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Welcome to the surprise (1/7)!
I've had this drafted since February. The next 6 pages have been a collaborative effort between myself and four other very talented women. I wrote a scene, and thumb-nailed it (with dialogue), and assigned each artist her own page(s) to then interpret/draw in her own style. To keep things consistent I then added the colour.

Page 2/7 comes out this Thursday, as it is a new month!

62 thoughts on “CH11.5P1

  1. So if I’m reading this right, Blaire takes Riley dress shopping to “help” figure out her “real gender” despite Riley very obviously not wanting to.

    And when she sees that wearing feminine clothing is a trauma trigger for Riley and she’s having a horrible time, Blaire doesn’t so much as comfort her and figures “must be a gender thing, Brick (a complete stranger to her) can help.” For someone who studied psychology and uses the word “trauma”, Blaire is really insensitive to Riley’s pain.

    No wonder Riley doesn’t want to talk out anything resembling conflict with her. Blaire is more concerned about fitting her girlfriend into her ideology than she is about her girlfriend. Painful to read, but well-written.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you and the other talented artists drew for this scene. It’s a really exciting surprise, tempered by how much I’m probably gonna hurt for Riley during these next six pages.

    1. You are indeed reading things correctly ๐Ÿ˜”
      Considering Blaire dropped psychology for cosmetology.. gender priorities check out, no?

      If not like dress, not woman ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ค so simple!!

      I could see her using Mr. Mummy Milkers as an example of “true womanhood” because he enjoys preforming femininity and making his “skirt go skinny”. ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ

      Thank you though! It was a fun challenge to convey the scene entirely through text. The idea was to avoid having to redraw old panels and also having to actually draw Riley wearing a dress. She’s gonna go through enough without that ๐Ÿ’”

    2. A little bit of psychology terminology, whether used by someone actively malicious or just obtuse, is a dangerous thing.

      Just ask anyone who ever got sucked into couple’s counseling with someone with NPD and spends the rest of the relationship getting accused of gaslighting, projection, and abuse whenever trying to set reasonable boundaries with the narc or address bad behavior.

      Blaire probably took just enough Psych 101 to think she knows it all and is wrapping that little bit of knowledge around her PhD in Gendurr….and knows just enough to make it sound like she knows what she’s talking about to people who didn’t take Psych 101.

      Don’t recall if Rusty ever got into Riley’s education, but conjecturally would guess she didn’t attend university and is a bit intimidated/awe struck by those who have, second-guesses herself a lot due to her upbringing in a cult and still reflexively discounts her own intellect, and so instead of seeing Blaire’s BS for what it is, she assumes she’s stupid when the stupid things Blaire says don’t make sense to her.

      1. Not conjecture at all – youre right on the money!
        From CH9P6

  2. Oh no… she’s going to take Riley to a femininity coach isn’t she ๐Ÿ’€

    1. OMG I thought about that too at first (also made me think of Ms Heinous Finishing School in SVTFOE ) but then the title below it mentions Brick so guess this scene is related to that flashback scene Riley had of a confrontation with Brick before Brick was oficially introduced with name in the story??? I think it was around Ch 8? or 9? All i remember was Riley looking really distressed about it ๐Ÿ™ there was no Brick bio yet.

      or… Or maybe Ri has had more than one conflict moment with Brick and this is representing a different day altogether

      1. Oh dear… you’re right! Dreading the next few pages ๐Ÿ˜… I think everyone has had more than one conflict with Brick, that woman is the human embodiement of a poisonous frog, tiny, colorful and toxic ๐Ÿคฃ

    2. One sentence horror stories ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

  3. You’re such a good writer, even without the visuals I can feel the pain in her voice ๐Ÿ˜ฅ… the traumatised silence. I never got the Blaire redemption arc hype but seeing this makes me seriously doubt it. Blaire is being straight up abusive.

    1. the redemption arc hope was because we hadn’t seen Blaire’s full brainwashed v_v she appeared as a “benevolent normie” when she questions at first if Jaden is a man, but now with both the QT scenes and this, we know that she’s an active agent of Gender and not just an ignorant passerby v_v Riley’s anguish about it is way more rooted in real fears than baseless anxieties T_T

      1. Someone should draw Blaire with an “Agent Of Gender” shirt lol ๐Ÿ˜… Rusty’s “honey you’ve got a big storm coming” gif is playing in my mind, she can’t get worse than this!!! Right???

