Ninjas

posted August 12th, 2013, 2:01 am


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May 25th, 2013, 3:22 pm

GreenKrog

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WEEK LONG PLUG! PAY ATTENTION!
Hello readers and readerettes and everyone in between. I have been added on another webcomics read list! I'm blown away! So I asked if I could add them on my list as well, and, yes!
Updating Mondays and Thursdays, Validation comic!
http://www.validationcomic.com/
Take a gander, I'll bet you'll subscribe too!

DOUBLE POST! Aren't you people thrilled?!
The other page had enough weight, but I really wanted to slot this in somewhere.

For those who haven't noticed, our poor Toni was starting to grow a unibrow over the past week or so. And it was REALLY aggravating me. Plus, it gave me an excuse to give Toni nice eyebrows!

The ninja queen is right though. Friends don't let friends unibrow.

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August 12th, 2013, 6:55 am

Elessir

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She looks so shocked in panel 3 lol :)

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August 12th, 2013, 3:50 pm

lady_arkitekt (Guest)

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@GreenKrog: I really dislike the way ValidationComic reads to me... it keeps sounding like she is apologizing for trans* people, making statements that generalize to "the term 'cisgender' only exists because other trans* people have a need to label everything."

And the talk about "I don't like other trans* people. They are so down." just... irks me.

I know, I was once in that spot. I once kicked and screamed that I wanted to just "fit in" and "not make waves", but I realize that does so little to improve my life or others.

I don't mean to start a big anything, just my two cents on why I find comics like this (or Rain, or so many others) to be helpful, and then there are those who just seem to set things so far behind (like Validation).

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August 12th, 2013, 4:18 pm

GreenKrog

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@lady_arkitekt: You are most certainly entitled to your opinion on this, and don't feel for a second that it is wrong - it is YOUR opinion.

This said, I was recently attacked on a trans* forum for expressing a desire for 'normality' in representation of trans* people in media. This was in reference to the page I wrote about trans* people vs drag queens. I think Validation is taking an important step in representing people who feel similar to myself in that way.
I won't disagree that being invisible fails to move the trans* movement forward. But then, is the expectation for us to proudly wave a flag as we go about our daily lives? That is an entirely rhetorical question, which comes down to the person answering it. I march in the trans* pride parade, but it doesn't mean I start out my introduction to new people with the most internally difficult thing to deal with, either.

Likewise, I had to literally stop going to a weekly trans* meeting because everyone there WAS depressing. I was too, so its not like I'm passing blame. Its just that the majority of the people there came to discuss issues they had in the past week, so it came across and being down.
By the same margin though, many social groups share a similar thought process. For example, the Leafs fans, because the Leafs suck. (I think. Thats my understanding).
Its much easier to focus on the negative things in life and forget about the good ones. And with so much bad in many trans* lives, it can easily come across as a pit.

Which is exactly why I am writing Wildflowers. To show that sometimes trans* life is incredibly hard and unfair. And to show that it gets so, so much better.

That's my incredibly long winded two cents cents on it all. (Or 1.94 cents for Americans). I welcome everyone to express their opinion as well. There is no right or wrong, and any time rational adults discuss a subject, it is never time wasted.

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August 12th, 2013, 4:36 pm

lady_arkitekt (Guest)

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@GreenKrog: I will agree that we need to be represented as "normal" people. I myself prefer to, when I'm out, identify as just "woman" or "female".

I know there are others who disagree on that point.

I think that there are many who share that.

I don't believe in the need to be "out"- ever. A person can disclose as much or as little as they care for.

But I also disagree with making claims that trans* folks "have a need to label things" or making it as though we are somehow "obsessed" with labeling ourselves or others.

I also agree that many trans* meetings get me down. I too only attended one meeting because at that meeting, there were so many things happening in others' lives that triggered me, I realized I needed to deal with my issues in a different environment.

The claim from the comic, however, seems to be that it is hard to deal with trans* people even individually, as though we are somehow stuck up or downers on our own. (Which can be true, but should not be a generalization).

My disagreement is not with anything you have brought up (which I think is something in common to many of us who have come out and deal with this day to day), but with portraying us as being "labelers" because of the creation of "non-normal" labels for the majority group, or as being "stuck up" and insisting on policing a la "true transexuals" (which I do not deny happens [I shudder at the very words "Harry Benjamin Syndrome"], but which I think is not an accurate portrayal of all trans* folks).

Perhaps this is merely reflecting a stage in transition (One I myself when through), and I hope Ally (and if it is a reflection of the author, themselves) can move past and hopefully not see the community (and the terms we use, not to shun, but to educate) in such a negative light.

