there is actually such a thing as using up to many tissues
So I’m loving this but why does his backstory have to involve a girl or girlfriend? Why can’t he just be a plain old gay boy? The “bisexual/gay-for-you/kind of gay” troupes seem to be popular lately but I just don’t find it appealing.
It provides more background, which is always good for a character. I personally love it.
You can provide more background without obscuring his sexuality. It doesn’t make him deeper because he slept with or had relationships with women. In fact, the notion is absurd and offensive. It says that we gay guys who have never slept with women are less masculine or layered than our bisexual/experimental/sexually open/ambiguous counterparts.
For me this tidbit of his background doesn’t add more dept to the character, it actually makes me identify with him less and ultimatly makes me lose a little interest in him. I’m not trying to be argumentative or anything, I just was really liking the story so much until this one page. I’ve encountered so much gay-for-you, bisexual, confused literature lately that is being marketed as gay lit that I guess I’m kind of just over it (maybe a little sensitive about it) so when I get that vibe I get turned off easily. And I know I’m not the only one because I’ve heard plenty other people say it too.
But… you do know most of gays and lesbians don’t realise they’re not hetero till teenage years? I don’t really see the “gay-for-you” trope in here, I see just a guy who used to be confused about himself and finally came to terms with his own sexuality. Hell, he clearly tells he’s not bi: he did not feel attracted to his ex-girlfriend.
And honestly, I think you are lacking reading comprehension – Carted did not really know Adrian before. They first spoke a month after Carter’s coming-out, which makes you accusations of “gay-for-you” trope plainly silly.
You obviously didn’t read the original post because I never said this was specifically gfy, nor did I make any accusations, or say anything negative about this comic, which means that YOUR response is “silly” and very obviously you’re the one who “lacks reading comprehension”. Judging by your juvenile need for name calling and your not-so-great spelling/grammar, I’m going to assume you are either a child or a fangirl troll (or english isn’t your first language) or that you are not a gay male, so I won’t even bother trying to educate you or have an intellectual conversation with you about this, which I would’ve been perfectly content with at first. I simply expressed my opinion and impression in a coherent manner like everyone here is allowed to do. So your childish nonsense is #irrelevant.
I don’t think it’s fair for you to say “MOST gays and lesbians don’t realise…”. Where are your statistics for this? I’m gay & male and I agree with what the OP said and understand where he’s coming from (I read a lot of MM literature and share the same disappointment). But he wasn’t mean or offensive in sharing his opinion and just because you disagree with him doesn’t mean you have to be nasty and petty in your response.
Also, Hazel or Bell, are we to understand that Carter was actively having sex with girls/a girl or is he a virgin? I may have missed it somewhere but maybe that would help clarify for some readers. I personally want to believe that they are both virgins as they are in high school (even though I know HS kids have sex) and it would be sweeter/more innocent for me but I did see the “get off…” comment so I was just wondering. Can you kind of expound on Carter’s sexual history (or lack there of…lol)?
This is incorrect and sort of ridiculous. And a sweeping generalization: “…most of gays and lesbians don’t realise they’re not hetero till teenage years”??
You’re clearly not gay & don’t seem to know what you’re talking about. Maybe some don’t but it’s ignorant, presumptive & a little degrading to say that “most” don’t. And he didn’t actually say this was gay-for-you. Did you read his comment?
Well, I have no basis for this, but I think it’s fair to assume that some homosexuals actually do try out the hetero thing because it’s “most common.” The way I see it, Carter found himself attracted to guys, but the thing about girls was unsure so he called himself bi. After seeing that girls don’t get him off, he realizes that he must be gay. It seems realistic, to me at least.
