This is one of those pages where I was still kinda tweaking the dialogue up until... oh, five minutes ago. I would mention how I hope I got it right, but I'm sure that even if I did, some will disagree.
In fact, based on comments left on previous pages, I'm going to guess responses to this might be somewhat divided. But I still want to hear them. How do you feel about the way Aiken, Jessica and/or even Heather handles things here? What's next for them at this point?
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I'm tired of reading the conversation that's been going on on this page. It shouldn't even be happening and I'm honestly bothered that I'm seeing it here. So everyone read this as many times as you have to: Unless they choose to share it of their own free will, trans people are never ever obligated to tell anyone about their trans status to anyone ever. Period. Discussion over.
If you want to keep arguing about it, take it somewhere else. I don't want to see it here.
You got the dialog right.
I think Aiken did the best he could.
How it comes out ... i have no clue.
Damn, that is probably one of the only times I've seen someone headdesk and it NOT be for funnies. Is also relateable for when I just CAN'T anymore.
Anyway, that's pretty rough for everyone involved. Does anyone give group discounts on therapy in that universe?
@Pacce: don't know.. i thought the head desk was kinda funny despite the reason. mostly because she was expecting to have to dissect him verbally and he just totally destroyed her ability by being awesome
What makes it not funny is the fact that, it's shown done with intention to actually injure herself and injury is in fact shown as a result.
@Pacce: nah. its still funny. i've done it irl before too. when iw as coming out to my parents and they already knew
UAWWWW ;( NOOOOOOOO
idk, maybe but i really wanted them to get together, but I totally understand why they wouldn't. I'm a shipper, and I kinda assumed that the 'heart necklace thing' was a sign that they were gonna get back together.
(btw you got the dialogue PERFECT!)
Well, Aiken didn't sound so bad I think. From Jessica's perspective he's been kind of a jerk, but at least he didn't make a big drama here.
Jessica didn't really have a chance to say much atm though.
Perhaps I am a terrible person, but I totally giggled at the headdesk.
And again at the bruise on her head.
I do really appreciate that Aiken honestly wasn't there just for her response. She wasn't offering, so he didn't push. That's not something that can be said of most groveling exes.
I don't see anything wrong with the dialogue; this totally fits both of them. Unfortunately, since it leaves them both hurting. It's been too much damage to be water under the bridge, and if they are going to get back together, it wasn't going to be today.
However, Aiken is wrong in an important way: He *is* still that guy. He's been educated about this issue, but he's still the type to react nasty to issues he hasn't yet been educated about. Maybe someday he'll be better than that, but it wasn't going to be today.
I believe that Aiken and Jessica would eventually make better friends than a romantic couple. Jessica would do well to notice the accepting and kind person next to her right now, labels and expectations be damned.
@Snow Lilly: ^THIS
....I just woke up. I wasn't ready for a feels trip. </3
Continuing from my comment on the last page: honestly, Jessica more than owes Aiken an apology too. She not only waited until after they were engaged to tell him, but was also not planning to even tell him at all! I'm rather annoyed that she's portrayed in a sympathetic light right now, and how Aiken is made out to be the bad guy. No, what he did wasn't right, but neither was what she did. I hope this is addressed. This makes the comic more frustrating to read :/
I mean, I have zero problems with someone who is transgendered and would not care if I was with someone who was, but if they were my partner and never told me? I would be so utterly crushed. It's a massive lack of trust and care for the other person. :/
This is a really dangerous and damaging attitude. You obviously arent trans and have no idea what it is like to be trans. You dont know the kind of pressures trans women are under and you have no idea the kind of discrimination we face. If you care that much about someone being trans it is your responsibility to ask prospective partners about it, rather than treating it like some terrible dirty secret they have an obligation to reveal. There is nothing wrong with being trans. You are making something that is fundamentally personal and about somebody else all about you.
@Kira: On the other hand, why do you treat it like some terrible dirty secret? A relationship has to be built on honesty and trust. If you hide something like this because you don't think your partner would accept you, that shows an awful lack of both those qualities. Moreover, why would you even want to be with someone you don't think would accept you?
