123 4567Justin’s note: As I’ve stated in previous comics it’s important not to forget that when it comes to wellness, personal safety is at the top of the list.  Not everyone falling under the LGBTQIA umbrella is protected by that umbrella.  So while it’s important to love yourself, express who you are, and take as much time as you need? it’s more important to survive so that you can do all of those things.

For some that might mean turning 18 and leaving home.  For others that might mean immigration!  Let’s also not forget that expressing your gender identity could get you fired in some states!

If any of the above describes your situation, then apply the “baby steps” principles to your escape plan.  Take the time to cover your bases, find a safe space (or better yet, safe spaces), and get out when the time is right!

The image features Justin wearing dark-rimmed glasses and a blue sweater.Justin Hubbell is a cartoonist and freelance artist from upstate New York. In an attempt to serve the greater good, he aims to create volumes of work revolving around the social politics that govern our daily lives. He posts his cartoons weekly at justinhubbell.com.  He has also been featured on The Good Men Project, UpWorthy, Digital America, Kabooooom, and submits comics regularly to local publications.  He has no preferred pronouns, she is a unapologetic nerd.

Editor’s Note: Transcript for this comic is pending and will be posted soon. Thanks for your patience!



      1. Thanks Justin, the story portrayed in the comic mirrors my journey in many ways, except I decided to lose the beard. Then again my beard was quite gray so vanity had a little to do with it has the hair on my head is nearly gray free. ; )


  1. Heheheheshesheshe ahem. I LOVED this. Thank you so much for posting this. Justin is an amazing artist, and his R. Crumb-esque way of making you crack up over very real and often painful issues had me searching for the little hidden visual jokes, and yup, there were some! Very cool. I’ve been taking some baby steps myself, lately, and as seems to happen rather frequently, this was right on.


  2. Precious baby. I’m happy that you’ve come to that realization. I’ll admit I struggle a lot with internalized misogyny/transphobia, which had both made my transitions terrifying and at times saddening, but I’m working through it, I’ll get there.


    1. Even on my best days I still struggle with doubt/fear. I’ve never once put on *exactly* what I want to wear and strolled out of my apartment like it was no big deal, and a lot of that has to do with that internal prejudice.

      But I think you’re right, we CAN work through it. We’re too awesome not to, right? 😉


  3. I didn’t know how great the role of safety is in transitioning/changing your gender expression until some idiot attacked me and my SO (verbally though he also kind of pushed us on the shoulders in the beginning) for public display of affection. I realised then that the way I dress and look can in such situations bring me into trouble with people who are radically homophobic.
    So it’s great you point out safety considerations. Though I’m by no means saying we should give up who we are/how we want to look because there are a lot of idiots out there who may attack us, sadly, we need to take these considerations into account.
    Great comic too. xoxoxo


  4. I really love this. I have a handful of trans acquaintances and one close friend. I think I’d been under the impression that after my friend got out of her oppressive home situation and built up her circle of trans and genderqueer friends, she’d immediately start presenting as ultra-femme 100% of the time. She doesn’t. She does what she feels like. Sometimes dresses and makeup, sometimes jeans and a t-shirt. I guess this comic gave me a better sense of the complexities of gender presentation, especially when you haven’t been out very long. And, on a related note, I’m a cis-woman and there are days when I wanna get all dolled up and days when I really don’t, so I think I also got smacked by the Obvious Express just now, ’cause there’s more to my feminine gender identity than what I’m wearing on my face and body, and I knew that, I guess I just hadn’t thought about about it concretely. -LB


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