"Trying to figure out your gender identity issues when there are no stories you can relate to is a bit like trying to work a jigsaw puzzle without the picture for reference," writes Dylan Edwards in his short webcomic How I Told My Grandma I'm Transgender.
Edwards' comic speaks not only to his own trans experience but also to the importance of having a way to talk about it; when he began questioning his gender identity, in 1999, there wasn't a lot of conversation about it. Aside from having to do a lot of "Trans 101" with his family and friends, he also didn't have a lot of stories to relate to — and this was particularly true for trans men.
The comic is an insight into one point in Edwards' life and the way that stories made a difference: He thinks his grandmother may have been more accepting because she was a fan of the film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and he talks about his own reaction to the movie Boys Don't Cry. It's also a broader statement about representation and the way the Internet has opened things up.
As a cartoonist, Edwards has been creating his own narratives, including Transposes, a collection of true stories about queer trans men, and the webcomic Valley of the Silk Sky, which is set in a genderless society were each individual chooses what they want to be; I covered his appearance as a panelist on the "Writing Transgender Characters" panel at Comic-Con International.
See part of Edwards' strip below, and the rest at Fusion.