I like fruity drinks. No, seriously, I really, really do. Sure, I’ll drink a beer, or a glass of a decent wine, or a vodka tonic , or a Jack and coke, or something like that — and it’ll be good and fine and whatever. But if I can pick whatever I want, it’ll almost inevitably be something fruity. Fruit-flavored vodkas, fruit liqueurs, fruit juices, actual bits of fresh fruit — you name it, if it’s something fruity, I’ll probably want to order it.
And mostly, that’s fine. I know what I like; that’s a good thing, right? The only problem is that fruity drinks are almost inevitably read as “girly” drinks. And that is incredibly unfortunate (and unfair!). I order a Cosmo, and people comment on what a girl I am, or how girly my drinks is. And so (because I’m really not a girl, and I’d really rather not be called one . . . unless it’s in a really specific, still trans affirming kind of way), I’ve largely stopped ordering fruity drinks.
It made me sad — why order a $5 vodka/tonic when I can make it at home for so much cheaper (or spend $7 for it to be Absolut and tonic? At that price, I’d be better off making martinis at home using Grey Goose, and it’d still be cheaper — in a big picture sort of way, of course). If I’m going to spend the money, I might as well get something I really want — and something I can’t make at home. Like the French Martini at Clarke’s — vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice. I have neither pineapple juice, nor Chambord at home, and I know it’ll be sweet and delicious and perfect. Awesome.
So, I was out with some people tonight, and I decided to hell with it and ordered my fruity drink. And it arrived at the table looking especially pink. I was embarrassed, but the guys I was with were completely fabulous and affirming and not at all “You have a pink, fruity drink; you are such a girl.” I knew I liked them for a reason (I mean, a lot of reasons, but this is totally one of them).
And so, I’m working on getting over my fear of being called girly for ordering a fruity drink. Other people’s gender issues shouldn’t inhibit me from drinking what I want to drink. Would it be nice to have a Jack Daniels and blend in a bit? Yes (except that I tried some at Cuba Libre during Senior Week, and it wasn’t exactly my favorite). But I’m learning to be okay with myself and who I am. I’m learning to not define ‘trans’ as ‘not girly’ (because, really, my trans identity should be whatever I want to make of it).
And the fact that I have amazing people in my life who will support me in even things as small as what I like to drink — people who accept me at my word and don’t hold me to some external standard of what it means to be trans — is beyond fantastic. Despite all of the things I could’ve done better about moving to Chicago, coming to Chicago has been one of the best experiences I’ve yet had.