    2. Thank you!! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ
      Some light rain before the storm arrives ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง

  4. It just kills me to read that … even tho she KNOWS how traumatic this is for Riley, she made her try on MULTIPLE dresses, and for what?? To prove to her that she is a woman?? Because obviously Woman= Dress duh …

    Blaire is not listening to Riley AT ALL and it makes me so furious :sob: I am glad you opted for the text option for this page. I can already vividly see the scene in front of me and if I had seen Blaire’s face during that, I would’ve thrown my laptop across the room

    1. blaire translator

      Suspect Blaire sees ‘femininity’ as just playing fun dress-up (since it was never forced on her the way it was on Riley) and so can only conceptualize Riley’s trauma/discomfort with it through the lens of ‘gender,’ so she’s already mentally classified Riley as not a woman and is now just trying to narrow down what KIND of pronoun person she is through ‘experimentation’…

      and is planning to point to all of this as ‘proof’ later on to convince Riley, who she sees as just being in denial about her TRUE identity, that she isn’t a woman. In Blaire-land, she thinks she’s being the most helpful, understanding, amazing girlfriend ever.

      1. We got a Blaire Language scholar in our comment section today, ladies. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    2. Blaire thinks the trauma must have been in not being allowed to choose what dress Riley was allowed to wear.

      Can’t you just see Riley explaining to Blaire she wasn’t allowed to wear pants as a child because she’s female and Blaire going, “What! Why would they pick such frumpy dresses. There’s plenty of dresses kids can move and play in :((“?

  5. Parniyaโ€™s biggest fan

    Poor Riley ๐Ÿฅบ, get the poor girl a suit dammit

    โ€œI think we need someone with more expertiseโ€ oh god.. please no. Rusty please donโ€™t.

    1. But if Riley doesn’t like at least SOME dresses…. she must be.. gender ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Parniyas biggest fan

        I just know if Blaire asks Brick she’s going to say she can’t help because she isn’t a woman and ask Timothy to help Riley ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

        1. Careful what you wish for~

  6. Holy fuck what is wrong with her. Why not stop pushing the subject after hearing she didn’t want to wear dresses at all? What is the matter with her?

    1. Very based in my own experience with growing up. Constantly being offered different dresses to try, like it was the style of the dress, or the type of fabric that was wrong rather than the dress itself. And surely there must be ONE I would like because I am female ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

      That and a mix of these behaviours/mentalities:

      Dress = girl. Tie/button up = boy.

      This whole exchange:

      Couldn’t refind the Billie Ilish one where multiple twitter people were saying she’s trans because she wore baggy button ups and ties. But you get the picture.

      1. Ugh, what the actual hell? I know there’s a broader societal narrative that tells Gender Non-Conforming people (especially young boys and very young women) they are ‘trans’ but like… there’s at least twenty people on this tiny instagram channel directly and explicitly telling her that she’s really a boy. I can’t believe this.

        1. And their evidence is they were also gender nonconforming girls just like her, pushing back against pressure to be trans.. until they gave in :/

  7. “We need to get someone who has more expertise than me baby”
    Yeah you need to talk to some actual lesbians who can tell you you need to curve Blaire and her lame ass friends. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Get into a gym
    Work for the forest service
    Anything but letting this schmuck treat you like a mental case.

    1. And this is exactly why Blaire wouldn’t want Riley alone around a group of lesbians she hasn’t approved first (see: cowards who throw other lesbians under the bus, and/or non-lesbians and men even)!

      Can’t risk her questioning trans ideology๐Ÿ˜‡


    1. Thank you! Bundle up cuz it’s about to get colder โ˜ƒ๏ธโ„๏ธ

      1. Honestly, I have to give you props on Blaire.

        All through this, I’ve honestly loved how her gender shit seems to come from a place of real compassion—wanting to protect and uplift what she has been taught is the most marginalized group, manifesting this in ways like wanting to help Riley discover her true identity or ensure that Faith will have the kind of body she wants that won’t give her dysphoria (Blaire, if Faith is ever dysphoric, it’s because of people like YOU with your “girls are THIS way” shit)

        And we see how kind she is in other ways, like when she did the dishes after dinner with Jaden or got Riley the animal encounters.

        She’s assertive, even pushy, and it comes out in some really great ways. . .and then there’s this.

        And I really love that you built her up as a PERSON before revealing the WORST of her. I mean, I doubt this is the worst, I’m guess it’s the tip of the iceberg, but I love that she’s not an awful person out of the gate like the typical love story would have the “one party’s pre-existing girlfriend” character. She has nuance, she has likeability, she seems like a real person.

        And that honestly makes this hit WAY SO MUCH HARDER than if she’d been a strawman. I have to give you ABSOLUTE KUDOS on your buildup skills here, DAMN.

