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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Intersex conditions are different for every person, and some can lead to problems. I have studied genetics, and I know there are men with female parts, women with male parts, and cases of male with extra y chromosomes and women with extra x chromosomes. Genders become quite subjective with all the scientific evidence, and it is up to the feelings of a person what they identify as. Ana has the right to hide her past, even if it means she will feel uncomfortable to see the levels of acceptance Rain has.
This is why we're starting to see the beginnings of a movement to leave intersex kids alone. If the doctors make the wrong choice the harm is immeasurable. And there's nothing wrong with being intersex anyway, it's just one more natural genetic mutation like red hair or albino skin.
I don't really like Ana as much anymore. I dunno. I suppose it's the way she said "That's not going to happen", it just feels like something a villain would say before trying to murder the hero.
@ALittleSurprise: Honestly I think it is more a reaction from past negativity. I mean the last time I heard "That's not going to happen" was about stopping something negative so it isn't a villain or hero thing but just a strong stance against something.
Honestly I totally get stealth and such. If everything is sorted isn't really a need to bring it up, no need to cut ties and such but can at least move on.
@ALittleSurprise: I think that's a little harsh. If people have (or in an enlightened society, should have) the right to choose the gender they feel best about, rather than the one the outside world sees them as, they should also have the right to choose how to deal with the outside world to achieve the result they feel best about.
@CatPerson: I understand that the words sound a little villianish, even if I totally get Ana's reasoning for it.
It kind of has that tone of "I can't do that Dave" from 2001: a Space Odyssey.
@ALittleSurprise: Catperson is right. It's a bit harsh to say "I don't like her much anymore" when all she's doing is saying she will not be coming out of the closet.
@TallMist: It may be a bit harsh, but I do think Ana could be coming across as a bit less standoffish right now. Rather than taking a diplomatic attitude ("I know you probably think it's no big deal but to me it is", or "I appreciate your concern but this is my choice, I only told you because I want you to understand where my feelings are coming from"), Ana is taking a standoffish, borderling hostile tone with Rain right now for what essentially amounts to Rain wanting to be honest with her.
I get where Ana is coming from, but it feels likes it's coming across wrong. If I were in Rain's position I would feel at least internally slightly wounded. Of course I would also try to express those feelings and make sure I am wrong before filing my assumptions under 'truth'
@Beth: How is saying "Thank you, but I'm sorry. It's not going to happen." standoffish? She's showing appreciation that Rain is trying to do good for her, while explaining that just simply isn't an option for her.
@ALittleSurprise: Yeah, she seems very shut-in, a polar opposite of her open nature, resistant to the change and help proposed by rain.
Rain has been pretty sheltered regarding who knew what and when. She's lucky, but she also hasn't had the hard-luck experience of having to remain stealth as many older TG in the past. While I think this is a good thing in the long run, it does add to her mis-reading Ana's need to be stealth. Ana hasn't been anything but Ana as far as everyone is concerned; Rain should learn to honor that if Ana is to have least-drama.
I found your fabulous strip from a user question on reddit, what other TG story comics are there other than Rain? "Rain?" I asked myself, "what is this Rain of which you speak?" Binge time! and that was just last week. Thanks for a story well-told.
@dolo724: You mean she hasn't had the hard-luck experience of having to remain stealth, aside from the period from age 4 to age 17.
@Don Edwards: what you said
"Or will their varying degrees of openness lead to them butting heads?"
Well, the [cough] author has left open a myriad of possible conflicts. Does Rain tell Emily, the love of her life, about Ana?; does not telling her put strains on Rain's and Emily's relationship?; if Rain does tell Emily, who, intentionally or not, lets Ana know she knows, what does that do to Ana's relationship with Rain, Emily, everyone else among Rain's friends and everyone else in the school?
As all good authors manage, a situation has been created that is fraught with possible drama.
I really don't see how Rain not telling Emily would affect their relationship in any shape or form, honestly. This secret isn't Rain's to tell and the only person it really immediately affects in form is Gavin since he's interested in Ana. Not that I think she should tell him either. That's entirely up to Ana.