I’m not arguing that some guys identify as gay & have also slept with women. Every gay guy doesn’t experiment with heterosexual sex, so no it’s not really fair to assume that. You’re right in that you have no basis for that. I’m a gay man so I’m talking about what I know. Because it’s “most common”?? It’s a very heteronormative (and kind of offensive) way of thinking to suggest that we necessarily experiment before we accept our gayness. I’ve known I was gay since middle school & sure it was scary but I never felt the need to experiment just to be sure. Many of us don’t. How many of you heterosexual females felt the need to sleep with other females before you came out as straight? Did you even feel the need to “come out as straight???”. Because it was “most common”? See how ridiculous that notion is? Straight men don’t necessarily sleep with other men just to be sure they’re straight. Lesbians don’t necessarily sleep with men just to be sure they’re gay. Same thing. So we kind of have to change our way of thinking to include more than just what we see on tv or read in books.
I know the authors (and many of the readers) aren’t actual gay men so I can allow for generalizations about a population you aren’t actually part of, but people should be careful not to actually exclude (or offend or marginalize or misrepresent) gay guys from a webcomic ABOUT gay guys by not really doing the research. (“Recently converted bi-kid”? “I only realized I was gay last month”? Why make that a part of his character? It’s a little cringeworthy.) I don’t mean that in a preachy way, I just happen to agree with the OP in that this page is actually off-putting & disappointing & kind of unnecessary from a creative aspect. It doesn’t make Carter more masculine that he has tried girls, it doesn’t add to the storyline. I would’ve enjoyed the story better (from a creative aspect) if this page wasn’t included too. It does seem to be kind of unnecessarily explaining away his gayness. Rationalizing or apologizing for it (by reassuring people that he did try to sleep with girls first) when there’s no need for it.
Hey everyone. I appreciate the level of discussion and input here from gay guys who feel like we have done a disservice to Carter this way. After all, we’re not gay men, and we are at an utter disadvantage in our attempts to portray a gay male character realistically. I do my best, but ultimately, I do not have access to the rich inner lives that my readers experience every day.
The purpose of Carter thinking that he was bisexual wasn’t because I wanted to vault up his masculinity for the purpose of making him more appealing to female readers. And he’s not gay-for-you either. Believe me, that sort of thing is as annoying to me as it is to you.
My intentions were actually much simpler than that.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Adrian and Carter are opposites. Carter’s brash and outgoing, Adrian is quiet and reserved. Carter is lazy and unmotivated, Adrian is motivated to a fault. Carter’s family is supportive, Adrian’s family is not. Carter didn’t figure he was completely gay for years, and Adrian knew he was gay since he was a child.
I was just attempting to portray different types of experiences that gay men may have in their formative years. I personally know gay men who as teens, dated girls and personally believed that they were bisexual. I guess I didn’t figure that this sort of thing was too uncommon, considering that I saw it happen with many girls I went to school with as well. Sexuality when you’re a teenager can be confusing, and while some people know what they like when they are very young, some other people don’t know what they like until they try all sorts of things!
So yeah, that was my intention with the boys. I just wanted them to have different experiences. Adrian has known his entire life he was gay, and Carter just took a bit more time to figure it out.
Bell I understand where you are coming from & appreciate you replying in a nice way. I don’t think anyone is arguing that there are men who identify as gay but have had sex with women. But still the reasoning behind introducing the whole bisexual aspect into the story sort of proves my point. You wanted to make them opposites but it fell right into the common trap many gay/MM Romance literature writers fall into: They go right to the sexuality aspect & that sort of takes your gay male readers for granted. There are endless other creative ways to make these guys opposites, some you have successfully covered here, but gay people differ from each other in the exact same ways that straight people do. It reinforces the negative stereotype that we all screw each other just because we’re gay; no matter our personal differences, if one has annoying habits, chews with his mouth open, has a controlling family or family drama, is lazy, is controlling, insecure, unfaithful, commitment phobic, class differences, clashing ambitions, self-image issues, etc… So many writers just go right to the sexuality & say oh let’s make one bi, and that’s frustrating & unnecessary when there are soooo many other ways to create differences. Plus, with Carter having the more supportive family environment, it wouldn’t have been far-fetched for his sexuality to be a non-issue long before now & would have been a great opportunity to showcase two positive gay characters not focusing on their sexuality but the myriad of other differences & life occurances.