        1. Thank you so much!! I love satisfying build-up pay-offs ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž Very motivating to know I nailed it for a lot of you ladies this time๐Ÿ˜Š

          It’s been a long time coming ๐Ÿ˜…

  9. This is genuinely a little distressing to read, by which I mean, well done.

    It’s strange to see on one hand Blaire being sweet and thoughtful in a Riley-specific way with the zoo outing, where she was happy to let Riley experience things she enjoys that Blaire doesn’t, but then be this insistent about something else – really shows both the depth of that ideological belief for her, and how complicated non-functioning relationships are.

    I’m not sure whether I’d call it abusive yet, but in this instance she’s definitely being controlling and should’ve backed the hell off, or rather not pressured her in the first place.

    Hopefully Riley will learn to handle conflict. It’s necessary. You have to stand up for yourself, especially if you don’t fit into the boxes people want to put you in.

    1. Yeah, I donโ€™t think sheโ€™s being deliberately abusive, itโ€™s clear she loves Riley and is a good person at heart. Blaire imo is Rustyโ€™s best example of how insidious sexism is, how it taints female relationships and destroys our class solidarity ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I think most of us know or have been a Blaire at some point in our lives and it sucks when you wake up and see the strings.

      Youโ€™re so right, about women standing up for themselves, I think also of how important it is to stand up for other women even when they donโ€™t appreciate it, I keep this image on my wall* I have to look at it a lot when I read about Blaire ๐Ÿ˜… :

      1. The image:

  10. Why I feel like Blaire made Riley wear the most restrictive feminine dress ever, full of ribbons and frilly details, super thight and short with textured fabrics… She could have asked Riley to try a muumuu (hawaiian tunic worn by both sexes) if making the poor girl wear a dress is SOOOO important for Blaire. The “plus size” dialog is such spot on too, I’m thin but I used to be plus sized and ppl who have been thin their whole lives know nothing about being uncomfortable in clothes lol! I just pray to goddess Blaire won’t make Riley talk to mr. Mummy milkers to re-discover femininity in a non traumatic way ๐Ÿคฎ

  11. DasFeministMermaid

    Blaire needs to back off ๐Ÿ˜ค at no point did Riley seem okay with what was going on. It’s no skin off Blaire’s nose if Riley never wears a dress again. It’d be a different story if Riley’s perspective was “I had some really terrible times with dresses because of my upbringing, but I like them and find them comfortable and want to find a way to make it work “, but she doesn’t feel that way! I know Riley is a sweetie, but I want to bite Blaire’s head off rn.

  12. Idk why but this is actually the most viscerally upsetting page I think you’ve posted (BIG compliment lol). Like this genuinely made me uncomfortable and made my skin crawl and made me deeply feel for Riley.

    I was really looking forward to Shez this week, but I can’t say this art collab doesn’t sound hype! I’m excited to see these artists and hope they themselves have their own comics/writing/etc that I can check out!

    Not to mention I WAS wondering if you were gonna do anything spooky for Halloween and man, you really got me in the spirit of the season with this one.

    1. Thank you!! I’m quite proud of it despite the simplicity!

      Sorry about the wait on the Shez pages. This collab and the minis I’ve been posting were made to act as a buffer to give me enough time to get Chapter 12 done. You can expect to see the first Shez page on the 6th of November ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

      I didn’t consider doing anything for Halloween (it is not a massive holiday seasonal thing here – and no autumn vibe because it’s springtime for us. Yes hot summer Christmas also), but if this suffices, I’ll take it!

  13. The “women and girls squashing other women and girls into compliance performing aesthetic femininity/beauty/glam culture with a smile or super serene expression” kind of psychological horror is SO incredibly jarring. Not even those in economical difficulties are spared, they’re just ‘encouraged’ to go cheaper but STILL make the effort.

    Try this areola blusher, try this super realistic wig kit if you struggle with long hair.

    Try these butt plumping suppositories, Try these discount pumps, choose that pore-fading BB cream, check this no-lipstick waterproof lipstick for swimming and showering, look at this crop top, omg have u seen this new perfume for vulvas?? no way look at that 5×1 pink razor kit!!

    What?! dont like razors? Try bleaching or waxing then ๐Ÿ˜Š Thongs are soooo comfortable you dont know what you’re missing tbh…

    Oh btw here’s this pinterest recipe for DIY nail polish! And here’s a numbing spray with glitter for your anus!

    Cant afford botox?! no worries, use bee stings!

    Find long nails disabling? use these removable press-ons!

    Pierce the baby girl’s ears soon cause later is more painful!

    Don’t let her be shirtless as a kid so she doesn’t resent/miss it later as her boobs grow and she can’t do it anymore!!

