Before getting into the plot commentary, I just want to explain that the setting is supposed to be them all heading back to the car from Kellen's apartment (figure this scene is taking place at the exact same time as the last two). This was all written as a conversation for the ride home, but we all know how much I HATE drawing car scenes. The change of walking to it rather than being in it, made this scene ever so slightly less emotionally draining on me. XD
Okay, but being serious here...
It's easy to say, "Just disown your crappy relatives who don't accept you and be done with it." But for a lot of us who've been in the situation where it became a necessity, it's possible there were good times before coming out. They might not be accepting of you now, but deep down you may recall seeing them be good people before. The intolerance almost feels out of character for them. And that makes it all the more frustrating and upsetting. Disowning is a two-way street. It punishes them because they lose you. But you lose the good person they (may have) seemed to have been before that. The good person they should've by all rights STILL been.
Kellen didn't "get away with it." She didn't "win." However, this wasn't exactly a victory for Rain either. They BOTH lost a sister here. Again, I'll be the first to say that things like this really can (unfortunately) be a necessity sometimes. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. That's why Rain's crying in the last panel.
Sorry. I know this is a super mopey chapter and probably hits close to home for a lot of readers. It's a real hard subject, but I think it's important to address in a story like this. It hits close to home for me too, actually. I admit a lot of this is a bit of a means of expressing some of my own frustrations that I never really let out before.
We'll lighten up a little bit next time.
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Wow, this is heavy...
This is so sad...
I'm honestly prepared to disown anybody I'm related to, save for my dad (who probably would reluctantly accept me, since I'm the only one of his children to go to college).
You missed a "to" in the first speech bubble
How do I miss these things? O_O
Thanks for catching though. Fixed now. ^_^
I haven't spoken to anyone in my family aside from my parents in 30 years with a few distinct exceptions, and my father only because he always insisted on answering the phone. That might seem kind of obvious to some, but from 1980 until about three years ago there were always at least seven or eight people in the house. Most of them were adults.
I don't miss the others, all eight of them + a few fosters here and there, but even I'll admit there were funny moments even during my "exile" and I do feel a bit empty now and again.
My dad was usually the instigator here. Early on he was the most violent towards me but later on he lightened up a little even if he was still thoroughly insensitive... his way of coping I guess. There was one time I called to talk to my mother and one of my older brothers answered. He decided I couldn't talk to mom until I explained myself to him. After arguing with him for about five minutes, and coming up with some truly colorful ways of telling him to get f****d, I heard my father's very distinctive voice yell out:
"Give it up, asshole, your brother has tits. Give the phone to your mother and sit down."
Ok, so he wasn't big on enlightenment, but he was funny sometimes.
I suppose I'm just trying to say that yes, it was better in my case to cut most of them off entirely. But that doesn't mean I don't miss my family on occasion despite their complete intractability.
disowning may be right at this point in time for rain based on current situation. I hope rain and kellen can reconcile some time in the future.
meanwhile,still looking forward to rain's return to school.
This is a nice page to address all of the viewers' comments about wanting to hit Kellen, why they didn't, and also acknowledging that, yes, what Kellen did was legally a crime, but why they're not going to press charges.
I like that Rain doesn't press charges. A lot of time it's hard for victims of abuse or assault or rape to press charges because they don't want to have to think about what happened or interact with the attacker. The fact that Rain's own sister did this to her just complicates things even more. Aside from the fact that it would make Kellen angry, seeing her sister in court would just be another reminder for Rain of how she was betrayed by her own family.
@Guestasdfasdf: Another consideration (that may or may not have crossed Rain's mind) is that if she presses charges and it goes to court, Kellen may not have any reservations about revealing Rain's trans status. And if anyone from school catches wind of the case...