Nobody ever feels the need to muddle with a straight character’s sexuality arc just to create differences. Show me a heterosexual romance where the straight male lead suddenly starts having sex with men or experimenting with them? Other than fans of gay literature, noone would continue reading that story because most readers of hetero lit want two solid heterosexual leads they can depend upon & root for without the potential obstacle of differing sexual preferences. Because it poses a threat to the main relationship. See what I mean? When you flip it like that? That’s just not something your average heterosexual reader wants to be worrying about when there’s so much else going on (or could be if the writer is creative) in the story. And some of us gay readers just want the same equality. We want to be able to take the same issues for granted & cuddle up with good literature & not have to worry about those biases as well.
Gay characters get taken for granted because we’re already “not the norm”, so readers & publishers who aren’t gay often don’t bat an eye at this sort of discrepancy but it is a very real thing, especially with the upsergence of gay-for-you/bi themed literature being marketed as the same thing as gay lit, when it is clearly not. Anyhow, I didn’t mean to rant. And I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I’m only expressing my own opinion. I too loved everything else but this particular page, but what I said is not coming from a place of mean-spiritedness or soapboxing, but from a place of honesty, admiration, & the obvious need to dialogue about these issues. Thanks a bunch for the wonderful artistry & the attempt to contribute to positive gay literature. (And I hope that doesn’t sound pompous or anything because I sincerely mean it. Lol).
You seem to be ignoring that many gay men in reality do experiment with women before they realise or admit that they are gay or bi. This story is not a ‘gay-for-you’ or bi story. Both the characters are gay, one just experimented with girls for a while and the other did not. This is something that happens to many, many gay men. There’s nothing biased about it, unless you think those men shouldn’t be represented in literature, only the gay men who always knew they were gay and never experimented with women. Which, to me, sounds far less inclusive than representing both sides of the readership.
Sheechiibii your tone seems a little hostile & doesn’t really seem to be coming from a place of honest discussion or communication so I won’t bother trying to have an honest dialogue with you. But I don’t “seem to be ignoring” anything regarding what gay men do & don’t do. YOU “seem to be ignoring” exactly what I said in order to justify an argument that doesn’t even exist. Honestly did you actually read anything I said? 1.) I never once said there aren’t gay men who experiment with women. No one’s arguing that. 2.) I never once said this was actually a gfy/bi story. Again your argument is null. 3.) I am a gay man myself and an activist. Please don’t try to educate me about what we do or don’t do. I am already well aware. 4.) There is tons of culturally inclusive LGBTQIA literature out there & I’m very happy about that. So nothing you said was ever a point I (nor the OP really) was trying to make so I don’t really see your motivation, other than to flame. He only expressed his feelings about this page & I agreed. I already said how I felt, JUST to say how I felt, about the storyline; like every other person commenting here. And I have the right to do that.
The fact remains that this page changes the dynamic of the story a bit. “Recently converted”?? So we get “turned gay” now? And on the very next page, when Carter asks how he can get Adrian to sleep with him, his friend says “Pretend he’s a girl”! Carter actually goes with it & you don’t find that a little naiive, if not offensive? Sure his ensuing antics are funny but the fact that he bases his actions on what he “should/would say to a girl” is a very heteronormative (and dangerously marginalizing) way of thinking, for this to be a gay-themed story. You can’t get upset at someone for pointing stuff like that out. I didn’t come here to argue with anyone or be insulting. Only to express my opinion. And I stand by that. Please don’t respond if you have to be nasty or immature about it.
My tone seems hostile? I’m sorry if I came across that way, I never intended to. Your own reply seems far more hostile than what I said but never mind. You say you won’t have an honest discussion with me, but you’ve made a rather long reply so I’ll respond to it.
“1.) I never once said there aren’t gay men who experiment with women”
I never said you said that. You said that you don’t like that one of the main characters in this story is a gay man who experimented with women in the past.
“2.) I never once said this was actually a gfy/bi story.”
I didn’t think you did. You said: “especially with the upsergence of gay-for-you/bi themed literature being marketed as the same thing as gay lit” that is what I was referring to in my reply.
