Parker Molloy

Parker Molloy is a Chicago-based writer.

Jun 30, 2017
Published on: Upworthy
1 min read

When Seattle-area artist Jessica U. started making comics about her life after coming out as transgender, she never thought she'd get the response she did.

After falling out with some close friends, finding that even family would get very easily annoyed with her, and losing two jobs in a row, she needed some kind of outlet to vent her frustrations.

"Everyone made me feel like it was all my fault, like transphobia inside them simply couldn't exist because they pledged their support for me at one point," she says. "I really started to believe that I turned into the awful person and worker many said I become. But when I started drawing the comics about transphobia, other trans people responded immediately, saying that they've been through a lot of the same stuff."

She kept writing, drawing, and finding her audience. While she doesn't necessarily make her comic for people unfamiliar with trans issues, if someone 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 chuckle out of them or maybe 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 words 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.

5. Sometimes people just don't get why what might seem like a minor annoyance is actually a pretty big deal.

6. Singular "they" is perfectly acceptable, and it shouldn't be a big deal if you're asked to use it.

7. It's not fun when other people try to create criteria for what it means to be a man or a woman.

8. Sometimes questions get really personal really fast.

9. Pronouns and names are important.

10. Attacks on trans rights are happening all around us. This is where allies are really needed.

11. The "debate" about whether trans people are legitimate finds its way to newspaper opinion pages and TV segments on a frustratingly regular basis.

12. Compliments can have a way of taking weird turns — and often aren't compliments at all.

13. There's the whole "Oh no, is my existence going to be the punchline again?" anxiety when it comes to watching, well, anything.

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.

Check out the rest of Jessica's comics at ManicPixieNightmareGirls.com and visit her Patreon page for more exclusive content.