would be to any trans person. i even had a guy break up with me for the intersex part (he figured cos i had a medical condition, that what if my treatment plan changed and i was told i had to live as male... apparently there's a movie with that as its main plot point >.<

i don't particularly worry that being around other intersex or trans people would out me... then again i'm old enough to be Ana's mother. idk how i would have thought if i could have fixed things when i was 17 (or if i could have even handled finding out about the hysterectomy at that age...)
This definitely got interesting