“3.) I am a gay man myself and an activist. Please don’t try to educate me about what we do or don’t do.”
I’m not trying to educate you, I’m pointing out the fault in your argument. You say it’s wrong to write about a character who is gay but experimented with women in the past, but considering many gay men do experiment with women early in their lives, saying it’s wrong to write about those men, that people should only write about the types of gay men you want to see, seems very unfair. Surely you can see how it comes across as though you’re saying those types of gay men should not be included in storylines just because you don’t identify with it or like seeing it.
“4.) There is tons of culturally inclusive LGBTQIA literature out there & I’m very happy about that.”
You’re not happy about this story featuring a gay man who experimented with women in the past, and it was this part of your argument that I disagreed with.
“So nothing you said was ever a point I (nor the OP really) was trying to make so I don’t really see your motivation, other than to flame.”
Really? You accused me of being hostile, but you’re coming across that way yourself. It seems more like you prefer criticising others, but don’t like to receive criticism yourself.
“I already said how I felt, JUST to say how I felt, about the storyline; like every other person commenting here. And I have the right to do that.”
And I just said how I felt, JUST to say how I felt, about your comment: like everyone else who replies to comments here. And I have the right to do that.
“The fact remains that this page changes the dynamic of the story a bit.”
Yes. And you have a problem with that and I don’t. Because you don’t want to see gay men who have experimented with women be included in stories like these for all the reasons you gave above which I disagreed with for the reasons I gave in my response to you. Now do you see my motivation for replying to you? It certainly wasn’t to flame.
“Carter actually goes with it & you don’t find that a little naiive, if not offensive?”
I do think it’s naive and offensive, but I think that was the point, hence why it didn’t work.
“Please don’t respond if you have to be nasty or immature about it.”
Like I said, I never meant to come across as hostile and I’m sorry if you read my comment that way, it wasn’t intended. I just disagreed with you and wanted to have a discussion, but if you’d rather not then that’s fine too.
Once again you’re arguing points that don’t even exist. I never once said it was wrong to write about these types of characters or that people should not write about them. The problem is you’re forgetting that you can’t tell a person what they should feel. Period. I looked at this, felt what I felt, & then wrote my reaction to it. Just like everyone else. That’s all. In this regard, I’m not really concerned with what some gay people do or don’t do sexually, I was just expressing how it made me feel from a creative, literary aspect.
So it’s sort of pointless for you to come at me about how you think I SHOULD feel or react or how you disagree because you’re not changing that. Some pages I love, some I don’t, for whatever reasons, and it’s not your place to tell me how to feel about them, whether you disagree or not. I don’t think you actually read (or heard) what I or the other posters said & I don’t get your motivation so I’ll just say thank you and good day.
I never told you how you should feel at all, I never even suggested it. I disagreed with you, so I wanted to explain my own opinion. You seem to think that nobody who disagrees with you should express their feelings, even though you keep bringing up how much of a right you have to express your own feelings.
You say now that you never said it was wrong to write about a gay man who has experimented with women in the past, and yet in the comment I replied to you said this:
“So many writers just go right to the sexuality & say oh let’s make one bi, and that’s frustrating & unnecessary when there are soooo many other ways to create differences.”
One gay man having had past experiences with women = frustrating and unnecessary.
“it wouldn’t have been far-fetched for his sexuality to be a non-issue long before now & would have been a great opportunity to showcase two positive gay characters not focusing on their sexuality”
Two gay men who both have not experimented with women or questioned their sexuality = positive.
It just sounded to me like you were saying gay characters who thought they were straight should not be written about, since it’s ‘frustrating and unnecessary’ as opposed to being ‘positive’ when it’s two gay men with no questions about their sexuality at all. Surely you can see how what you wrote might come across that way.