@Unknown: If Rain considers it big news (and why wouldn't she? ... she said she wanted to gush about her hormones, why not about another more-or-less trans kid she now knows) and is conflicted over whether or not to tell Emily, that kind of "holding it in" can often be detected by one's significant other. Also, Rain might want to spend more time alone (necessarily) with Ana to discuss their similar situations and experiences, cutting into her time with Emily, which could also be a source of tension. Anyway, I was just spinning out some possibilities ...
@Guest: I don't know, I can see that being fixed with a "Emily, I am keeping a secret from you, but only because it is not my secret to tell, and I want to respect the person for whom I am keeping the secret."
Fair, but giving how serious this situation looks it doesn't seem like Rain would want to gush. This is a person who was assigned a gender by a doctor - I'm sure Rain understands how traumatizing that must be. Who would want to break someone's confidence by "gushing" about that?
But more importantly, I don't think Rain would be at all conflicted about whether or not to tell Emily. She knows exactly what the constant terror of someone finding out feels like. Telling anyone after experiencing that would make her a huge hypocrite. Of all people, Rain is probably the best one to trust with kind of secret because she knows 100% what that fear feels like, even if she's let go of some of it now.
And I think any kind of talk with Ana beyond his this is out of the question - she clearly does not want to talk about this or have any reminder of her situation.
will ana tell gavin or will gavin learn about ana some other way?
Hmmm. I can definitely understand and sympathize with Ana. I'm trans myself, and one of my dearest friends is intersex in much the same way Ana is. But something about her behavior the last few pages leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I can't exactly pinpoint why. I support her desire to be stealth, for sure- that's her decision to make. It may have consequences later for her to be closed off to people who've opened themselves up to her, but it's still her decision and I respect that. So I don't think it's that that's rubbing me the wrong way. I think it's more the... hostility with which she reacted to Rain trusting her enough to come out to her. It's pretty reprehensible to be let into a close-knit group of friends, all of whom (well, except maybe Gavin) have something to lose from being "outed" or ridiculed/harassed for their identity/orientation, and then react with visible repulsion and hostility to one particular member trusting you enough to open up about something so personal and so... vulnerable. I understand that her reaction comes from a place of self-defense, but that sure doesn't make me like it any more. The fact that this feels like a complete 360 from her usual bubbly, cheerful self just makes me more wary. Maybe I'm revealing something about myself here, but overly cheerful people who can become hostile at a moment's notice make me incredibly uneasy. Either way, the fact that just a couple pages of dialogue have made me spend so much time analyzing the characters and my own self certainly speaks volumes about Lynn's writing. Excellent job.
@Spooks: I agree with the impression of Ana's attitude. She can live how she wants but it's not okay to be mad because someone else is more open and even if Rain did run around telling everyone, that's her right and Ana judging her over it is messed up.
@Spooks: I hear that. I've always been extremely wary around people who are so emotionally changeable. As for why, well let's just say I've made a couple of doctors quite a bit of money over the years. Stitching someone up after a so called friend's hissy fit could be lucrative if you worked with the TG community in the 70a, 80s, and 90s.
Much as I hate to admit it, Ana's behavior would have me coiled like a steel spring. I'd have a lot of trouble trusting anyone like that.
@Spooks: i agree that such a shift would concern me too, even if i understood why. What is... a saving grace, i feel, is that she basically said "I don't agree with you, but i will never out you."
Like, of course ana doesnt know how that group came to know rain's situation, but she certainly doesnt seem about to try- even though she was currious about what secrets were being whispered two pages earlier... I guess if you wanna be in the convo, expect something you might not wanna hear.
@Gee: Exactly if you're going to ask to be included, then getting mad because you've been included and don't like what you hear is messed up.
Yeah, it definitely comes across weirdly. I'm cis myself, but I know that my variously LGBT+ friends would never want to shame someone for being willing to be open with who they are. (I actually had to help one of my friends come out as trans because she was too shy and told me to tell everyone instead, and everyone was cool).
Ana's complete 180 makes me wonder which is the real her -
Is she normally bubbly until sprung into defense mode by an unforeseen social supernova like that,
or is she really this isolated, stand-offish paranoid person who is just trying to be happy and bubbly so she doesn't have to start all over again?
Only time will tell.
