The Princess

To My Beloved Royalty...

Yes, and the conflict that's been brewing bursts.

For my take on what Irma is doing here, I made a pretty lengthy comment in the comment section of the previous strip. Hit the back button if you wanna read it.


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Kyle
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Guest post by "Kyle"
I think Sarah is angry because she feels like Irving/Irma is making what Sarah has gone through into a joke. Sarah faces opposition from her mother(to the point of really believing her mom does not love her) and society just for being herself, and she feels like Irving is taking advantage of that. 

Submitted December 1, 2013 at 9:38PM



Ranthog
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Guest post by "Ranthog"
If you only have the concept of being transgender or not, then what Irma/Irving is expressing is very confusing. I can't blame Sarah as it must seem confusing. It is one of those times where an adult might be able to explain better, like one of Irma's parents.


This strip really made it sink in that I really identify with Irving. The whole struggle to be who he is and not whatever someone else thinks his gender roles should be. (Even when being a girl she paints far outside the lines.) I've always felt comfortable with my gender, but never the gender roles that came with it. (After all boys don't cry or a whole lot of other things...) Trying to paint within those lines feels like a mean game to me, and the social order of school pushed me towards it.

Irma/Irving's attitude of being true to herself makes me smile inside...Even if it often makes me cringe a little because it often involves violence and I feel like Sarah about that. I appreciate that as I don't see a lot of characters out there that I relate to in that way.

Submitted December 2, 2013 at 12:21AM



Allie
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Guest post by "Allie"
> If you only have the concept of being transgender or not, then what Irma/Irving is expressing is very confusing. I can't blame Sarah as it must seem confusing.

This. All the same, it is kinda disappointing to see her both policing Irma's gender, and not challenging her presciptive definition of "maleness"

Submitted December 2, 2013 at 3:57AM



Tyler
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Guest post by "Tyler"
Ooh, I have never disagreed with our princess before, but I can't wait for Irma/Irving to knock her off her high horse. 

Submitted December 2, 2013 at 9:55AM



Amy!
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Guest post by "Amy!"
Sarah can be as peeved as she wants.
The difference between binary and non-binary is huge. The difference between Sarah and Irma is huge. If nothing else, it makes me wish that GQ and TS were not lumped in together under some dumb umbrella term (I still think it's BS for there to be a "T" in "LGBT", by the way. I think it doesn't belong there).

When you believe your family doesn't love you, when you hate your own body (or what it will become, which came up before when Jules mentioned her dad's hairiness), have a medical diagnosis, and require medical intervention in order to achieve some semblance of peace in your life, when you need to go through a brutally difficult (and expensive!) transition that's the hardest thing you have ever done, but you know that it is saving your life...seeing people "play" with gender like that has a way or irking you. Yeah, it's wrong, but I can totally see why it is bothering Sarah. Irma just puts on a fucking sweater vest and says she's a boy one day. But not tomorrow. That bothers Sarah, and in the real world, it bothers a lot of binary TS people. At least, the ones that I know.

And I know I'm painting with a really broad brush here, so take all this with a grain of salt. It's just some of my thoughts on Sarah's reaction and how I see that reflected in everyday life.




Submitted December 2, 2013 at 1:05PM




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Guest post by "Anonymous"
And non binary people get harassed by binary trans people AND cis people alike for not conforming, for being unable to pass, for being unable or unwilling to meet conformist notions of femininity and masculinity, just to name a few problems! Sarah's "being irked" is as problematic as a cis person saying the same thing! 

Submitted February 26, 2014 at 9:00AM



PerilousPerceptions
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Guest post by "PerilousPerceptions"
I hate to say this to some of the people here, but it was never any non-gender binary individual's want to 'irk' you, or make you feel like your struggle is any less real or hard than it was before you met one of us. I have never once in my life as a bigendered individual ever considered that I was the same as a transgender individual, but in some ways what we wish to achieve is the same- a difference that others don't often understand, and that many people dislike us for going through.