You also accuse :/ of making it all about themselves. Now, I don't think :/ is actually transphobic, but I think the point I'm about to make still stands: if you are dating someone who finds it important to know if their partner is trans, then it actually is partially about them. If your partner takes issue with your being trans and you actively hide that from them, then you are tricking them into betraying their values. No matter how stupid and wrong those values are, that's a pretty shitty thing to do to someone.
@Kira: It's not like I don't have personal issues of my own, but that's what a relationship is built upon. Trust, respect, and love. If someone can't trust, respect, and love me enough to share their life with me, then why should I trust, respect, and love them?
@Anon got my point.
@:/: "Transgendered" isn't a word. :P One IS transgender, one does not do "transgender".
I saw a picture just an hour or two ago saying "Unless I'm about to sleep with you, what's in my pants is none of your business" and it's totally right. Even if you marry someone, that doesn't mean there's going to be sex. And if there is, how would you even know anyways if they had surgery? Granted, I do believe you should tell if you're going to have sex, but even still no one needs to know anything if they don't want them to know.
I hope if you ever date a transgender person you're more understanding of the situation than you are now and understanding of how dangerous and scary it is to come out to someone you've been so close with.
Actually, I saw a video where a girl told someone I think she was dating that she was transgender and he was telling her to GTFO. She revealed she isn't transgender (it was a prank video) and they were OK again. Granted, a video idea like that is horribly transphobic, but still. She was lucky she didn't get beaten up and got called all sorts of slurs or even worse. Try and put yourself in the transgender person's shoes.
I apologize if this comes off as aggressive or confrontational or rude or something, I don't intend for it to, but I gotta get it off my chest. Something that has been building up and felt this comment was just the straw that broke the camel's back so my apologies if this comes off as jerk-like. It probably doesn't, but better to apologize anyways I find
@TallMist: Though for some bizarre reason, "transgendered" used to be in the auto-correct of some web browsers.
@Microrapter: Yeah, I saw that on my old computer once, I think. I don't get why. It's really not a word and, while it doesn't offend me, it has a tendency to offend a lot of transgender people, so I thought to throw that into my comment so to give the person a fair warning about the response that saying that word can get. Again, not because I was totally offended by it, but because I've seen some people get REALLY offended by it.
@TallMist: It's not about sex. I could or could not be having sex with them, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about being open and honest in a relationship where you're supposed to love and trust someone. Being transgender is a huge aspect to that person's life. Keeping it a secret is lying to your partner. It builds walls.
I may not be transgender, but I have a lot of personal (private) issues too. I think it's important to share that information with my partner because I want us to have a healthy and happy relationship. I trust them enough that I want them to know about me and my life. I don't want our relationship to be about hiding things and being fearful. Believe me, I was scared as hell telling them, and had they shat on me, you best bet I would've left them. Someone who is trans should knowingly be in a relationship where they can be loved and respected, and that involves trusting to tell the other person about their life and values.
If the person doesn't understand what being transgender means, if they don't respect that, then that person doesn't deserve a relationship with someone who is transgender.
@:/: How is keeping transgender a secret the same as lying, exactly?
By the way, you may be able to be that open, and it's great that you can be, but not so many people are brave enough and if you look at the statistics, you can see why. So let's not put the blame on the transgender person here. Hell, some people don't even use that a reason, but instead use the fact they don't consider it a huge enough thing to have to say to not say it, which is all cool too.
@TallMist: Being transgender is a part of who that person is. It's a part of their life. It's something that they will live will all of their life. (It's not like they can just stop taking horomones.) It's not giving someone the full truth proactively, that's why it's lying.
And don't say that I'm an open person just because I told /one/ person out of the hundreds of people I've met and interacted with in my life. These were things I've kept secret from everyone I've ever known, and even new people I meet today. I managed to be brave enough to tell ONE person. Don't equate that to me being open, that's not the same thing.
