Sunday, January 8, 2023

Selling Transgender Lemonade

Image from Earnest Porzi on
Unslpash

You have probably have heard of the saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". Many times it seems we transgender women and trans men have had more than our fair share of lemons. A frequent example I use is when during my earliest days of life I woke up in the morning wondering if I was still a boy and why did I have to be. Similar to so many of you , I wasn't given any other choice but to try to carve out an existence in a gender I didn't feel comfortable in. Be-grudgingly I took the gender lemons I was dealt and learned the hard way how to make lemonade. 

The hard way, I learned to exist. I learned to play sports to keep the bullies away and add to my masculine act. I acquired and tried to work on a few muscle cars such as the now classic Pontiac GTO. I did my best also to date a few girls who I had more of a secret interest in being them rather than having any sexual interest, Even with that, I managed to perform well enough as a man to father my daughter later in life. As was to be proven later, she was the ultimate in making a tasty drink from the lemons I was given.

All in all, I can not stress enough how difficult we trans folk lives can be. Crossing the gender frontier can be brutal as we chance losing our lives as we knew them. Family and friends can and do reject us as our new authentic selves and we can even lose our jobs and livelihoods. It is all a very difficult journey which can lead to a very sour drink or lemonade. 

It is also very easy to feel so sorry for ourselves to even give up on life or even de-transition our gender. Lemons can be brutal to deal with, especially for those who weren't so called 'naturals" in the transition process. Testosterone poisoning is very difficult to overcome. Both externally and internally. It is tough to finally align our internal gender to match our external selves which the world sees. In my case it took doses of feminine hormone replacement therapy to finally help me to present more authentically as a woman in the world. As my skin softened, my hair and breasts grew, it became easier to have the confidence to go forth in the world. My number of lemons grew as I entered the never-never land of gender androgyny. My second puberty as I entered my version of womanhood even involved the uneasy introduction of sore breasts, hot flashes and even hips. 

In many ways, we transgender women and trans men even are able to sell the lemonade they have created. Unless you have transitioned very well and were blessed with a small body, at some point in time you most likely will be in the position to be the first trans person another person has ever encountered. It's a difficult position when you are seemingly clearing the way for another person similar to you gender wise who will come after you. You could say if your lemonade was good, the public will have a tendency to have a favorable response to the transgender community as a whole.

The fact remains that fair or not we all have been given our fair share of lemons in life. It's up to all of us to sell a good and refreshing transgender lemonade. 

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