With all due respect and Apropos to the aspects that may be considered harder (ie, surgery, hormones, etcetera)...there is no way of knowing whether a non bindary individual has or hasn't chosen to go through such things; the idea that none of us do is a misnomer, and colors the perspectives of others in certain situations to believe that we are somehow less 'serious' or less 'trans' than others. Personally, I was born a woman- at 25, I had both breasts removed because I identify as a bigendered being; being that I'm native american, I personally identify as a 'two-spirit', or an individual that fulfills perfectly equally the roles, spirit, mind, and heart of two different genders. 

And I can tell you right now that with no medical reason to have my breasts removed? Were it not an accepted part of my people's culture there would have been no way to convince a non-tribal medical professional that it need be done to make me more comfortable with my body...and also, being that I'm not singularly transgendered there is almost no way for me to receive any kind of hormones, because bigender people aren't fully recognized by doctors as being in need of any bodily adjustment, even if some of us have a deep, heart-breaking want to be both, somehow.

I would never criticize a transgender person or minimalize the things they go through, but in the same regard I would hope that they wouldn't minimalize my own struggles...one must remember that they are indeed different coins, but they are made of the same metal. Silver is Silver and Pain is Pain; our experiences are different, but they can still hurt just as much as anyone else's, and they can hurt just as little, as well. Just as there are trans children with wonderful parents like Sarah's or with horrible parents that hurt them, the same can be said for any child, with any difference, or even with no difference at all.

I know that your wound is fresh and that it hurts- I understand that and I wish so much that I could help...but it hurts when people see my scar and think that because it's hidden, or healed a little bit smaller, that it never hurt at all. Everyone has wounds and scars...and we should all work on coming together and healing each-other...it's the only way to make life better, I think. 

Submitted December 2, 2013 at 10:24PM



Ranthog
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Guest post by "Ranthog"
I really like PerilousPerceptions' sentiments, especially the conclusion. It was quite elegantly expressed.


I am not sure that I like framing what is happening as right and wrong. As far as I can tell both Sarah's and Irma/Irving's feelings are honest and legitimate. Neither seems to intends to be malicious to the other. Neither seems to really understand how the other is feeling.

Unfortunately they're kids. Kids learn how to be good friends through failure as much as through success. There is a measure of character in the lessons learned from those failures.

Submitted December 2, 2013 at 11:14PM



Rainey
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Guest post by "Rainey"
I see storm clouds brewing. oO

Way I see it, everyone has different struggles in their lives; what you would think would be easy to overcome could be Mt. Everest to somebody else.
I can see why Sarah is miffed, but at the same time she might consider that her own struggle is inspiring Irma/Irving to find their own identity in terms of gender.

Submitted December 3, 2013 at 1:04AM




z
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Guest post by "z"

Quote from Guest:
Guest post by "Amy!"
Sarah can be as peeved as she wants.
The difference between binary and non-binary is huge. The difference between Sarah and Irma is huge. If nothing else, it makes me wish that GQ and TS were not lumped in together under some dumb umbrella term (I still think it's BS for there to be a "T" in "LGBT", by the way. I think it doesn't belong there).

When you believe your family doesn't love you, when you hate your own body (or what it will become, which came up before when Jules mentioned her dad's hairiness), have a medical diagnosis, and require medical intervention in order to achieve some semblance of peace in your life, when you need to go through a brutally difficult (and expensive!) transition that's the hardest thing you have ever done, but you know that it is saving your life...seeing people "play" with gender like that has a way or irking you. Yeah, it's wrong, but I can totally see why it is bothering Sarah. Irma just puts on a fucking sweater vest and says she's a boy one day. But not tomorrow. That bothers Sarah, and in the real world, it bothers a lot of binary TS people. At least, the ones that I know.

And I know I'm painting with a really broad brush here, so take all this with a grain of salt. It's just some of my thoughts on Sarah's reaction and how I see that reflected in everyday life.





