Recently I posted here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning eating as a transgender woman and/or cross dresser. As far as I am concerned it is one of the true nuances of crossing the gender frontier. In other words don’t sit there and shovel in your food like guys are known to do. I grew up in a small household of my brother, myself and two parents. Eating was very much a competitive sport between my brother. my Dad and I. We had a “Lazy Susan” in the middle of the dining room table. If you are not familiar, a Lazy Susan is a device to put bowls of food on and it turns past each person at the table. At our house, once it went past you, it was probably never coming back with food on it again. If you didn’t get your share, you were just out of luck. You see, that is my problem with eating to this day. It is not a competitive sport.
To take a look at a whole other way to eat, let’s check in with Connie:
“As far as I know, proper table etiquette does not discriminate between genders. The same rules apply to both men and women (or, I should say, “gentlemen and ladies”). Women may, generally, find adhering to the rules more natural than do men, but a slob can be of either gender (or anybody, at any place along the gender spectrum).
My mother was a stickler for manners, and my brother and I followed proper table etiquette out of fear of condemnation. My father grew up in a military school, and taught my brother and me how to eat “square” when we were very young (fork, level and straight up from plate to mouth-level, then turned toward mouth at 90 degrees, then repeated in reverse to take the fork back to the plate). At least my father stopped short of having us have to eat that way in unison, but we didn’t dare ever take another bite until we had swallowed the previous one. I remember the trauma I experienced on my first day of school, when all of the other kids had gone out to the playground after lunch, and I was still in the lunchroom when the bell rang. A teacher had to console me, as I sat there crying. I was so afraid that I could not follow the school rules if I also ate the way I had been taught at home. The other cardinal rule, in those days, was that one eat everything on their plate, and that was what made for my dilemma. I just couldn’t do it all!
Anyway, we learn to adapt. I’m not referring only to eating here, as this applies to anyone who is living, and trying to navigate, a transgender existence. Societal rules on gender-shifting may have become more relaxed in recent years, but, let’s face it, being an out-trans woman is still seen as breaking a big rule by many people. We can adapt and mitigate through our behavior, though, and proper etiquette can only help to do that. I know that my world became so much better when I stopped being fearful of being seen as “a man in a dress,” and began being seen as a good and polite person who just happens to be a trans woman. It’s all I can do, even if I can’t do it all.
BTW, a good way to practice more-elegant eating is to switch hands. If you’re right-handed, hold the fork in your left hand. You’ll find yourself being much more mindful of how you’re eating, as well as slowing down the process to a less-slovenly level (and, yes, use that fork to eat a pulled pork sandwich!). ;-)”
Thanks for the idea but I am so clumsy, I would be guaranteed to toss food everywhere if I switched hands!