Just because they are a minority and are often scrutinized doesn't mean that they are above faults. It was a mistake that she didn't tell him. She could've been gay, Christian, I don't care; she purposely kept a huge part of herself and her life secret from someone she was supposed to trust and love, someone she expected to /marry/. The whole point of having spouse level relationships with people is so you can have a deeply entangled partnership through life. If you can't tell them, then you probably shouldn't be having that level of relationship with them.
@:/: Not telling someone literally every single detail about yourself is not the same as lying at all. Some people are scared to come out, some people don't think it matters enough, and some people just flat out don't want to and there is no obligation to at all.
Perhaps try and look at the reasons why instead of calling the person a liar and pointing fingers at them. One is not "lying" about anything. If the person says they're a woman, then they're a woman. If the person says they're a guy, they're a guy. If the person says they're neither, then they're neither. There's no "lie" about it. It just so happens they didn't mention they weren't born with the parts to match their identified gender is all.
When I say "You're able to be that open", I didn't specify BECAUSE I didn't want to assume you told everyone. You were at least able to be open enough to tell one person.
Also, I'd like to point out, as a transwoman, I don't plan to ever do hormones or have surgery myself, which is why I would tell people that I'm trans. But even then, that's still up to the person to disclose that information and no one has any real right to know if they don't want you to know.
While you should be able to tell your significant other everything about you, that's just not always the case and to assume it is is to ignore a lot of what goes on in the world.
Yes. If you're going to marry the person, you SHOULD tell them, I personally believe. But if someone doesn't want to, it's their right to withhold that information. If they're withholding it out of fear, they DEFINITELY should reevaluate the relationship. If they're withholding it for other reasons, like just not thinking it's a big enough deal to tell anyone, then it's up to them. They have no obligation to disclose everything. There is so much you can learn about one single person that it could probably take a whole 'nother life time to learn. While one would say "get the big details out of the way first", what does that leave for later on?
Again, like I said earlier, try and look at the reasons and look at it from the transgender person's point of view before pointing fingers.
I never said that us in the transgender community are above flaw just because we're in a minority. I've NEVER said that. I could easily bring up what I think of a transgender woman that has lately been in quite a few headlines and give you a piece of my mind about her, but I'd rather not get onto THAT topic.
Being able to trust your S.O. with important parts of your life is essential for the formation of an open, trusting, loving relationship.
Trans people are not obligated to out themselves to anyone. Let me say that again: *trans people are not obligated to out themselves to anyone.*
The idea that outing yourself as trans is not only recommended, but REQUIRED, makes my blood boil. It's not about trust, and it's not. about. you.
I don't mean "you" as in you, the person I'm replying to here, by the way. I mean "you" as in anyone who might know a trans person. Anyone who might EVER know a trans person.
It is not. about. you.
If you meet someone, date them, get engaged to be married, and somewhere down the line they come out to you, and your first reaction is *anger*, you are not mature enough to be dating anyone, ESPECIALLY someone with that kind of weight on their shoulders.
Trans people, especially trans women, have EVERY reason to be less than willing to out themselves. I'm sure a quick google search could tell you that much. Even people who claim to love you for who you are-- parents, friends, and yes, lovers-- can react badly. Violently. Aiken's reaction to Jessica's coming out was horrible, but it could've gone so, so much worse. I can't stress that enough.
Loving someone and having them love you isn't enough. Trust isn't enough. Hell, even knowing *for a fact* that the person you're coming out to will support you 100%, isn't enough. If you don't understand the amount of *fear* involved here, nothing I can say will make you understand.
Aiken could've attacked Jessica, physically instead of verbally. He could've outed her publicly. He could've put her name and photograph on the internet, along with her transgender identity and current city of residence. He could've killed her. He could've done worse than kill her.
Of course, he *didn't*, and that's a good thing; the stuff I listed above happens. In real life. To transgender woman all over the world, including (I guarantee you) wherever it is that you live. It would've been far too gruesome for this webcomic, I'm sure, and far too depressing.
But he could've. And that's my point. And that's why you're wrong.
Against that kind of fear, it's completely understandable that she would keep it to herself, bide her time until SRS gave her what she felt would make everything alright.
