|Photo Courtesy Nickolas Horn|
With all due respects to Jim Croce who wrote the song "Time in a Bottle", I decided to title this post by the same name.
The bottle I am referring to is the alcoholic one. I grew up in a home where my Dad used alcohol regularly so it wasn't much of a surprise when I became of age I started to drink alcohol also. Along the way, I developed the habit of being able to hold my liquor well. If my friends and I could somehow get around the age limits to buy it. As with any other potential vices, we found ways to do it.
By the time I got to college I was well versed in drinking with everyone else. Even if I was still underage due to Ohio's liquor laws. I guess you could say I was ahead of the curve when it came to alcohol.
Then came the military. Of course my time in basic training took me away from any drinking activities as did my time in Thailand. Due to the lack of drinkable beer. But then came the exact opposite when I was sent to Germany who really take pride in their quality beer and wines. Very quickly I acquired a taste for our locally produced beer and a few wines.
Fast forward to what any of this had to do with being transgender. As most of you probably know, alcohol often brings out the best or the worst in a person. People often become braver in many areas of their lives. Ultimately liquor enabled me the courage to first come out as a transvestite to my friends after a Halloween party. Which could have gotten me into any number of problems in the pre "Don't ask-Don't tell" era of the military. Here I was coming out in plain view to a few of my friends and risking a less than honorable discharge. All because of alcoholic infused bravery.
All of this turned out to be just the beginning. I tried to come out to my Mom after a night of drinking and was soundly rejected. But I kept trying.
When I first started to try out the world as a feminine person, the bottle proved to play a major role in the process. When I gathered the courage to stop for lunch, I would always order a beer to steady my nerves and later give me the courage to try out new and exciting venues. Of course the further I went, the further I wanted to go.
As I went further and further into the feminine world, I chose large sports venues and small lesbian bars as my favorite places to go. It was very difficult for me to conquer the fear of rejection I was feeling and my use of alcohol helped me. Even though it was only beer I was drinking, I was emboldened to continue. After a period of time, it was difficult for me to separate my desire to become a transgender woman with my desire to drink.
Finally I came to the point I didn't need it. About that time I had a scare concerning my liver so anymore recreational drinking was over. Without hesitation, my time in a bottle was over. Plus, I didn't need to find the courage to live the way I had always dreamed of, as a woman. I had arrived and now my alcoholic consumption is approximately two beers a month.