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August 12th, 2013, 5:30 pm

GreenKrog

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@lady_arkitekt: I disagree on the labelling, only because the trans* lexicography is fairly vast, even if you don't necessarily WANT to use it.
I'd be surprised if you were unable to express the meaning of at least some of the following;
DQ, TV, TS, TG, GG, Passing, stealth, SRS/GRS, HBSC, FFS, drag, drab, clock, LGBT, HRT.

There is a huge tendancy, due to situation or due to basic human desire, to categorize things. Because naming things allows a certain measure of control (don't get me started on that). So while we might not want to, or actively try to avoid it, there are a lot of trans* related labels that are quite prolific.
I cannot speak for the Validation crew, but this might be what was being referred to.

And this is something that has been pointed out to me fairly recently too (on the post on the 2nd) that the name of SRS/GRS is now, in some places, CGS (corrective gender surgery), and I had no idea. It was SRS (migrating to GRS) 8 years ago, I had never heard to term.
Seems to me that there has to be someone, somewhere, keeping a filing cabinet with these updates, right? :)

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August 12th, 2013, 5:49 pm

lady_arkitekt (Guest)

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@GreenKrog: I agree that the terms get passed along (and that sometimes they get better and worse).

And I don't disagree that it seems like new terms are constantly being created, and labels change.

However, I don't see this as a bad thing. (Though some names changes, etc. are better than others).

When it comes to labeling, it's not just us trans* folks that create these labels. In fact, more often than not, these terms were created by the gatekeepers, the (typically) cis individuals who apply such labels. Heck, there are many terms created for us that I completely disagree with (like those who claim they have HBS and all other trans* folks are not "really" their identified gender)

Now, some people say the world is better without labels. I disagree. Each person, however, they identify, has their own set of issues common to the part of their identity the label represents.

For example, the issues for a cross-dresser (who identifies as the gender assigned to them at birth) are different to those of transgender individuals (who do not identify as the gender of their birth), such as dealing with legal paperwork to get their gender marker to match their identity. The same issue is even "worse" per say for genderqueer folks, whose gender identity is typically not even legally recognized. To say all the issues are shared or that the label "transgender" or "transexual" fits all of these people makes no sense.

Now, talking about the trans* umbrella, there are enough shared issues to deal with, and unify. Heck, I'd say as "people" we have enough issues in common to share much of them.

But the labels are there to identity what kind of issues a person faces, and identifies the differences.

Now, I disagree with labels being used to "other" or put down one group (thus why I dislike labels that seem to separate "normal" and "abnormal"). However, labels help identify that each person has their own differences that need to be respected and understood.

It's the same issue I have with a "color-blind" worldview. I agree with treating all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, with due respect and common courtesy.

However, I also acknowledge that I, as a caucasian individual, do not share the same struggles (such as racism) that POC face daily. I believe that respectful labels show that and actually allow us to analyze how differences do affect reality, and can be addressed to make everyone more comfortable and happier in this world.

For me, the label "cis" or "trans" or "cross-dresser" or "transexual", etc. have nothing to do with being "label happy" but with addressing the differences (as well as similarities) between groups of people that have different issues.

And I really dislike it when people think "cis" is an insult to "normal" people because "it's a label". Labels are not inherently good or bad, it's the connotation people put on them that changes things. I dislike said connotations, as I believe all people are worthy of human rights and courtesy, but that I also need to respect each person's differences, and ignoring said labels, or pretending one is "normal" over the others, hurts in regards to most issues instead of helping.

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August 12th, 2013, 6:24 pm

GreenKrog

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@lady_arkitekt: I would question, with all of this, where did Validation go against any part of what you just said?

We seem to be agreeing on most points, except the initial one, wherein you felt that Validation was being apologetic. I would say the opposite - page 5 is fighting against terms. 6 is unapologetic even to the trans* community that are against those who do not desire or are unable to get bottom surgery.
Perhaps you could explain better for me?

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August 12th, 2013, 6:45 pm

lady_arkitekt (Guest)

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@GreenKrog: 4 is what I disagree with- with painting trans* people as obsessed with labeling, wherein it is those who gatekeep up that do the majority of labeling with the intent of separation.

She makes the comment as if coming up with a label other than "normal" or "not trans*" is insulting to cisgender individuals.

I also disagree with 11, for painting all trans* folks as being dramatic, or are "obsessing over it".

For me, it is apologetic in the sense that I get, from those comics, the idea put that trans* people should not label those who are "normal" or are nitpicking for supposedly creating a term, and painting us as obsessed over terms rather than on the real issues that we all face, and also as if, because it's not as depressing (or we hide the depression) for some of us, that that makes us too "dramatic". I also heavily cringe at the words "genetic girl", as if our gender identity is somehow more made up, less biologically valid than those of cisgender women.

I know it's not as bad as many other writings or beliefs out there, but the comic just really rub me the wrong way- as if it is being said that, somehow, forming a lexicon around the issues of gender identity, and being interested (sometimes devoted) to gender issues somehow makes us too dramatic or "obsessed", similar to how many cis* people (non-allies) have portrayed us.

