I wasn’t going to make a post like this. 

I quietly and gradually came out on social media, over the first half of 2022. As a binary trans guy who just wants to functionally disappear and live my life and is also pretty exhausted with the social effort of disclosing, over and over, exactly precisely how trans I am on dating apps, etc., I just wanted to let readers figure out where I was vs making another awkward, formal announcement. I figured it was easily assembled via my Twitter, my presence in the comments on here and on the Discord, and anyway it makes very little material difference to the comic, which is what people are here on this website for. 

But it’s getting harder to sit quietly with people seeing me in the comments, replying as who I am, and then responding to me or someone else with my old name. More importantly, in the current climate of unprecedented attacks on my rights in states all over the US, where I live, being stealth, being silent, is a privilege, even a luxury, a safety net not everyone like me has. My people are being effectively Othered by a narrative positioning us as child predators; the Arkansas Senate just passed a bill that would by its phrasing make me a felon if I use a public restroom with my own son who needs to go. So it feels important you know we’re not child groomers; we’re the dude who makes the comic you read with the magic horses and cowboys, who takes his kid to the dentist on a Wednesday morning and writes stilted coming out posts from the waiting room. We’re trans and we’re also regular ass people just existing out here. Half of you didn’t even notice I’ve been an out trans guy for an age at this point, that’s how regular my ass is. Now please stop calling me by my old name in the comments, and please resist, to the best of your individual ability, the rising tide of bullshit looking to strip me and people like me of some of our most basic rights in whatever state or country you call home. 

So hi. I’m EE “Ben” Mehlos. Don’t get it twisted. I hope we’re still friends and partners in storytelling, but if not, if you can’t hang with it, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out; you aren’t the first, you won’t be the last, and I will likely notice you’re gone about as hard as you noticed who’s been making Next Town Over. 💖


EDIT 3/21/23: Thank you all so much for the supportive comments! It has been far more positive than expected and I’m touched and a little relieved. I intended to reply to each but there are now so many I’m probably going to stop but please know that I read and appreciate every one.

I apologize for the semi-confrontational tone of the original post but I was fresh from scrolling the newsfeeds and anticipating comments more like the ones left by a singular, tenacious transphobe, which I shoveled fairly instantly into the trash. My existence is not a debate and I’m not paying for webhosting to platform stochastic terrorism, full stop. To that person: if you get around my IP blocking through accident or intent to leave more I’m just going to do it again bro; enjoy using your limited time on this earth writing shit for the dumpster I guess.