There are many types of Intersex. Some lesser some greater in certain things. Some can be born with completely normal sex organs of the opposite gender of there genetics. Genetics are not an absolute. For various reasons signals form a child's genetics can be throw off. The right amount of each hormone given off at the right time by the mother gives the child their sexual organs not genetics. Genetic is more of a guide in this. They also play a role in mental gender in the same way. But our secondary gender characteristic we get at puberty is by our genetics. That is why I was born with completely normal male organs though they were small but mentally I was mostly female and what I got at puberty was female to. There are a lot of things that can throw off a mothers hormones. Medicines that were experimentally used while they were pregnant on women in the 1960's and 70's, exposure to radiation, hazardous materials, and even high levels of stress. If a mother feels stressed and that a male child would survive better she mite even over ride the gender of that child was genetically meant to be. I have read a lot about it and these seem the most possible to me.
My mother lost a boy before I was born cause my father punched her in the stomach making her loose what would been her first born baby boy. I think she wanted that boy so badly she willed me to be born male though I am genetically female. No way to prove it but it is I think very possible.
I think some of the commentors are being more than a little hard on Ana and unfair. She and her father have been forced to pack up and move on several occasions, almost certainly due to Ana's "gender issues."
This is not a small thing. Imagine if that happened to you -- that at several times in your life, the people around you, who you thought of as friends, classmates, neighbors, maybe teachers, upon finding out your history, your "deep dark secret," became so hostile that you couldn't live there any more and had to uproot your entire life and move to someplace where nobody knew you.
From Ana's point of view, each time someone finds out her secret, there's a huge risk that things will blow up like they did in the past. Rain, now that she has some idea that Ana is trans (or something similar) must seem like a grenade waiting to go off.
What I find a little odd is that she effectively admitted she was some flavor of trans, rather than simply letting herself be seen as a garden-variety transphobe.
@Allison: No matter a person's experience, they never have the right to be rude to someone else who lives differently. Getting mad at Rain for being open is like someone on the dl being mad at someone being open about being gay, it is rude and most often based in internalized prejudice.
@Guest: As wonderful and apt as LITTLELYNN's drawings are, they can't convey a tone of voice or subtle body language. There is nothing in Ana's words that conveys anger ... she excused herself because she wasn't feeling well, not making a scene, promptly agreed to discuss her most intimate secrets with Rain even before Rain promised not to reveal them and thanked her for her concern. There isn't even a hint that Ana's curt "That is just not going to happen" was said in anger rather than in firm resolve. It is not "rude" to merely decline to reveal her secret to others.
@CatPerson: For me, the "can we not" in response to "can we talk", the faces Ana made in panels 5 and 6, and the fact that Rain said, "you sound upset." communicates anger on Ana's part to me.
@Guest: Rather than hash out those things (all of which I think are explained as well or better by Ana not being angry but experiencing other emotions), we should just agree to disagree. Better yet, we don't have to wait long until the next installment, which may help to clarify the situation. Good night!
@CatPerson: Works for me.
@Allison: She also barely knows anyone in the group. It's nuts to think that she should instantly trust all of them.
Something nobody seems to have commented on:
Ana told Gavin much earlier that her most recent move was prompted when her ex-boyfriend attacked her.
We don't know the exact details yet, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that it was related to her status as intersex/trans. And if she tried to come out to him and he rejected her? I'd say a response of "Yeah, not in this lifetime" is reasonable. Not particularly healthy, but understandable.
I hope she's seeing a therapist. If not, I know a good one Rain can recommend! (Although he could barely fit Rain in to his schedule, so maybe not. It'd be funny if he was already seeing Ana, though)
Ana is displaying the ever so common traits of Trauma Driven Paranoia that Intersexed often become lost in.
Intersexed are typically treated far worse than the transgendered, and often it starts with their earliest memories.
If you research into what is commonly done to the Intersexed from infancy you would likely be horrified.
I speak from personal experience on this.
Whoa. Can-o'-worms right here.
@LittleLynn84: I CALLED IT! I love this series so much! ^-^
I had such a hunch that she was intersex. Yay for more representation!
Well, seems Anna is intersex AND trans. So everybody who was betting one or the other is correct, thus nobody really won the bet. Ah, we were all so close, yet so far...