When Seattle-area artist Jessica U. started making comics about their own lives after came to see you as transgender, she never supposed she’d get the response she did.
After falling out with some close friends, finding that even family would get very easily vexed with her, and losing two jobs in a row, she needed some kind of outlet to ventilate her frustrations.
“Everyone stimulated me feel like it was all my fault, like transphobia inside them simply couldn’t exist because they pledged their is supportive of me at one point, ” she says. “I genuinely started to believe that I turned into the awful person and worker many told I become. But when I started describing the comics about transphobia, other trans people reacted immediately, went on to say that they’ve been through a lot of the same stuff.”
She maintained writing, depicting, and determining her audience. While she doesn’t necessarily induce her comic for people unfamiliar with trans issues, if anyone learns something new, that’s a great bonus.
Here are 14 of Jessica’s best comics about her life as a trans woman.
Maybe you’ll get a laughter out of them or perhaps you’ll learn something new or better yet, both !
( Psst: If you’re unfamiliar with any of the terms used in these comics, check out this awesome glossary of trans-related terms on author Julia Serano’s website .)
1. Workplace harassment is real, even if it’s not always intentional.
2. If you’re an ally, remember to treat trans people as people . Be cool, be kind.
3. Explaining gender dysphoria is tricky, but think of it this way…
4. “Trans broken arm syndrome” is real, it’s a pain in the butt, and it’s also a public health issue.
“Trans broken arm syndrome” is what happens when trans people go to the doctor for something completely and wholly unrelated to them being trans( for example, a broken arm) and are told that it’s probably research results of their hormone treatments. It’s not fun, and it makes actually getting treated for something( a cold, the influenza, strep throat, and everything else you can imagine) a lot harder than it needs to be. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
5. Sometimes people simply don’t get why what might seem like a minor annoyance is actually a pretty big deal.
Jessica’s comic on this subject came out back when a “Caitlyn Jenner” Halloween costume was being marketed to men, and yeah, that was pretty awful. It was about more than just that one costume; it was also the fact that the costume pushed a stereotype about trans women being burly humen. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
6. Singular “they” is perfectly acceptable, and it shouldn’t be a big deal if you’re asked to use it.
Most people actually use singular “they” all the time in their speech whenever they don’t know the gender of the person they’re talking about. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
7. It’s not fun when other people try to create criteria for what it means to be a human or a woman.
Jessica’s premise an ally who says that he’ll merely call a trans girl “she” if she’s had gender-confirmation surgery is super-relatable and messed up for a bunch of reasons. For one, that seems to suggest that people should have to announce what their genitals look like if they want to be called the correct pronouns. Just take people at their word. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
8. Sometimes topics get really personal actually fast.
“What do your genitals look like? ” “How do you have sex? ” “Can I see a ‘before’ picture? ” “What’s your ‘real’ name? ” These are all kind of personal questions that can be really, really uncomfortable to have to address especially when the person or persons asking is someone you only gratified. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
9. Pronouns and names are important.
As a trans person myself, it can be really hard for me to believe that someone genuinely accepts me for who I am if they continue to refer to me by the wrong name and pronouns behind my back. It gives the impression that the other person doesn’t actually accept me but is merely humoring me when I’m around. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
10. Assaults on trans rights are happening all around us. This is where friends are really needed.
11. The “debate” about whether trans people are legitimate discoveries its route to newspaper opinion pages and TV segments on a frustratingly regular basis.
It seems like simply every few weeks a major media outlet in the U.S. or Europe will publish some variation on “What Makes a Woman? ” or “Are Trans Activists Going Too Far? “ The altogether bizarre thing is that these stories tend to use the same debates over and over and over and well, you get the idea. It’s pretty frustrating to have your existence “was talkin about a” as an abstract hypothetical when there are so many very important, real things happening in the world. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
12. Compliments can have a style of taking weird turnings and often aren’t compliments at all.
“I would have never guessed” is a common “compliment” people say to trans people, but that’s just because there’s this idea that trans women and trans humen all look “visibly trans.” The truth is that trans people are everywhere, and even if you don’t believe you know a trans person, you probably do. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
13. There’s the whole “Oh no, is my existence going to be the punchline again? ” anxiety when it comes to watching, well, anything.
“Ace Ventura, ” “Silence of the Lambs, ” “The Crying Game, ” and more; there’s no dearth of less-than-sensitive amusement that either employs trans people as a astonish spin or a cheap gag. Honestly, it wouldn’t be that bad if not for the fact that there really aren’t a whole lot of positive portrayings to counter the negative. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
14. It’s difficult to be pigeonholed as “the trans person.” People are complex, and not every trans person spends every waking moment thinking about trans-ness in the world.
We’re all more than merely our gender, trans people included. But seriously, it is feasible to depleting to constantly have to explain who you are to the world like a sentient encyclopedia of gender. It’s just something worth keeping in intellect. Comic by Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls.
Check out the rest of Jessica’s comics at ManicPixieNightmareGirls.com and visit her Patreon page for more exclusive content .
Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com