No I still don’t see how you would infer that when I never said or implied it. You’re looking for reasons to disagree with me because you didn’t like what I said & or my feelings about the issue. That’s plain. And I don’t mind anyone disagreeing with me. But there’s a difference between you disagreeing with me & you trying to educate me about something you don’t get. And there’s a difference between you disagreeing and you very obviously coming to my comment to tell me you think I’m wrong for feeling how I feel. That’s exactly what you did. I’ll say it One. More. Time.: The frustration is from the CREATIVE aspect, in literature. Or the lack thereof in this case. NOT about what people do sexually in real life. Lots of authors don’t try to think outside the box enough when creating differences in their gay characters or causing tension in the relationships or building to a climax, so they go to this area. They insert girlfriends or wives etc… And if you’ve read literally the thousands upon thousands of gay/mm themed stories that I have, you’d get that. Nobody said from just this one story. We discuss this in numerous forums & lit/book clubs that I belong to and PLENTY men (and women) say the EXACT SAME THING, so I am absolutely not the only one who feels this way. And people are allowed be frustrated about it when it pops up & to express that without you trying to tell them otherwise. I couldn’t care less that there are men who say they’re gay but sleep with women, or have wives & children. But if I did care, I’d have every right to say it, whether you agreed or not. But again, I was talking about the literature aspect of it. No one was attacking the authors, only sharing their feelings, so you didn’t need to come to anyone’s defense, let alone on my comment. It would be different if you were just discussing your impressions or feelings about the story but that’s not what you did.
If you didn’t want people to read and respond to what you said then you shouldn’t have said it. This is a comments section, where people can read what others think and respond to them, if you don’t want to participate then don’t. Simple enough isn’t it? Clearly you don’t want to have a conversation, you just want to be insulting to anybody who has the audacity to express a different opinion on something. I have the right to post here just as much as you do, thought it’s clear you’d rather you were the only one who had such a right. Good bye.
You’ve gone completely left field with this. I didn’t say anything for people to respond to me, or to insult anyone or start arguments. I agreed with the OP. I said what I said because plenty people feel this way and maybe writers who aren’t aware of that will have more to think about when writing these types of storylines. THAT’S IT. Your agenda was obviously more personal and negative.
I don’t mind people disagreeing at all. It truly has nothing to do with you disagreeing with me. I’d be crazy to think that people won’t or shouldn’t disagree with me. And I love to have INTELLIGENT conversations with people coming from a sincere place, just sharing their ideas about things. NOT about why they think I’m wrong for feeling what I feel. That’s what children do in comment sections, not serious readers who just want to talk about the literature. Authors don’t get upset at beta readers’ suggestions or critiques. That’s the point of having them. They hear it & move on. We could have certainly had a nice conversation about the story & maybe agreed to disagree, but you came at me wrong. And obviously for the wrong reasons.
Thomas don’t worry about Scheechiibii, she goes on everyone’s comments and flame-throws just to start irrelevant arguments like this. She’s just trying to be a smartass but if you look at all her other comments it’s the same type of thing on different boards. I actually agree with you & thought your point was well articulated. You weren’t actually saying anything negative about bisexual people. But you have to expect to be sort of attacked when most of the people hear are die-hard fans who don’t want to hear any negative critique or dissention.
I too find that this same thing pops up more often than not in gay stories because **DING DING** most of the gay stories I read aren’t actually written by GAY MEN. Not that there is anything wrong with that; or bisexuality or the portrayal of bisexual characters. But I do find that the two often get lumped into the same catagory, as if bi & gay are one and the same. Like I’ll pick up a gay story and suddenly the guy has a wife and kids, but a bf on the side. Or she’ll die and THEN he’ll get a man. Or he’ll be a str8 man hoe sleeping with tons of girls then suddenly he’s gay. Or str8 & never once thought about another man sexually then TA DA he’s a friend of Dorothy. Or pans or poly or something. And I’m like hello where the gay guys at?!?!
And there’s plenty gold-star gays out there who never experiment with women. I know plenty but surprisingly their stories seem to almost never get told, unless it’s YA. Those other stories have their place too but if I pick up a story about two gay guys, then that’s what I wanna read about. Don’t short-change me. Lol. So I feel you.
Coming from personal experience, that happens a lot. Many guys first come out as bisexual, later realizing that they were never into girls in the first place.
