This trans artist turned his awkward moments into a painfully honest web comic.
"Man Time" is a comic about life as a trans man, by a trans man, and it's awesome.
After noodling on a few ideas for a web comic about coming out and living as a trans man, Sam, a 26-year-old designer and artist from New Jersey decided to bring a few to life. Sam himself came out as a transgender man about seven years ago.
"I had a few funny ideas one day and figured I should at least give it a try and see if anyone liked them," Sam writes in an e-mail interview.
Spoiler alert: They did.
All comics by Sam for "Man Time," used with permission.
The cartoons are comic relief and a welcome break from what can be a very stressful transition.
"Our families or friends might not be supportive, we might be having trouble with the medical side of transitioning, and we hear rude jokes about trans people when we least expect it," Sam writes. "All of that takes a toll on you, and it’s easy to get depressed."
That's why Sam created "Man Time" — to laugh, commiserate, and connect with other people going through the exact same thing.
"I think that one of the most important things in life is to be able to laugh," he writes. "Sharing stories and laughing together is the best way to make friends and build a community."
Sam's community has grown considerably as "Man Time" has more than 10,000 followers on Tumblr. Not bad for its first nine months.
Laugh along and get some insight into the lives of a few trans men through Sam's characters in five more of his favorite pieces.
1. Coming out can be nerve-wracking, especially to friends and family.
2. Though sometimes, it seems like they knew all along.
3. Transitioning isn't something that happens overnight. There's often a new name and pronouns.
4. And sometimes new hormones too.
5. But each change, medical or not, takes serious courage.
While "Man Time" may focus on the experiences of trans men, everyone can appreciate its sincerity, heart, and humor.
Supporting, reading, listening to, and watching content by transgender creators is a good way to get a greater understanding of what it's like to be trans. It's also one of the many ways you can stand with trans and non-binary people during what's been a really scary and challenging time.
So as Sam suggests, take a minute to laugh. What better way to connect, build community, and celebrate our diversity and our common ground?
Note: Sam requested not to use his last name in this piece, and we obliged. We respect his privacy and thank him for sharing his work with us.