If you don't have sympathy for Jessica, I sincerely hope you never wind up in any kind of relationship with a trans person
@no no no no no:
This! I wish I could "Like" posts here.
I've been meaning to get involved in this conversation, but you definitely worded it better than I had it in my head.
So thank you for your post.
@no no no no no: and at @Quirk
You guys are SPOT ON
@no no no no no: :/#1 has left the building, :/#2 is now in. #2 is a lot more blunt in responding to unethical thinking flaws (but note that all caps are used for emphasis, not yelling).
The idea that anything but proactive honesty is right makes my blood boil (see, we can all get on morally-indignant-anger high-horses: but it's a cheap rhetorical technique and dangerous thinking strategy: what matters is whether your ethics are built on universal compassion and sound reasoning).
See, the only way any form of dishonesty makes the world better, is when someone involved in the situation is somehow unethical, and would cause more suffering/harm/distress if given the truth, than the truth itself causes. Which is the core of this argument: the only way NOT coming out to someone committing to a deeply entangled partnership through life with you is going to be ethically right, is if they are unethical: But, you SHOULD KNOW A PERSON WELL ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT BEFORE YOU CHOOSE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM.
Seriously, why is this so hard? If you don't know, with confidence, that they will respond well to you coming out, then you're picking your relationship partners wrong. It means your relationship choices are bad, and will lead to less happiness for you and those involved. Yes, it also means that partner is a bad/unethical person, but unless they're just straight up lying/manipulating during your entire relationship so skillfully that you can't tell, you can do something about it.
Franky, YOUR attitude is more dangerous to transgender people (actually, most people): Your entire premise is that Aiken could've done even more horrible things than he did. You're arguing it was BETTER, RIGHTER, for her to go into that relationship with the TIMEBOMB possibility that one day, perhaps decades down the line, he would've found out accidentally, and his reaction was still an UNKNOWN. He could've ended up killing her, or worse, 20 years down the line too, if she ever slipped up the perpetual guard that she'd have to keep up in order to keep all information from him. Besides that kind of perpetual secrecy being mentally exhausting, and bound to eventually be noticed by many partners, that approach to relationships INCREASES THE ODDS of being attacked. She was putting off verifying the safety of the relationship until after starting the relationship, and you're saying to the countless readers of this thing that that's one of the right ways to do it. You're literally defending this society's very unhealthy approach to selecting relationship partners that puts so many people across the board in danger constantly.
YOU SHOULD KNOW, _KNOW_, a prospective relationship partner better than that. I mean really, as a START, you can rule out most bad prospective partners with a casual question about their thoughts on transgender people, most of the remaining bad ones with a further question about how they'd react if they found out someone they were with was transgender, and then you're down to people you can take a longer-haul get-to-know-closely-verification approach.
And this whole "knowing 100% isn't enough" thing, and about how the fear will still be there? Red herring. There's no such thing as knowing anything 100% in real life (deep philosophy exceptions like "there are experiences" aside). So take the time, have enough deep discussions, take even more time having even more deep discussions, until you both know as certainly as you can know anything about a person, and have a deeply, emotional/instinctive comfort with it, BEFORE YOU AND THE OTHER PERSON COMMIT TO A THOROUGHLY ENTANGLED SHARED LIFE TOGETHER. Again, it's a simple check: do I have as strong of certainty as possible that coming out to this person (who you'll spend THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WITH) will be safe? If the answer is no, THEY SHOULDN'T BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU.
Also, if you think any of these comments suggest I/we don't have sympathy/empathy/compassion for Jessica, you don't know how to think and/or read properly. And frankly, you need to understand how one can feel empathy/compassion for ALL parties in a situation, and still critique their actions on ethical grounds. That's a basic being-ethical skill.
@:/: Look, I'll grant you this: You're right on the fact that the transgender person needs to know how their partner feels about dating a transgender person and what they would do if they found out the one they were with is transgender. However, that can easily be learned without telling them that you're transgender.
@TallMist: But once a person knows that, there's no longer any downsides to tell them (edit: there was accidentally a "not" in this sentence before that was not intended). If there are still downsides, we're back to the fact that they don't know with enough confidence to make it a good decision to be in that relationship at all.