You make me feel really bad about the other comments here they compare kellen to a rapist and a criminal. I think that's a little uncalled for. Its way way too much . Yes kellen screwed up badly and went over the line and technically you could charge her. But as the nuclear option here and won't solve anything. It's a two-way street here. All the parties involved are wrong in some way. There's no winners here. kellen being too hard-nosed and lacks understanding
rain others are unrealistic dropping something. This important the person and not getting the news these time to deal . Given what happened with her brother rain and the others have expected some negative from kellen
I understand things pain but cutting kellen out of her life and dropping are just seems wrong. But she's not evil just wrong headed. True family can find a way to forgive each other or chance for them to redeem themselves. Her brother is a case in point. If she gave in to anger, she wouldn't have them right now
Go back and read, Aiken was summarily bounced from the house when he could not deal. Kellen had plenty of time to adjust and instead of talking about her feelings she went for physical assault. That, btw, is the legal term in the US for what happened. Cutting anyone's anything while they are asleep, and can not consent, is a massive violation of trust and bodily integrity. That you would down play that, or equate it to refusing to speak to someone, it's just bizarre to me that you can see them on the same level at all. One is horrible, the other is a mature way of handling a toxic person who is dangerous to the emotional well being of Rain.
Moreover, read the author's comments. This kind of thing happens to trans people with horrifying regularity. Cutting toxic people out of their lives is often the only working solution. It's painful, and a personal loss, but necessary.
Kellen is a criminal. She clearly violated the law. Aiken was only a mouthy jerk, who worked hard to recognize and overcome his jerkiness, though he still has worlds of apologizing to do.
@ApostateltsopA: If this had occurred in the District of Columbia the DC Metro Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit would prosecute it as a federal hate crime automatically upon discovery, even if the victim did not want to press charges. The case would be The United States vs Kellen Flaherty with a minimum sentence of five years in prison with the possibility of parole.
Yup, that "masculine aggression" thing sounds about right, you hear it whenever any woman (trans or cis) argues/doesn't wholly agree with TERFs :/
I think Rain's got the right idea here
Rain looks sassy as hell in the third panel of the first page and I freaking love it.
This arc is so heavy, but it feels...good, somehow? It feels like a satisfying sort of tension. This was always bound to be that moment where it all hits the fan, and it was a long time coming, but you are handling the writing perfectly, Jocelyn. And it feels good to read it.
Dear Jocelyn Samara,
I just wanted to say I only found Rain a few weeks ago and have spent every free moment catching up. This is absolutely the best webcomic I have ever read and very important in my life right now.
You've taken on the very complex and deeply emotional subjects of identity and orientation with the tact and respect they deserve and present them exceptionally well.
I really appreciate how you show both perspectives of the antagonistic situations. It helps us connect with the characters and understand their motivations, even if we might not agree with them. Sometimes people with the best intentions do terrible things, I think that's an important lesson for everyone to learn.
You are amazing. Thank you so much for your work.
I'd want to give Rain a high five if I was there... Then again, I don't think she'd think too highly of the gesture. I'd most likely be projecting my own unhealthy sense of pride I take in slamming doors shut on people onto her.
I know I literally JUST posted this on the page "Understanding" but I feel I should say it here too, so others can see it and my opinion could be seen better.
To be honest? While I hate what Kellen did and I really hate her guts and I'd love it if she did come to the light and stop being so transphobic... I'd like it more if she didn't. This is a real problem that real transgender people fear and, a lot of times, actually face. This is keeping the comic real and as grounded in reality a slice of life drama-comedy can get. As well as the fact this allows many different types of challenges for the future. Does Kellen ever out Rain? Maybe someone ELSE presses charges against Kellen for Rain? Maybe we see Kellen strike again by invading their apartment and destroying all of Rain's womanly possessions (clothes meant for women, bra padding, hip padding, etc.)? Maybe she convinces Aiken to be transphobic again.
And even if she doesn't come back to the light, even if she doesn't cause any more issues with Rain, she's still a lost family member. And I don't want her to be found again. This is a trial that Rain has to face. Because, up to this point, most of our commonly seen characters are sticking with Rain. Rain needs something like this to realize there will be people who will NEVER accept you for who you are, even if you're family. It's the harsh, cold reality of it. I HATE that it's reality. I wish it weren't so. But it is. And this creates development for a character: Both IRL and in fiction.