    Compliment her when wearing makeup so the habit sticks early!! Go go go ๐Ÿค—โค You can do it! Lovely!! Adorable!! ๐Ÿ˜ Come on, Work it! ๐Ÿ™ŠFaaabulous!!

    OTL Goshh it’s just…. It looks so flashy colorful and smiley and #girlbonding on surface but so heavy and OVERWHELMING underneath. So smartly passive aggressive.

    I wish i could describe it more eloquently but its like, being given a bunch of heavy bags and luggage you didn’t even intend to carry around, or like being slowly tied and choked little by little and you cant even say you’re exhausted and sore because its supposed to be wholesome and worth it.

    You can’t even label it as horror comfortably. Because to them the horror is not doing anything when you have SO many options at disposal for adjusting any inch of your being. Horror? What horror??? The legit horror is being bare, raw, the simpleton female. So plain, so boring, so… Worthless. That’s the monster to fight, the lingering nightmare.

    Aahhhhhh this page has no pictures yet gave me hives. F Off! but also Brilliant, gimme more. Keep it up


      If there was any non-cult context where love bombing can be properly used to describe group behavior is in the reinforcement of femininity. Shame and threats can, and are often times used; but taking away love and acceptance hurts more than never having nothing at all.

      It’s a farce, it’s all a farce. Even if you’re not doing it specifically for male attention; even if you give it your little twist or adapt it to your own taste; our connection to make up, dresses and passivity will always be the social capital and shelter it provides for us in the community.

      And especially in the global north; where consumerism is rampant and pressing; a woman refusing to wear make up and follow this unspoken social contract will be seen as giving the middle finger to society; and as a bitter remark to those who had no choice, or chose, to submit.

      1. Lovebombing! Exactly! its like “everyone got an inner goddess within, don’t you want to unleash your inner goddess?? what are you waiting for, gorgeous?

        if even that homeless elder woman still cares enough to ask for makeup and tweezing while having pretty much nothing, what’s your excuse? why are you so ungrateful in this lucky age of endless refinement tools?

        We want to help you why can’t you just try at least??! What is wrong with you darling? Let. Us. Enhance. You”

        The level of intricacy and vastness, the influence gets so deep that saying you dont want to try (or to keep trying anymore if you’ve been doing so) feels like conceding a major defeat instead of a triumphant release. A core defect.

        You question your own sanity as you become foreigner to your own specie.
        And like there’s also the anguish around the idea of being used as an example.

        Of being pointed at and being like “see? Now you dont have to imagine and wonder in abstract. Just see, do you see her? That’s the result. Do you like what you see? Is that what you want?

        Get real, Who in their right mind would want to be THAT” with most other agreeing in subtle ways, unnerved, confirming that you are indeed as disappointing, repellent and worthless as you were warned you’d become, and what a pitiful clown you were for ever thinking this could be inspirational in any way.

        The whole thing, it is absolutely brutal.

        1. Sure, I’ll unleash my inner goddess ๐Ÿ˜˜ *the sounds of lightning start cracking in the distance*

    2. I don’t know what you mean about not being eloquent: this was beautifully said. โค

      1. Aahhh thank you so much ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ for the sweet words.

        I feel like this page was so viscerally intense and effective because the lack of imagery to focus on tricks the brain into drawing from somewhere in our memories as filler. A bunch of things i’ve witnessed all these years of existence came back pouring together like a vicious rain. It really pierced a grief spot.

        Cant wait to see the rest of the collab. See ya ladies next monday! (will skip thursday bonus so i can savour two pages at once)

        1. That makes me so happy to hear – experimentation success!! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฅฐ

          Hope you enjoy the next two pages ๐Ÿ’™

  14. Oh god. You showed so much emotion through simple dialogue. I feel for Riley so much and am reminded of similar situations with my mother (not the gender stuff, an opposite kind of misogyny). This is a horrible way to treat a partner… Blaire, what the hell. Great work on this special!

  15. So Riley says “dresses never feel good” and Blaire’s immediate response is “don’t worry we’ll find you something CUTE and not FRUMPY”…. like the only problem with Riley having been forced to wear feminine clothing was that it wasn’t CUTE feminine clothing.

    It doesn’t occur to Blaire that the appearance of the clothes might not be the issue here. Is it because she thinks it’s more important for your fashion sense to line up with the “aesthetic” of your “gender identity” than it is to be physically comfortable in what you’re wearing… or is it because the concept of physical comfort playing a role in clothing choice doesn’t even cross her mind, like that’s a completely alien thought process to her?

