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This Beach

Revisiting the same beach brings back memories of a different time…

By Comics


Panel One: Two feet stand in the sand, waves only a few feet away. Narration shares, “Five years ago was the last time I visited this beach.”

Panel Two: Narration continues, “I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference from now and then.” Below the word “now” is the narrator at present. Below the word “then” is an illustration of them five years earlier.

Panel Three: Narration shares, “Then, I was 16 and distraught over a fact I felt like I had to keep hidden….” A pink word balloon cuts through the page, asking 16 year old narrator, “How does the swimsuit look dear?” The narrator looks confused, hands wrapped around their body, wearing a feminine two piece swimsuit. The narration concludes, “I wasn’t a girl.”

Panel Four: Narration shares, “The beach only highlighted this. I had cut my hair shorter than ever before, when I wasn’t in the water, I wore large shirts to hide new curves. Still, I felt unseen.”

Panel Five: “That trip was one of the most dysphoric times of my life… and now I’m back on the same beach.”

Panel Six: “It’s weird, but being here doesn’t feel so terrible now.”

Panel Seven: “I’m still genderqueer. But even when I’m not seen, I know who I am.”

Panel Eight: “It doesn’t mean there aren’t times of pain… but I know that they’ll wash away.”

Panel Nine: “I want to tell 16 year old me: There’s a whole ocean out there. Even when it’s bad, this will pass.”

Teddie Bernard (BFA 2023) is a multimedia artist and cartoonist who has never had a Pepsi. Find more of their work at
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