You know what? NO.

I am non-binary and I have suffered EVERY SINGLE THING YOU LISTED THERE. And you know what? It is HARDER for us because even the @#$#@@ medical establishment doesn't acknowledge us. I spent so long trying to get the top surgery I needed because only ~men~ are allowed to have it. I have had therapists tell me that I don't exist, that what I need is invalid. Those precious gatekeepers would rather I had died than consider that their view of the world is too narrow.

And I STILL don't get accepted by your "binary TS" people, even though I've faced the same thing they have and worse. I have to face transsexual people telling me that I can't exist, shoveling the same CRAP they face from transphobes every day at me, never bothering to acknowledge the irony. I am so sick of people like you judging all non-binary people, erasing the pain that we feel every day.

Binarism has NOTHING to do with feeling like non-binary people don't understand the pain that binary trans people face. It is just ignorant bigotry the same as anything else.

Being genderfluid is really freaking difficult. Binary trans people area ble to transition and be reasonably certain they won't wake up one day and wish they had their old body back. Genderfluid people have to face waking up with dysphoria just as painful and unliveable as any transsexual person's- and know that if they do anything permanent about it, tomorrow they might wake up feeling dysphoria because suddenly their brain thinks the body they're born in is right. Being genderfluid means constantly bouncing between needing different bodies and presentation, your life turns into a balancing act of trying to find a way to always be comfortable enough to function, despite having contradictory needs.

And then I've met binary trans people who have next to no dysphoria, who have no problems presenting as cis of their assigned sex and who'll occasionally "crossdress" when it's safe to but usually present in line with their assigned sex. But we're the ones playing with gender? We're the ones who don't understand how hard it is?

Submitted December 3, 2013 at 10:31AM




z
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Guest post by "z"

Quote from Guest:
Guest post by "Allie"
> If you only have the concept of being transgender or not, then what Irma/Irving is expressing is very confusing. I can't blame Sarah as it must seem confusing.

This. All the same, it is kinda disappointing to see her both policing Irma's gender, and not challenging her presciptive definition of "maleness"


Sarah has ALWAYS had a very narrow definition of gender. Look at how many times Sarah's said she doesn't want to do something because "Girls don't do that". Not "I don't want to", but "Girls don't do that, I'm a girl, I shouldn't do that". She limits her own options because of her narrow, preconceived notions of femaleness. Hopefully now this will change that.

(I'm not saying her interests will change- but, actually, they might. She seems to put too much effort into trying to prove she's a girl that she ignores everything else that makes her who she is.)

Submitted December 3, 2013 at 10:32AM



Pinkbatmax
 

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Part of the reason I'm doing this arc is to explore how often fellow travelers on the same or similar roads but with different definitions fail to understand each other. How conflict and acrimony can be more bitter between factions that are more like than unlike. Gwen Smith always relates this phenomenon this this film moment: http://youtu.be/gb_qHP7VaZE


Not to say that transgender and nonbinary people are the same, but we are both at odds with the juggernaut of gendernormative culture that refuses to acknowledge any variation from the standard gender boxes. It's a shame, especially when we spend our energy fighting each other rather than making common cause to work together against the juggernauts that tower above us. But it happens again and again..... not just among us but with any communities of outsiders who are similar but not the same.

This is not Sarah's finest moment, I think we all agree. Is it understandable.... maybe? But is it right? Well, you'll all see what I think as the arc unfolds. But I can say this now: a lack of understanding is better handled not by reinforcing the barriers between and betwixt but by discussion and communication in the spirit of goodwill. Rather, not by defending the barriers but by making them unnecessary.

And let's remember..... these li'l differences between us are only one aspect that make us who we are. And when it comes right down to it, we all have far more in common than not.... we're all these limited, mortal things living on the same planet in a speck of a corner of a galaxy that's a speck in the corner of a universe, that may well just be one universe of an infinite possibility. With all that vast expanse of infinity, it's just us all here together, with a limited set of resources and sharing the very fragile and finite experience of being human. We already are far more alike than different. I dunno if that means anything to any of you as individuals, but that thought helps me keep things in perspective.