But many guys also just come out as gay and leave it at that. And coming from my own personal experience, I’m gay and have only ever been gay. That’s nothing against bisexual people or the bisexual experience but I wish there was more literature available that just catered to guys like myself who only understand the gay experience. Authors shouldn’t have to tow the line because it can ultimate cheapen the storyline and put some readers off. Why can’t they both just be two hapily gay, gay boys navigating a relationship? I feel like including heterosexual relationships in his background is a way of sort of making it easier for people to accept him being with a guy. A way of sort of apologizing for his gayness by saying “He can’t help it. He really tried girls though”. We shouldn’t have to explain or apologize for our gayness. I still like this story and really appreciate the artists’ efforts but this is my least favorite page and I wish it didn’t exist, or at least that it was explained differently. It’s like finding out that your favorite **whispers** porn star **end whisper** is actually not gay, but gay-for-pay. It cheapens the experience.
If as a trend, then yes, that’s a problem. And the occurrence of that as what seems to be a trend to me does worry me. But I think this comic’s just coincidentally falling into the trend.
“Coming from personal experience, that happens a lot. Many guys first come out as bisexual, later realizing that they were never into girls in the first place.”
With respect, this sounds more like something you WANT to be true, more than something that’s actually true. I don’t think you have any literature or statistics to justify this. I doubt you are a gay man and you should be more careful not to make factless and unmeritable statements like this.
That kind of a weird statement to make dont you think? Who are you to say if someone you dont know is gay or not. Just because he has a different experience doesnt mean hes lying. I find it a little rude you’d think otherwise. Your sexuality is for you to name alone
Aw this page won’t load the whole way no matter how many times I refresh it. :C
“Dude TMI.” Spoke my words correctly. Man dude…..there is such a thing as keep it to yourself, but still love his reactions! XD:3
No, I´m Serious. Even when I was going out with her I couldn´t get off since it just felt so weird and wrong and stuff. I have so much pent up sexual frustration that I´m going through tissue boxes on a daily basis. And that was report: Last week.
“Dude, TMI.” I love this guy omg
“I can’t figure out why he’s turning me down” Gee, maybe it’s because you’re a total shithead and what you’re doing is absolutely and disgustingly disrespectful.
Bi people have a certain scent? *sniffs self*
what happened to that pent up sexual frustration now its like non existent ??
I’m gay, however, I get the “recently converted bi kid” thing. I thought I was bisexual before finally realizing that, no, I don’t like the opposite gender. I felt that this approach was believable because the same thing had happened to me.
I like how much of a discussion this page is causing. I just fell onto this coming and started reading and I think the whole bi smell thing was a good line. It took me back a bit and then I had to laugh. The ex is pretty cool. I am and always have been bi and reading some of the comments, and how some people have reacted to it is a little sad but not surprising.
I wish I knew what Carter was talking about in the last panel. It blocked by “Dude TMI”. ;-;
He was saying “No, I’m Serious. Even when I was going out with her I couldn’t get off since it just felt so weird and wrong and stuff. I have so much pent up sexual frustration that I’m going through tissue boxes on a daily basis. And that was report: Last week.” If you check the comic in their previous site in alwaysraininghere(.)smackjeeves(.)com/comics/1209587/page-19/ you’ll see it.
Thanks a lot! Im super sorry for the late reply!
Rereading this page, and after reading all of the short stories, I like how this page was done. I’m, in a sense, more interested in this exchange; this discussion between the two of them holds more meaning to me now. Kinda reminds me that Carter’s still just your average high school kid; haha, a creepy high school kid, but average nonetheless.
Now that I read it again I think this might be something important in the future
Don’t worry Carter, I’m a sexually confused teenage girl in an all girls school, it could be worse.
Me 2 i feel ya
loving it so far… except the fact that i’m gonna end up laughing myself to death.
Carter: I’m just trying to get him to sleep with me, but I can’t figure out why he’s turning me down.
Me: F**K CARTER! Have you not realized how much of a TOTAL DOUCHE you are yet!!!!!!!
“Are you in love with him?”