Q&A 1 | Tamberlane

One of the hardest parts of having a lot of queer characters in a story that's generally not about romantic relationships is portraying how the characters fit in! Belfry's made an oblique reference to being ace before, but hopefully we'll be able to let it come out naturally later in the story. We'll see??


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.tamberlanecomic.com/comic/Q&A 1/

I don’t mean to be unaccepting or cruel, but WHY does it seem that EVERY SINGLE COMIC, short story,fanfic, etc seem to have the “variant of the week” applied to it?

Almost like looking as a cast you have one or maybe two hetero couples with an entire squad of ACE characters, those in transition, bisexual, someone who cannot decide their gender today, poly, etc.

I can see ONE or TWO appearing, but it seems like in a rush to “support” the variant of the week, your standard couple (hetero or homosexual) with a good romantic relationship never appear.

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agreed, there’s a lot of comics where it feels like they’re hitting bingo squares. at least this one has straight couples, there’s another i hateread where literally no one is straight, including the couples that make children.

Well, let me be clear:

  • This is showing up in a Q&A because it doesn’t come up in the main comic. Belfry has been written as ace since the beginning; there is no ‘rush to support’ anything.
  • All of the couples in the comic thus far are hetero or homosexual. I’m not sure where your complaint is there. (Walter/Tess, Henry/Nora, Maya/Terra, Avery and Jason are divorced but they were a couple, Parsley’s dad is dead but his parents were a couple, I could go on)
  • I’m bisexual and have been for over 20 years, and don’t really appreciate not being considered a legitimate queer person in a relationship

I appreciate the standpoint you’re coming from and understand your frustration. For me, I have a lot of queer characters because my friends and the people I grew up around were very queer: it’s what’s normal to me, and something I celebrate. But I specifically try to write this comic from a standpoint of not just hitting representation for the “sake” of it. I try not to shoehorn sexuality into it if it’s not important to the story.

Sorry if I come off as terse, but it’s frustrating to me that I attempt to do representation well in a way that supports the story and setting, but still end up being the target of anger.

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Well, as an ace person… we exist. Why shouldn’t we be represented in the same media as everyone else? Like Belfry says in this comic, we’re normal. If you get a large community of characters like you see if Tamberlane of course you’re going to have a large variety of residents. Some comics may have more representation than others, but that is often a reaction to the creators not seeing themselves or those around them represented in other media. I didn’t know what asexuality was until grad school, in large part due to lack of representation. The first time I saw an ace character, everything clicked. Representation would have saved me a decade of thinking I was broken or the rest of the world was playing in elaborate prank on me. The same goes for healthy representation of other GRSM/LGBTQIA+ individuals.

And for those who aren’t part of the alphabet mafia; seeing that representation helps to remind them that the world is a richer place that they necessarily experience in their daily lives and normalize the existence of people like me. It makes coming out a lot easier for some kids today than it did for me when they don’t have to convince their parents that they made up their own sexual/romantic/gender identity!

A lot of us queer and other marginalized people in reality also do gravitate together due. Shared experiences, safety in numbers, etc. So having a story with a large queer supporting cast is often pretty realistic.

Also, having a diverse cast doesn’t do any harm. It can often enrich the story by allowing a wider variety of storylines and characters who will react differently to different situations. It’s something to be embraced!

EDIT: Just noticed the author replied as well and would just like to say you’re doing representation right, you’re absolutely legitimate, and your hard work is really appreciated and Belfry being ace means a lot to me. :slight_smile:

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Though the comments so far have been civil (from all sides), I can see this going downhill very fast. In the interest of acting before things get worse, I’m locking this comment thread now. Sorry to anyone who had something they wanted to say and didn’t get a chance.

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