    Why is it so damn important to Blaire that her girlfriend dresses a certain way anyway? Regardless of any good intentions she might have, she’s coming off as really controlling here. Poor Riley. D:

  16. Rusty… This page… I can’t. ๐Ÿ˜ญโค๏ธ I feel Riley SO much, but I can’t help but feel sorry for Blaire too. Obviously she has her own unresolved issues and perhaps can’t take steps to fix them because that would make her a worse trans ally?

    Ugh. Just so, so real. Don’t all women who feel imprisoned feel the urge to trap their female loved ones in a cage even smaller than they are in? A prison within a prison within a prison.

    I wonder, perhaps, if Mr. Babygirl and Brick never existed, would Blaire be trapped still? I swear this comic keeps me up at night. You’re a true artist, breastie. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ I even cried a bit thinking about Riley’s anguish. It’s like I suddenly woke up in a small room that reeks of perfume, something with an intoxicating floral scent, something so sweet it makes your teeth hurt.

    The walls are painted pink and Blaire looks at me through the window. Was she always that tall? Her face is the size of a washing machine and every inch of it is covered in makeup. My dog is lying on the floor. There’s something wrong with her.

    Blaire tells me not to get mad, you wouldn’t want to imitate toxic masculinity, she says. I cry and she tells me crying is valid even if I’m a transboy. She opens the window and pats me on the head with her pinky.

  17. I feel really bad for Riley, ngl it’s getting more and more difficult to read Blaire as a good person even if she is a person with good intentions, how can she see her gf in obvious pain and try to make her continue it?
    Looking forward to seeing the rest of the collaboration!

  18. seconding what others have said, this page is soโ€ฆ uncomfortable, lol. So Blaire is like. Borderline abusive and not just an asshole lol.

  19. Blaire sounds like my mom throughout my adolescence, pointedly informing me that “girls who wear baggy clothes and only that because they’re ashamed of their bodies!” while trying to get me to wear makeup and girly stuff. ๐Ÿคฎ

    She’s genuinely a shit girlfriend, Riley deserves better than this. Also if she loves & is genuinely attracted to Riley then I don’t understand why she’s trying to change her so much!?

    1. That’s what I was thinking! ๐Ÿค” I don’t trust people who try to change their partner’s appearance. I get so sad when girls say they shave/wear makeup/got surgery etc., for their boyfriend ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

      Like, I prefer brown eyes but if I fell in love with a girl who had blue eyes I would love them because those are ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ eyes! I would be sad if she wanted to change that and mortified if she said she wanted to change for me ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

      Obviously style is a bit different and tastes change but if my partner suddenly started dressing completely differently even of their own accord (especially if they were GNC and dressing more GC) I would be concerned?

      1. Also, I’m not good at explaining myself but GNC girls suddenly becoming hyper feminine and wearing revealing clothing is always seen as a sign of confidence and “empowerment” but I think it’s the opposite way round.

        Billie Eilish get’s held up by the “body positivity” movement for swapping her baggy clothes for lingerie but if she were showing her body with hairy legs and no makeup I doubt she’d get the same response, I think hyper femininity is often a sign of insecurity rather than not.

        Like how hypersexuality is often a sign of sexual trauma not just aversion.

  20. riley :(( women like blaire piss me off. i have a sister who insults me constantly because i dont ‘conform’ but my TIF sister can dress ‘like a boy’ all she wants and thats fine.

    GNC women have to either trans themselves or conform hard to be accepted. hate it so much. seeing even a fictional character in this much pain is so sad.

  21. I can’t do this anymore

    1. So proud of you to have limits and to stand by them. You really do deserve better! I know it’s painful your wife wasn’t the person you thought she was, but good for you!

      Good luck with the divorce proceedings.

      (ya made me laugh hahaha)

    2. So sorry for your loss, breastie ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™ (hope you got Riley in the divorce)

      1. Wait are you implying that…. Riley is Blaire’s property!
        can’t believe Terfs are really trying to propose slavery…

  22. Oh godsโ€ฆ this hits hard as a woman who has never enjoyed femininity. I hate dresses and make up, but I especially hate the expectations (be small, be dainty, be quiet and accommodating, stop being so loud). All my life Iโ€™ve been fighting people like these, both online and irl. Blaire sounds like my mom, but also like so many women who call themselves โ€œfeministsโ€ yet canโ€™t tolerate other women deviating from the femininity hive mind.

  23. I used to think they were a cute couple (despite Blaire’s beliefs) but omg Riley should seriously break up with her, this part is so sad to read.

    1. Riley x Being Single otp

  24. blaire stop being lesbophobic, pickme-ish and a handmaiden

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