So how does that relate to these who kids in this fictional world? Well we'll see. But I'd like to give the final word to the sixteenth president of the country in which I reside:

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

My friends, please join me in raising a virtual glass to the better angels of our nature.






Submitted December 3, 2013 at 1:42PM



Amy!
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Guest post by "Amy!"
Sorry for making people so pissed off! =(

Point form to preserve my barely functioning brain (I just got off work):

 - I am not hostile to GQ/GF people. But the trans people I know don't exactly seem to keen on them.
 - GQ people are GQ. That's what they are. Irma however, just doesn't like gender roles and norms, and wants to do whatever she feels like. Congrats Irma, you're like everybody else. I said before that she feels like a representation of GQ, but may or may not be. She seems to use gender as a way of "getting away with stuff". Stuff, in Irma's case, meaning violence and mischief. Maybe that's why Sarah is not too pleased.
 - Pardon my language, but if your doctor doesn't believe you exist...you need a better fucking doctor. WPATH and the SOC are for  TS, TG, and gender non-conforming individuals, so yeah, that extends far greater than TS people. Your doctor is shitty, sorry you ended up with a gatekeeper.
- For clarity, Irma is "playing with gender", not GQ people. GQ people are who they are.
 - Pain is pain, I agree. Pointing out differences in the source or perceived intensity is meaningless.
 - I, however, am not in pain. My wounds are not fresh. My life rocks, and so do my friends and family and even my co-workers.
 - I guess my only real point was that TS/GQ people don't get along (in my experience). Normal bigots hate faggots, bigoted faggots hate trannies, and bigoted trannies hate GQ/GF peeps. That's just an observation.
 - "And then I've met binary trans people who have next to no dysphoria, who have no problems presenting as cis of their assigned sex" *DOES NOT COMPUTE*


This is just total rambling, and I guess my statements of "grain of salt" and "broad brush" went unread, so whatever. I'll shut up now~

Submitted December 3, 2013 at 2:42PM




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Guest post by "Anonymous"
The only real important thing I have to say though is that I am really, really sorry about what I said earlier.
This is no place for that lame negativity, and...well, I'm sorry.

Submitted December 3, 2013 at 4:13PM



PerilousPerceptions
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Guest post by "PerilousPerceptions"
I've not had the same experiences, but I can certainly respect yours. My ex//best friend of 13 years is a FtM and we hold each-other no ill will, nor do the four MtF friends I have aside. I can also only be glad that you're happy. Smile And that your wounds are healed- all the better. I am at the moment trying to find a better doctor, but I live in a very bad state for many alternative lifestyle people (Oklahoma)...I'm hoping, now that I'm finally fully registered with tribal healthcare, that I'll be able to freely find a doctor to understand me, because I will not and cannot leave my family behind for many, many reasons.

You work with what you have- if you don't have much, you make it stretch. You weave the thin strands you have left into the strongest rope you can, and you cast it out, and you never stop trying to lasso your dreams.

It's nice to have a place where people can openly voice their own experiences- so I'm glad to hear others and learn of what they've been through, even if much of the time they're not the happiest or easiest stories. I've always loved this comic for the open aire of it, though. Smile I hope it keeps going for a very long time!

Submitted December 4, 2013 at 2:27AM



Pinkbatmax
 

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Quote from Guest:
Guest post by "Anonymous"
The only real important thing I have to say though is that I am really, really sorry about what I said earlier.
This is no place for that lame negativity, and...well, I'm sorry.

I think at the very least, we on the outside can all understand that our paths are hard.
I personally am quite guilty letting the pain overwhelm everything else, leaving me saying or doing things that I later regret deeply.
I guess what I'm trying to say is.... I get it. I've been there. All is understood.






Submitted December 4, 2013 at 6:20PM



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