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August 13th, 2013, 12:52 pm

CuteDress&TwinPonytails

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I went to the Validation comic and took a look. Just to agree with Lady Arkitekt, I have to say also that " the comic just really rubs me the wrong way, and the way Validation displays transgender people as " being interested [in] gender issues somehow makes [them] too dramatic or obsessed, similar to how many cis*people have protrayed [transgender people] ", and I find that premise is really disagreeable to me.
That being said, and comparing Wildflowers with Validation, all things considered, WITH THE WAY THAT TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE PORTRAYED BY THE TWO COMICS, WILDFLOWERS IS THE BETTER COMIC, IMO !!!
I will therefore continue to spend my time and critique with Wildflowers.

BTW---The correct term in use now, as I understand it, is GCS ( Gender Corrective Surgery ). " Sex Change " and " SRS " is considered old fashioned now.

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August 13th, 2013, 2:14 pm

GreenKrog

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@CuteDress&TwinPonytails: Thank you for the compliment. I would only request that instead of setting a 'better' or 'worse', it is looked upon as 'different'.

I personally really love the comic and style (compared to say, Mock Girl, which I still read anyways). Not everyone can like all the same things, so there is no harm there.

And that said, I am way too tired of fighting. After the hell I went through on another forum for how I portray trans* people, I just don't have it in me any more. I was just hoping that I would be able to defend another artist who I love.

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August 13th, 2013, 7:15 pm

lady_arkitekt (Guest)

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@GreenKrog: Not trying to fight, just pointing out where the comic rub me the wrong way, why I think some of the representations are problematic.

I like the style of the comic, and after speaking to the artist, and seeing that this does not, in fact, really reflect their view (or at least that where we disagree is on a single point- disagreement on the futility of "labeling" and the "obsession" of trans women (she even specifies women- a hint of misogyny not ignored) in establishing labels), brings me to a level where I am willing to give the comic a chance, as well as the author if they are willing to listen to what others say rather than ignoring the issue. They seem willing to, so I'm hoping there will be growth over time.

Until then, I will prefer to browse comics- ones like Wildflowers, or Rain, or Khaos Komix, or many others- which do not take jabs at the rest of the trans community. And I think it is best, especially around those who care to defend the artist, to start this critique so there can be growth and education.

I think we all can agree on that- this needs to be a discussion.

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August 13th, 2013, 10:25 pm

Elessir

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I know enough about trans* to know there's a lot I don't know about, yet. I do know that labels are prolific, but they beget understanding and are a way to cope. I do the same with my introversion. I understand now that I'm introverted, and thats why I hate crowds, and have a few close friends. I've learned that gender isnt binary, and someone who's not one thing or another, but in the middle... a label means they have something to cling to, and most likely others that are the same, to talk to.

I havent had a chance to do more than glance and bookmark Validation, but I'll give it a read. Not everybody will get the same feeling or reaction from soomething. There's nothing that every person will agree on.

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August 14th, 2013, 12:11 am

lady_arkitekt (Guest)

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@Elessir: I meant agree on that there should be a discussion in this. Sorry if that was not clear- my mind works faster than my fingers.

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June 17th, 2014, 4:14 pm

mittfh

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It was actually Validation that led me here, and (dare I say it) FB that led me to Validation after someone posted an old strip, so I checked it out and got hooked.

IMHO, the labels thing was just a bit of scene setting in the early strips, giving a brief overview into Ally's mind. After all, she's been living as female for a few years and those she interacts with daily know she's TG. As of now (June 2014), it's reached 100 strips, so if you're doing an archive binge here, give it another go and see how you feel :)

As for labels, I think it's a natural desire of humans to categorise pretty much everything - we seem to have problems dealing with continuous data, and have to chunk it into boxes - whether it's units of measurement (using different prefixes to ensure the number remains comfortably small), body shape and size, clothing, interests, activities or even medical ("syndrome" is a convenient shorthand for a collection of symptoms - often with the number needed to qualify being arbritary). As others have said, new terms crop up all the time (WTF is "Metrosexual"?!).

They can be both a help and a hindrance. I'd say that generally speaking, if your intended audience defines and interprets a label in much the same way as you, then it's probably OK to use the label. If there's a strong likelihood they may either define, interpret or react to the label differently, then it's probably better to either find a suitable alternative or try not to mention whatever prompted the label use, depending on circumstances.

I think many support groups suffer the same problem, in that they're often seen as mainly existing to provide a space to gripe about the support issue rather than to find ways of coping / moving on / just enjoying being in others company without mentioning the issue. Perhaps some should organise socials, with a "sin box" to collect charity donations if someone can't resist temptation and starts griping...

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