This is a complex topic that was difficult to distill into a half-page comic, for sure. An unintentional meta-joke is that this comic kinda sorta metastasized into an infographic with flow charts, but really, that’s what my brain is doing when I’m trying to figure out: Flirt or Not Flirt?
It’s not that I can’t see that a specific behavior COULD be interpreted as flirting, it’s that I can come up with five other equally plausible explanations for that behavior that are all Not Flirt. Autistic people are already punished regularly for unintentional social misfires. Flirting makes things even more complicated, because even allistic people mask their behavior when it comes to flirting, so the autist is given even less concrete information to work with. Assuming someone was flirting when they weren’t is a great way to get yourself ostracized, so in general, most autistic folks I know err on the side of assuming Not Flirt in most situations.
I will add that, for queer and trans autistic folks there’s an added layer of uncertainty to the proceedings. For better or worse, cishet people have a script that says Woman Coyly Flirts, Man Approaches. There are a lot of things awry with that model, but it DOES offer a framework that doesn’t really exist for queer people, so that’s even more guesswork to wade through.
None of this is to say that no autistic people anywhere grok flirting, or are incapable of flirting themselves. YMMV! I merely speak to my own experience, and that which I have heard expressed by autistic friends.
MY comic for this month’s issue of OFM takes a look at how easy and fun it is to access healthcare when you’re trans. A total snap! No problems involved ever! They’re just GIVING trans healthcare away! HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
Anyway, yes, these are all 100% true stories of roadblocks I’ve encountered over the years, with some dramatization for comics. (What the therapist from panel 1 actually said was, “Can you maybe turn the volume down?” when I said, “I think I’m trans, and it’s like this noise that’s buzzing in my head all the time.” But he did sit like that, curled up in a ball as he told me to maybe just try not being trans. The doctor from panel 2, meanwhile, said more or less those very words verbatim, at least as far as I can remember many years later.)
Without writing a whole book about it, 2023 was an extremely difficult year for me. Started the year with one type of debilitating pain, traded it for another, and landed myself in physical therapy for four months due to an injury to my drawing arm. So, while I don’t always put together a Year in Review post, I wanted to do one this year to prove to myself that I did manage to accomplish some things despite the onslaught of physical problems:
• 12 comics for 12 issues of OUT FRONT Magazine • approx 180 postcards sent to Patreon supporters • 5 new sticker designs • several art shows at Spectra Art Space including Spooky Art, TDOR popup, and Tiny Art (in addition to the merch of mine that they carry year round, mostly stickers, pins, and buttons) • a new Feeping Creatures micro zine, and a zine of my adventures at a metal show in Japan (which I have not yet added to my online store, it’s currently sitting on my desk waiting for me to get to it) • participated in a panel discussion for an Estonian queer film festival for their showing of the queer comics documentary No Straight Lines • speaking of No Straight Lines, when I was originally interviewed back in 2017(?) I had NO CLUE it would be shown on PBS, but in fact it streamed there for several months • made a soft return to comic shows; while I’m still not inclined to travel much, Denver Zine Fest, DeCAF, Queer Author Expo, and First Friday at Danny the Comic Shop all saw my (masked) face [and you can now get my comics and zines at Danny the Comic Shop, so swing by and support ‘em!]
In the end, that’s not too shabby for a year in which I was physically out of commission for a good 6 months and could barely work. I’m in a better place pain-wise, if not fully back to where I was before. Hopefully 2024 will see continued improvements, and a lot more art!
Also, in the event that you’re wondering where most of my social media activity is happening these days, I’ve taken to shitposting in my Instagram stories for whatever reason. Who knows how long that will continue to amuse me, but for now, I’m most active on IG.
My comic for this month’s issue is all about the various iterations my fashion sense has gone through over the years. You can read the whole thing in the digital edition of the magazine, where you shall find me ensconced on page 6!
My latest comic for OUT FRONT Magazine contains “jokes” (I use the term in the broadest possible sense) of dubious moral character, and should frankly be eschewed in favor of something wholesome. I’d avoid page 6 if I were you.
The September issue of OUT FRONT Magazine is all about digital queerness! My comic takes a look at how online spaces give us access to information about queer and trans identities, info that was often very difficult to come by in the pre-internet world.
Read the whole comic on the OFM website, or pick up a print copy at one of their drop locations! You’ll find me on page 6.
My comic for this month’s issue takes a quick look at the history of the “disco sucks” movement. As someone who is very much into metal and punk and not so much into upbeat dance music, I am certainly guilty of having fallen into the “disco sucks” trap in the past. But, it turns out, “disco sucks” is not actually about whether or not you happen to like that style of music …
The July issue of OUT FRONT Magazine is all about Queerdos, and my comic is all about queer and trans feels from playing D&D. Read the full comic online on the OUT FRONT website (I’m on page 26) or pick up a free copy at one of their drop locations in the Denver area!
I know, I know, shocking for a nerdy kid to use Dungeons and Dragons as a way of exploring gender identity and sexual orientation without realizing what they’re doing. I am probably the first queer/trans person to have EVER done this. Amazing.
My comic for this month’s edition of OFM takes a look at some of my international encounters with trans people. One thing I’ve definitely found to be the case, especially in our modern internet-enabled era, is that there’s a lot of solidarity amongst trans folks across the globe, even to the point of transcending (pun intended) language barriers.