On the previous page, I received a lot of concerns regarding the sort of sensitive information Vincent is divulging with Kellen. In hindsight, perhaps I should've brought it up sooner, but I promise this will be addressed in canon soon. With that in mind, I'm hoping we can focus on what's being said rather than what's allowed to be said for now.
Because there's a LOT being said!
The first page is mostly a continuation of the last, with Vincent answering Kellen's questions, and addressing certain aspects of transition. Looking back, maybe this first page actually would've flowed better being attached to the previous one rather than the second page here (oh well). After Kellen continues to insist "Ryan is my brother" though, Vincent's usually affable face drops.
He's not yelling on the second page, but it should be noted that this is the first time he isn't smiling in this scene. His tone is more serious, but to what extent? Would you say he's angry or sad or frustrated or concerned? Or something else?
Then there's Kellen. What is her deal? I want to be clear that I don't believe what she's done can simply be reasoned away, and neither do I think that finding that reason should necessarily redeem her. But she is fighting awfully hard against people whom she says she cares about, knowing that this is alienating her from the loved ones she claims she doesn't want to lose, over something she admits she doesn't totally understand. Even she has to be aware by now that there's no reality where this works out in a way that is ideal for her. Even in a purely hypothetical world where Rain ceases transition and goes back to living as a boy (it'll never happen, but this is hypothetical), Kellen must know that Rain won't thank her or be happy like that.
So what exactly is Kellen's endgame? What is she hoping for? And why does it matter that much? I've seen a lot of interesting theories over the course of her character arc, but since it has been a while and we're finally exploring this directly in canon... what IS up with her? Thoughts?
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Oh nooooo, I just hope this doesn't mean what I think it means.
@Guest: Would what you think happen to involve Kellen potentially not being cisgendered and/or heterosexual? (Or as I like to say, !cishet.)
Because that's the first thing this page made me think about.
@Ranger: Yup. That was my first thought, but after further thinking, it could just be that Mr. Flaherty drove a very deep-rooten fear of !cishets into her. (And I like that term.)
and he readies the cluexfour and swings.. and it was super effective
wonder if her behavior has anything to do with her loyalty to their dad?
Whatever reason Kellen gives, I simply can't feel bad for her.
All evil deeds have a root, and that root is deep in a sea of madness and sorrow. Many people don't know why they are racists, xenophobic, or misogynic, but the key to all that hate is simple: they were raised to hate the unknown. Kellen probably got the wrong ideas from her father, but that can't be all there is to it if that guy has been absent for years. Whatever the cause of her problems is, Vincent has a point, and he is in his right to frown in front of her. Vincent is a self made man (literally and figuratively) that was rejected by his own family, and he probably has seen many cases of discrimination during his career. He seems like the type of guy that will slap your face for being a jerk, and then hug you because you are human.
Huh. I could see it if deep down, Kellen is trying to protect Rain. Obviously, she's doing a really sucky job of it, but there there is something (or someone) who really, really scares her, I could see her attitude as a desperate, partially subconcious attempt to force Rain into state that will keep Rain safe, if unhappy.
Or maybe she's just bitchy.
@Arcanist Lupus: Trying to protect Rain by assaulting her in her sleep with a sharp object? Can't see that logic adding up.
@TallMist: To protect her from something even worse... in Kellen's imagination, that is.
But, keeping Rain from being female will NOT bring their father back, or return their mother to life...
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Wow, looking forward to the backstory here, no matter what it is. Something that reveals more about her mindset.
I am leaning towards either Kellen having Gender Disphoria herself & being deep in denial as a possibility, or some deep dark unpleasant thing in her past.
@Lenneth: Hope not. I hate that idea of "Everyone that's homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, etc. are just in the closet themselves."
It gives cis and straight people an out so they don't need to feel guilty of their own -phobias.
I'm guessing this has to do with their father ... possibly Kellen's own ideas about masculinity and/or need for positive male figures in her life. (BTW have we heard any mention of past boyfriends? Also, does she know Vincent is transgendered? She seems pretty comfortable talking to him.)
Also wanted to add that I'm really impressed that Ms. J is going this route and exploring Kellen's own problems like this. Even if it doesn't make her more likeable to the readers (and it probably won't!), it will certainly make her a more believable story character.
Sensitive information? I thought Kellen already knew Rain was going on hormones, and everything else seemed like stuff she could find out from google?
@Allie: totally agreed
my 2nd guess would be kellen's ex-boyfriend. been a while since we've seen him but we know from past history he's transphobic and doesn't take rejection or perceived slights lightly.
I can't help but feel this might be abuse related. Kellen sounds likes she has something much darker than gender going on here. Me thinks the father did some things and this is the outcome, Kellen valuing masculinity over femininity.
Just a though. Personal experience makes me think this.
@Snow Lilly: you could be onto something there tbh