Published November 20, 2021 9 Comments
Opus the Poet says
November 20, 2021 at 5:33 pm
If people only knew how many times I had to be someone’s Daddy (not that kind of Daddy, the non-sexual kind)
November 21, 2021 at 12:51 am
It is nice to see Raven in a kinder persona. Her anger is valid in the other places we see it, it just hurts to see someone angry all the time. Her last couple/few appearances don’t seem as aggressive.
And yeah Opus, you are heard. I want to wish the parents of kids that needed you to step in knew, and could feel shame how they failed their kids. If they could actually have enough empathy to do that, these kids maybe wouldn’t have needed you in the first place. Alas, here we are. Thank you for being a parent when other people wouldn’t.
I’ve seen your comments on other comic forums. You’re a good soul Opus, and it feels nice to walk in some of the same circles as you.
November 21, 2021 at 2:18 pm
Raven started life in another comic where she was an antagonist, so it’s been a long trail for her to go from an obvious target of ridicule to someone who has dimension. The fact that she has survived two other series and appeared in two comics that I did is a testament to my belief that she was more than that parody of Stile Project camgirls that she was supposed to be.
November 21, 2021 at 12:46 am
November 21, 2021 at 12:54 am
Yes. Thank you. I know this isn’t an upbeat comic, but it’s nice to see Phoenix get some loving support in her life. Just for being her.
‘You deserve to be loved, and to feel loved, just for being you.’ –Mr Rogers mashup with my meditation teacher
November 21, 2021 at 2:22 pm
Phoenix doesn’t get a lot to say. There was a reason for it — I wanted to establish her as a character, someone who is kind, someone who is loyal, listens, and maybe doesn’t say a lot but you’re glad she’s there — before I went more talking about trans issues. I think this is a better way to introduce a character naturally than bringing her in her first strip and saying “this is my trans character”. Phoenix is a LOT more than that.
November 24, 2021 at 1:52 am
Needing to respond to both of your comments Clay, I’ve been following your work since your ‘earlier projects’ and regardless of subject matter, you breathe real living into your characters. I feel lucky to have witnessed their growth and yours throughout. I look forward to all of your updates here and elsewhere, whenever is right for them to arrive. And that’s not a left-handed compliment. 😉
Lina 💙🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈💜 (@Trantasmagoria) says
November 24, 2021 at 9:05 pm
As a trans woman I can’t thank you enough for choosing to including Phoenix and her specific trans-related struggles in your art. It seems that 95% of people are completely oblivious to the harsh realities of living as a trans person (even in a 1st world country – lord help you if you live in a country where they’ll just torture you to death instead).
They can never understand the crippling gender dysphoria – how you can spend years completely dissociating every time you see yourself in the mirror, hating every facet of your face and body (even your name and your voice) and not knowing why. The callous rejection you face from those who were supposed to love you unconditionally when you do decide to come out. The extreme discrimination and bigotry you see day in day out both online and off. The internalized self hatred from being drip-fed transphobia by mainstream media your entire life (watch the Netflix documentary “Disclosure” and you’ll see just how deeply that shit runs). The disgusted looks you get from strangers. The constant mis-gendering. The anxiety you feel just from going to the grocery store or movie theatre (god forbid you have to use a public washroom). The fact that you have to take extreme caution with every single new person you meet for the rest of your life because if you don’t there is a real chance you could be putting yourself in harm’s way.
Or the profound isolation you feel your entire life from being completely different from everyone else and not having the words or knowledge to explain why. How from a young age we are bullied relentlessly for showing any predilections for things of the opposite gender, effectively beating our “transness” out of us until we are remolded into a crude simulacrum of what our parents, teachers, and peers expect us to be. How you are forced to push down the *real* you until there is nothing *left* of the real you – until you are just an empty shell, watching your own life unfold as if through a TV screen. You come to fully accept that you are just fundamentally broken as a person and that happiness is simply not something that’s in the cards for you. You begin to truly believe you do not have a future, and you [!!! TRIGGER WARNING !!!] believe that suicide is the only way to end the suffering. I have teetered on that edge so many times I have lost count.
I just hope that people like you and I are able to spread this information to the masses, so that one day our descendants might grow up a in world where the reaction to someone coming out as trans is universally celebrated for the beautiful thing that it is, rather than being demonized for something we did not choose and that is outside of our control.
December 3, 2021 at 4:27 am
I’m not trans. I have no idea what it is like to be constantly misgendered. A lot of the other stuff that you have said has rung true for me, though.
I had a difficult childhood. My mom left my family, and my dad started on a downhill decline that led to his slow suicide by alcohol. My dad’s sister and her husband were left to pick up the pieces. That would have been hard enough on me, but I had the unfortunate pleasure of looking very much like my father, and my uncle developed a hatred for the man. I say unfortunate, because my uncle decided to use this as an excuse to take out his anger on me. Years of abuse of many kinds, simply because of who I am.
The CPTSD that it inflicted me with has left me experiencing much of what you have described. Dissociation with self appearance, self-hatred, feeling isolated because of who I am rather than something I have done, having someone attempt to beat the perceived negative traits out of me, utterly lacking support… And the worst part… Feeling fundamentally broken and truly believing that happiness is unattainable.
I say all this not to minimize what you have gone through. Rather the opposite. What I have experienced has left me broken and unable to life a normal life, but what I have experienced is only a fraction of what someone like you has experienced and will continue to experience if people don’t get their bigoted ideas out of their stupid skulls. I basically only got shit from one person, and it was only for about a decade. It wasn’t from many over the course of my entire life… I can’t even imagine the amount of strength it takes to live with all of that, even though I know what kind of strength it takes to live with something less.
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