Edit: A better wording would be: once a person knows that, the positives of telling their partner vastly outweigh the negatives. If they don't, we're back to [...]
@:/: "There's no longer any downsides to not tell them"
You may want to reword that because I don't think you meant to say you agree with me, quirk, no no no no, and the author of the comic herself.
By the way, if there'd be no downsides to telling the partner, then why go out of your way to as anything more than a "Oh, I mentioned that in passing, I guess" type of deal?
Also, let's say the partner IS cool with dating a transwoman. They could still be a huge blabbermouth and the transwoman may not want everyone else to know. Would you still say it's wrong to not risk being outed to everyone you DIDN'T want to be outed to because they felt pressured into doing something they didn't want to do? Oh, wait, let me reword that last sentence, because that sounds quite suspiciously similar to something else. Would you blame the transwoman for not telling her boyfriend, fiance or husband (or wife, girlfriend, or non-binary SO) if they turned out to be a blabbermouth in order to avoid being outed to anyone that she doesn't want to be outed to?
And don't say "Well, if they're a blabbermouth, you shouldn't date them!" because that's just... yeah, no. Just no. Everyone has their flaws and that's no reason to break up with someone.
OH AND PERHAPS THINK OF THIS!!! MAYBE SHE *DID* WANT TO TELL AIKEN, BUT WAS TOO SCARED TO, BUT ALSO DIDN'T WANT TO BREAK UP WITH HIM EITHER BECAUSE SHE LOVED HIM?! YEAH, THAT'S A THING THAT HAPPENS! Even if she was ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that he wouldn't freak out, it's very common for a transgender person to have trouble coming out anyways because of that ingrained fear that society has put on them. It's not as easy as "Get over it" either. It's a real thing. It's not about not trusting your partner or anything, it's about your own fears that have developed over a history of bad relationships and stories heard about other people. It's not as easy as you're making it out to be and, I'm gonna be honest, it's making me quite frustrated that you think it's so easy and it's so simple now that I think about it. It's not all this or that. It's not all "Do it or don't". This is a very complex thing and for you to treat as "Hey, either tell him or you're in the wrong and IDC what people have to say in your defense, you're still in the wrong and I'm still going to point fingers even if it's a legitimately good reason" is just... It's mind boggling.
@TallMist: :/#1 here.
Did you check the edit?
If the transperson isn't okay with other people outside of the partner knowing...couldn't they just...tell them that? I think most people, especially members and allies of the LGBT community, are mature enough and understand enough that not everyone is prepared to be outed. And if the person the transperson is dating falls into said category of people, regardless if they talk a lot, they /should/ understand that. If they don't, that just goes back to having more conversations with them on the topic with that person to get them to fully understand the situation.
I think you're trying to reach here about our opinions on the matter and are assuming things. Potentially marrying an abusive person/killer is different than potentially marrying someone who likes to talk a lot.
If she maybe did want to tell him but was nervous, then that just goes back to the prior statement of bringing up the topic of LGBT in conversation and getting his opinion. "Hey, I read an article about some transperson today and I want to hear your thoughts." There is no coming out there, there's only gauging the partner's opinions. If there is potential in their conversation, then move forward. If the person is overly negative and hostile, would you still want to marry them? It'd be a hard truth, but at least you would /know/ before making a life commitment to that person.
I think perhaps you're misunderstanding what we're saying? But hopefully that clears it up.
@:/: (As you said, caps for emphasis, not yelling.)
You can literally never know with any degree of certainty that people won't react violently to your coming out. That's my entire point. It is NOT POSSIBLE TO BE SURE in ANY relationship. See my prior sentence, "Even people who claim to love you... parents, friends... can react badly."
Another sentence from my initial comment- the first one, at that- "Being able to trust your S.O. with important parts of your life is essential for the formation of an open, trusting, loving relationship." I'm not saying Jessica's decision was ideal, or even right. I'm saying it was understandable, and she was coming from a place of very real fear, and Aiken made the choice (as many "loved ones" do) to make it about himself when his S.O. needed him most.
