This is part of a series on tropes in webcomics with ace characters. To link or follow this series, please use the “ace webcomic tropes” tag on this blog.
When you see queer characters, would you rather see them encounter queer-related problems, or would you rather have a moment to forget about all those problems?
Many queer webcomics clearly follow the philosophy of escapism, and as a result you can find many very positive interactions with queer people. Like, unrealistically positive. It’s as if everyone involved is fully trained in queer etiquette, and well-practiced too. Everyone uses correct pronouns or quickly corrects themselves, nobody makes a federal issue out of any orientation, and people politely listen about anything they didn’t previously understand.
In other webcomics, it’s not so much about escapism as it is about providing positive models for interactions with queer people. You might have some especially rude or violent characters, and other characters who get everything right. It’s as if to say, “Those are the reactions I have to deal with, and these are the reactions I wish I got instead.”
As a result, interactions with queer people can be very black and white. Writers want to make it obvious which interactions are the good ones and which are the bad ones, and make sure the readers know it. Portraying more ambiguous interactions requires trusting the audience to be able to judge for themselves.
The Positive Queer Interaction is a general trope in queer webcomics, but sometimes applies to ace webcomics as well. It usually occurs during “coming out” scenes, or within relationships. Characters will politely listen to the Explanation, or do independent research. And of course, they always respect boundaries.
1. Would you rather see stories that deal with ace-related issues, or stories that help you “escape” from those issues?
2. How can stories strike a balance of being positive and happy, without downplaying real world issues?
3. What positive interactions do you wish for, in relation to asexuality? What interactions might other people think are positive, but which are negative for you?