It’s amazing how much can change in little more than one year. When I first wrote “Please Don’t Call My Drink ‘Girly,’” thirteen or fourteen months ago, I was in a very different mental place in terms of security in my own gender presentation and my preferences in alcoholic drinks. I am now definitely more comfortable with my drink preferences and more sure in the knowledge that what I drink doesn’t change who I am.
For one, I’m learning to enjoy drinks that aren’t so exceedingly fruity and sweet. I don’t actually need to mask the alcohol anymore (certainly a sign of rising maturity, right?). My current drinks of choice are either Jack Daniels on the rocks or a gin and tonic, which is vastly different from where I was a year ago.
At the same time, I’m ordering different drinks because my tastes have changed, not because I’m not comfortable ordering fruity drinks. I posted in February about how I’m getting over my fear of being seen as girly for ordering a fruity drink. I was with a male-identified friend in the Twin Cities a bit ago, and he ordered a Cosmo; clearly, I’m not the only one who likes fruity drinks (I ordered Jack Daniels because I was feeling sentimental, but that’s another story).
It helps that I don’t only have models of somewhat stereotypical masculinity in my life anymore (military academy boys, for example, and guys in the media). Since Chicago, my whole concept of masculinity (and trans-ness) has been much less tied to the idea of an absence of traditional femininity, which extends to drink choice. Even after moving away from Chicago, I’ve been able to hold onto my new-found self-assurance.
It also helps, as I’ve mentioned previously, to have people in my life who won’t judge me (intentionally or not) for what I choose to drink. Not only that, I have people who explicitly remind me that what I drink doesn’t reflect my gender, and it more importantly, it doesn’t make me less trans. At the same time, because I’m more comfortable with who I am, I’m less sensitive about how people might read my drink choices.
For so many reasons — because of the combination of experiences I’ve had over the past year — I’m simply more confident in everything relating to my gender and how I express it. It’s been a very good year. A toast to the past year and to the one ahead — a Cosmo, a glass of whiskey, or something else entirely.