Lastly, a sentence from ':/ #1': "I'm rather annoyed that she's portrayed in a sympathetic light right now, and how Aiken is made out to be the bad guy." So yeah, kindly take a hike with regard to your last paragraph.
Aiken WAS the bad guy. Jessica didn't make the best decision, but she made the decision that she thought was best for her own wellbeing and that of her relationship. Again, if I wasn't clear the first few times: WHAT SHE DID WAS FAR FROM IDEAL.
But demonizing a trans woman for falling prey to the oft-repeated idea (which was eventually PERPETUATED BY AIKEN) that a woman can only be REAL woman if she has the right "plumbing"- demonizing her for making choices based on that internalized transphobia and the fear that goes along with it- is frankly disgusting.
The bottom line is that this whole argument reeks of victim blaming. Maybe that's just my personal experience clouding my judgement, but that's how you and the other ':/' have come across to me.
I stand by my initial comment, and I won't be coming back to this comments page. Peace.
@:/: "Jessica more than owes Aiken an apology too"
Wow, NO SHE FUCKING DOESN'T. (Edit: TW intimate-partner violence)
You have NO idea whereof you speak. Men literally kill their trans partners, whether they knew or not, they use "I didn't know" as an excuse. It used to be a valid legal argument, it's still one they use with their friends. This is part of what other commenters were hinting at. IF you actually were friends with trans women who trusted you enough to tell you of their personal lives the way you've been given insight into Jessica's, the way real trans women speak publicly too, then you would FUCKING KNOW THIS and you would FUCKING SUPPORT THEM IN WHATEVER DECISIONS THEY MADE FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY.
I don't mean every trans woman will agree or think the same way, you can always find someone who supports bigotry. (I know a trans woman who has become an actual TERF, seriously.) I mean *many* can tell you what that fear is like, and that if you know someone who does, you are obligated to support them if you care at all about them NOT GETTING HURT.
@Quirk: See above reply to "no no no no no". You should know that it's safe before you're in a relationship.
Also I think perceiving the prior remarks as bigotry shows a complete lack of correct reading/thinking about what was said.
@:/: Good for you.
There are sourer notes to end it on, I suppose.
First; Excellent dialog Jocelyn! Actually, I've always loved your dialog, your writing is one of the things that has endeared "Rain" to me so well. This page is an excellent example of your writing. The dialog, the situation and the reactions of your characters really evoke the emotions they're feeling. Oh, and I love the fact that her head-desk contact actually left a mark!
Well, Aikin definitely put himself out there. He is taking responsibility for the hurt he's caused and is avoiding the "you hurt me too" phrasing to try to mitigate what he had done. He's owning it. But he'd also seen how much pain he caused Rain which has opened his eyes some.
No, he isn't magically perfect, that's for sure. But he at least seems to know that he was being a pig's ass and can say he doesn't want to be that person anymore. On the previous page he admits that he's still learning - admitting that he has a lot to learn is a good first step.
I can't blame Jessica for not just tilting her head and saying "okay!". Aiken said some incredibly hurtful things. She still hurts and is afraid of being hurt again. Actually, this whole incident probably really confused her. She had probably mostly written Aiken off as the jerk he was when he abandoned her. To have him come back and actually apologize has stopped her from ripping into him like she had been planning.
Wow. These last 3 pages have had me commenting more than I ever have. That's what your great writing does Jocelyn! :D
Actually, I really do think that Jessica and Aiken had something special, and that (especially given Jessica's reaction), there's still the potential to have something special. I really hope Jessica realizes its not quite too late, she can run outside after him, and plant a big kiss on his lips, like in the movies. :P
She can just look at the miror after she calms down and see her pendant and then text him something nice. That was just too fast and unexpected but definitly not the end of it.
I don't think there's already room for Heater as a lover.
Let them salvage their relationship. Please. It's clear that they still love each other, they haven't even officially broken off the engagement.
"I don't want it to end with you crying and my back to you"
It's heartbreaking that it does play out that way.
d-did she just face desk at high speeds x.x
gawd jessica. run afteer him.. theres still time!