1449 Unconditional.

No one has ever really brought it up, but Brooksie is an odd person to be on her own. She has nearly crippling social anxiety, and anxiety in general. Although she has improved over time, you can put that up to having a good support structure now. One might think, however, that it’s odd that she doesn’t live with her family still. Especially since her father died young. You’d think that she’d be closer with her mother… Except she’s not.
When I wrote this I suddenly empathized in a way with lgbt people I hadn’t before. You hear stories of people getting disowned but it didn’t really click in my head. The idea of disowning someone over something as ridiculous as sexuality is so alien to me it never felt real, if you follow me. Actually having Jo imply that things between her and her mother were strained made me feel it. For someone like her the betrayal and abandonment must be incredibly painful. Feeling safe is a big part of helping control anxiety. Losing the support of your only parent… that’s cruel.
Jo is tougher than even she knows though, and you can build a family out of whoever loves you.


Just wanted to say ‘Great Job’ with the current story line, Jackie. Love all the character development and the great big “It’s about time!” we all had so far. Hope you’re feeling better physically. Take care, Bud.

Today’s comic is another example of why I love Between Failures. You write your characters well and I’m invested in them. I even like Reggie. (Well, not unconditionally.)

“I’ve got family that ain’t blood and blood that ain’t family.”

“For the bonds formed in blood are thicker than the water of the womb.”

Different meaning for “blood” (I believe it refers to being in battle) but that’s the full quote.

fuck, now I have the feels of a lifetime. I too am lgbt but I always had a supportive family- I also kinda rooted for jo being a lesbian cause shes the type of person Id date! but not like this, now I feel so many feels, and I cant actually comfort her. Thank heavens for tall lady Nina!

Nicely done Jackie. And you’re right, Brooksie is an odd person to be living alone, but circumstances happen (they’re another word I can use in place of circumstances, but I try not to swear when I’m not horribly mad.) I’ve never understood the act of disowning someone for something like sexuality. I say this despite the fact that I am, in fact a Conservative Christian and disapprove of the LGBT lifestyle. I believe that one of God’s greatest gift to us was the gift of free will, the ability to make our own choices, so I will respect another person’s choice because I know that not all people are the same.

But sexuality is just one part of a person personality, I would never judge someone based entirely upon what kind of shoes they were, or whether they write with their left hand or right hand to (In fact I try not to judge people at all). I feel that people who would disown someone based on a choice like this have lost touch with what I think is real Christianity (or religion in general)(Provided, of course, that Brooksie’s mom is a Christian or other type of religion follower, or had other reasons for it), like Christ said about the Pharisees.

Well, that’s my thoughts on the matter.

I am pretty much in agreement with you. I believe that pursuing sex outside of the husband/wife-man/woman relationship will ultimately be a source of unhappiness to them, but I also recognize that it is only one of many, many aspects of who people are, and that if I wish to claim the right to my beliefs, I must allow others the same right without condemning them for their beliefs. In my OPINION, sexual orientation is much more complex than most people gay/straight/other are willing to acknowledge. I know some wonderful people who fall into the LGBT category. I would never quit being their friend on that basis any more than I would quit being their friend because we disagreed over politics. It breaks my heart to see people being hated and persecuted for being LGBT. None of us is perfect, but we should always try to be the best people we can be, encourage others to do the same, but cut each other a lot of slack. I rather like the beatitude that says “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” I need a lot of mercy for my faults.

niether of you understand morals or the lgbt.you cannot disagree with their “lifestyle”
what do you mean lifestyle? sex? relationships? making a family? whats to disagree with? I can disagree over whether an economic or moral action is needed here, but I cant disagree with your freckles. or your stutter,lisp, or love of sci-fi. those are your traits, I have no place in them. and niether do you.

get better religions if you cant even follow it why bother to claim it?

Perhaps Lifestyle is the wrong word. Perhaps simply saying “I don’t approve of Homosexuality” would be more accurate.

you dont get to approve of it or disapprove of it. homosexuality is a trait, not an action.
To say you disapprove would contextualize it as an action instead. thats called a thought crime, and its an immoral and dangerous line of philosophy.

Well said.

I had hoped to have a discussion on free will and choice here, and how we as people aren’t ever going to completely agree with each other’s choices and lifestyles. But that doesn’t make us monsters.