@TallMist: conflict makes stories interesting. kellen will probably provide it for a while but even if she does reconcile,there's still the school administrators,fara's ex colin,emily's ex chase,the school bullies,as well as rain's dad out there somewhere plus I imagine people we have yet to meet.
doesn't just have to be people. it can be events. the villians in the waltons were the depression and the war. maybe an event will come along that has everyone put aside their differences for a while then resume their conflicts with each other after the situation has been taken care of.
I continue to read rain because there's enough going on positive and negative to capture and hold my interest. when that ceases to be the case,I'll find something else that will.
@cathyfan: Fara's ex Colin? I don't see him causing any trouble for quite some time. School administrators? They're only trouble if Rain's secret gets out and, honestly, I don't see that happening any time soon either. School bullies? Who's bullying Rain? A few snide comments, yeah, but nothing really to the extent that could really cause any drama, for the most part. People we have yet to meet? We have quite a huge cast of characters already, to be honest. I can't really see any new characters being thrown into the mix either. And, while it can be events, it's usually people that cause those events. And I can't see any events like that happening at all unless
(And these next few sentences could warrant a trigger warning, so I'm putting one here
1. Rain gets raped, or comes close to getting raped or
2. Her secret gets out, which, as I said earlier, I don't foresee happening any time soon.
3. Rain cutting off ties with her sister makes her suicidal. Which I doubt even more than idea 2.
(END TRIGGER WARNING)
Either way, I want to see more hardships for Rain to go through. Not just relationship drama or Rain comforting her friends. No, I honestly want something beyond that to happen to HER. It'll be horrible to see happen, no matter what it winds up being, but it's what most transgender people go through, based from what I've read up on. Rain getting her hair cut off like that? It's the worst thing that's happened to her thus far. And one of the only bad things that's happened to her so far that's happened because of someone knowing she is transgender.
You could bring up what happened with Gavin at the start or the RuIn relationship, but both of those ended up well for Rain, neither leaving much of an emotional scar on her. Not that I can see, anyways. And if there is, then I DID say "One of the only things". And it's not really based on her being transgender at all, but rather her sexuality. And both of them still seem to think it's all fine and good, both Rudy and Rain. Neither seem particularly hurt... Any more, anyways.
You can bring up Colin, but everything that happened with him so far affected Fara more than anyone else and, honestly, no one seems to be all too hurt about it. I highly doubt he'll be trouble.
Chase seems to be more like one of Emily's "villains" than anyone else's. I mean, he does have the potential to be a threat to Rain, but that's still very iffy.
Look, if you don't want the comic to face any real transgender issues (You know, beyond wondering if you pass or relationship troubles), that's fine. But it wouldn't exactly represent real world issues on the topic properly if nearly everything is all fine and dandy about 20-25 pages later.
(Note: I am NOT questioning Jocelyn's experience or knowledge on transgender issues. It'd be foolish of me to. I'm just saying that most of the issues that us transgender people DO face that are shown in the comic don't last very long and seem to resolve a bit too quickly. There's just no drama or tension. That's why this latest arc, from when Rain first arrives at Kellen's place to this very page, is my most favorite arc yet. It shows a real struggle Rain has to get through and very likely grow as a character. I'm not saying to take it down from its lighthearted roots. I'm not saying to make it too dark. I'm just saying more issues like this needs to be addressed.)
Keep in mind this is all just my own opinion and, no, you don't have to agree with it or like it. I will not say that you have to.
I think Rain actually looks nicer with short hair. I don't know, suits her. Suits her fashion sense too. *shrug* Though I did kind of throw my laptop at a wall when it was revealed...
@Lux: (Though that was more out of anger than anything else)
"Slugged"? Like... bullets? Wait, it's a verb, let me look this up...
Uhm... Yeah, I'm just assuming from context that it means to punch.