Ok, so I only discovered MPNG after checking out the illustrator for Avery Jackson’s new book, and I have to say I’m digging the comics. Jessica Udischas has gone on record saying she writes them for herself and transgender women…and that if cis-gendered folk get something from them then that’s not a bad thing. Keep in mind that these are written for adults and not children (due to language and some themes). Jessica does a great job of hitting upon subjects and issues that transgender women face in everyday life.
Sadly, at the age of seven Fab has already dealt with a few of Jessica’s themes. She had been subjected to verbal and physical bullying, and has even dealt with well-meaning people telling her she look just like a little girl. Often that statement is meant with a head tilt, and a slight shake of the head. If Fab is feeling particularly sassy, the person might even get a flat stare followed by a “Duh, that’s because I am a girl.”
As a parent, the one cartoon I related to the most is the subject of being told by others that you’re “brave” because of living your life. As parents of foster children, and now an “out” transgender daughter we still hear this…how wonderful we are, and how brave of us to let her live as she wants. While it does make you feel good on some level…at a certain point, as a family, we start to feel like we’re just living our life and letting Fab live her life as she wants to. We just see it as doing what any good parent would do, and Fab would be the first to tell you she’s just a girl. She already gets weirded out when people tell her she’s brave.
As for the rest of the comics, I haven’t read them all yet, but as a male they can provide insight into understanding some of the issues that Fab may face as she gets older. Most importantly, as Jessica has said in some podcasts, some of the comics mirror her own experiences, and that includes the emotions that go along with living as a trans woman. As parents, we seek to understand what is going on within our children, but we struggle to do so at times, because we don’t live with the same worries and concerns they do. Already, I see this with Fab. She is always on guard, ready for someone to be an idiot, and she also has her moments when she doubts herself (Does she sound like a girl? Look like a girl? Is everyone laughing at her?..all questions she has asked us at times or nightmares she has had).
Jessica has a real talent, and does an excellent job of expressing these things in her comics, and for that I appreciate her.
If you’re so inclined, check out Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls HERE