But I don’t think that’s going to happen. You and I will never convince the other that they are right or wrong, Rose. So I suggest we end this whole “debate” now. I don’t approve/agree/whatever with the trait called Homosexuality, my reasons are religious based. But I don’t hate people who are LGBT, and try not to be hateful towards them. That’s all I have to say. I know it sounds like I’m trying to defend myself, and maybe I am. I’m sorry I posted this on this website now, I promise to stick to non-political/Lifestyle postings in the future.

you should be sorry your religious beliefs are so bad. how can one say they disagree but not act on those moral objections?
Lets compare to something Actually immoral like theft. would you do the same for a thief?
Would you say you disagree with their lifestyle, but not stop them from taking peoples things?
would you say you dont hate them even after they ransack your home?
thats why its so alien to me, morals are in a certain room of concepts that seeks to improve life by understanding why actions can be a problem. when someone steals that distrust it causes can get in your head and make you make more conservative decisions, you may not buy as much that month to recover, it shatters your social ability for awhile as well as youll be more reluctant to let people in your home. multiply this psychological effect to anyone effected and whoever they might tell. Use the example of an even greater crimelike Rape then you expand it to anyone whose Heard about it and you add to the time tables for recovery.

there is no such effect to homosexuality. instead its replaced by the rumor mill effect, just being somewhere will cause minor maybe bigoted talks. nothing more or less. theyre trust in you was previously designated based solely on their prejudices. no action has to be done.
this is why you literally cannot dissaprove of it, and then turn around and say but you dont hate them. those statements are contradictory.

in my expirience thinking and learning is ultimately required for moral processes. even if youre religious- youll eventually have to edit that religion to fit morality, which is real. and is a concept of the highest importance to get correct.
Youre already accomplishing this by not throwing stones to kill sinners, or to ignore the bibles other more obvious moral failings like gods willfulness to wipe the planet clean to fix us, a creature he purposely made ignorant. what about slavery- the bible tells you all the rules about how to properly own slaves- never once tells you people are not things to be bought and sold. If I were you- Id drop the bronze age philosophy, and reinvent your religion with a new book, but that would be too sensible.

Okay. This is over. He bowed out gracefully and doesn’t want to fight. That’s the best outcome we’re going to get. Everyone got to say their piece.

I just want to take a minute to point out how much your attention to detail has improved over the years. I don’t care what some people say about your art style, Jackie, but know that you have a loyal fanbase (myself included) that think it is excellent. It is detailed in all the subtle ways that make your characters life-like, but still hase a classic comic style.

Never stop drawing, Jackie. We can’t get enough of it.

I want to add that your art is nothing without your writing.

I may be in the minority, but I would rather see great writing with lesser art, than great art with lesser writing.

To me, it’s all about the story.

Just remember; if you love someone, it doesn’t mean you have to approve of everything they do or how they live their lives.
The flip side being that you should try to respect their choices you disagree with.

Obvious exceptions being murder, rape, and pedophilia.

Sadly not so obvious exceptions are; racism, sexism, ablism, and deliberately dicking over an entire socioeconomic segment (or two) just to increase your wealth/power.

I read through all 1449 pages in a few days and have lost many hours of sleep this week due to my voracious appetite for a story so relatable I’ve felt like I’ve met some of these characters in the recesses of my subconscious.
I regret nothing.
It has truly been a while since I’ve felt things from anything, and even longer since I’ve been able to entirely immerse myself in a story.

Thank you for creating such a wonderful work of art.

I am in exponentially love with these characters.

(Is it just me, or has Jo’s hair been toned down from “livid vivid” blue to something akin to a more realistic shade? Y’know- as realistic as blue hair gets.)

Just read through the rest of the comments. Yeesh!

We’ve read from both the “it’s a choice” and the “born this way” camps, so I’d like to posit the third option; “it’s FAR more complicated than that” aka “the skilltree of sexuality”.

Humans (especially us men) have a rather bad habit of over-simplifying things and human sexuality is definitely one of them. Basically, human sexuality (including orientation, turn-ons, turn-offs, type-preference, and kinks) is ultimately the result of a long process of conscious and subconscious decisions (mostly the latter). For some, the process is shorter than others and the whole thing kicks off shortly before puberty.

The analogy I like to use to explain this is that of a skill tree in an RPG (particularly The Elder Scrolls). One’s starting conditions (region, socio-economic status, family life, etc) ultimately determine what choices we start off with. And the decisions from their branch out to other choices and so on and so forth. Many branches intersect, some never come come into contact with each other. And, most importantly, some choices lead back to previously made choice sets. (This whole thing would be easier to explain with an example chart).

That’s why there’s more than just a spectrum of straight-bi-gay, which is all that the of the “born this way” camp’s explanation can account for. And while the “it’s a choice” camp’s explanation explains why we’ve got asexuals, pansexuals (if acknowledged), it doesn’t really account for the highly gradient nature of each.

Forgot to mention that multiple choice points can lead to the same choice point.

How on earth does the “it’s a choice” camp explain asexuality? Asexuality is not the same thing at all as /choosing/ to be celibate. Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction, and is not something you choose at all. Many, many asexual people spend years feeling “broken” or “wrong” because they don’t understand why they view people and sex differently. It is there, regardless of whether they know that asexuality is a “thing” or not. Asexuality is very much not a choice.

However, someone, for religious or personal reasons can choose to be celibate, but like I said, that’s a completely different thing.

I am re-reading the whole archive in honor of the comic’s anniversary. And this time through, I put it together: Jo’s father died when she was 12 (she said that was when she started smoking), so she only had her mother left. That means that her mom’s rejection (not spelled out but strongly implied on this page) was an even bigger event than I even realized the first time I saw this comic.

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