So no kidding, the key that lodged in the back of my head and led me to recognize my queerness, some 30 years after it would have been useful to know, is this whole scene here—the dynamics of which we’ve all seen discussed in abstract, right? But to see it dramatized like this, and to recognize these thoughts and feelings so deeply…
This is precisely what I’ve felt whenever someone’s gotten close to me, and these are exactly the thoughts that have always run through my head. Even when the relationship lasts for years, that thought hangs there, coloring every single interaction: how long until they see me for who I really am, and then what will happen?
Like… it took a bit of unpacking for me to understand why I identified so closely with this business, based on what I had come to recognize about myself. The first step was recognizing the aroaceness, as reflected in the early interaction here. That wasn’t too tricky. I had empirical data to work with, and had been wrestling with years of browbeating for my lack of sexuality in relationships, which I just sort of interpreted as queerplatonic situations, without knowing the term.
The transness took a little longer to click, but then it was the biggest fucking “oh” in the world. My pan business… well, that took longer still, and isn’t directly informed by this comic, but after everything else it was more of a shrug. Sure, we’ve gone this far. Let’s just collect all the flags. Why not.
I think what really sells it is Steven’s awful, brain-dead avoidance strategy, which… yeah… followed by, “Maybe, instead, we should talk about what we want to do?”
What we want to do?
Like, i genuinely never understood that i had a choice. I thought I just had to play with what i was dealt, go along with other people’s expectations for me. When people gave me an ultimatum and told me we couldn’t be friends anymore unless we changed the terms of our relationship and did things I didn’t feel comfortable doing, I had the option to say no, you go coerce someone else. I’m fine here. I didn’t have to actively suppress everything I was in order to make other people comfortable all the time. I didn’t have to deal with abuse. I didn’t have to be who other people wanted me to be, and were angry when I wasn’t.
The autistic masking sure as hell plays into the above as well. like, there’s always this anxiety in the event one manages to “pass” that one is just working one’s self into a bigger and bigger problem, so that when they notice the truth, some real shit is going to go down.
“… what we want to do.”
Like, that kind of shook me. and for several months after I stumbled over the comic, I kept dwelling on it, putting myself in the place of Stevonnie, making analogies to all these scenes from my own past—thinking, what would I want to do? What do I want to do now? Does this apply in a real way? Is it too late? Do I have choices? What are they?
It turns out, yes. I had choices. Choices that I didn’t know enough to make. And then, I did.
Now here I am.