This Thanksgiving, I was DETERMINED to make sweet potato pies. Armed with a glass of Riesling in one hand and my phone wedged between my neck and my shoulder (thanks Mom for leaving your recipe on voicemail….), I had somehow turned making pie into a Thanksgiving themed balancing act. By 4pm, everything within a 2-foot radius of the mixing bowl had become a victim of my endeavor.
You see, I've fallen in love with the peachfuzz that has managed to amass under my chin and over my lip. This love affair was sparked after an unfortunate incident involving curry remaining stuck to my face long after I had finished eating it. Until my unlucky run in with dinner that night, I was completely ignorant of anything growing on my face. Needless to say, I soon became the target of my friends' massive side eye (“How did you not know something was growing on your face?”) for the rest of the evening.
Because of this love (cue the Marvin Gaye y'all), I couldn't bring myself to utter the word shave. So, I made the decision to choose the 300 little hairs on my face over Thanksgiving at home, and the would-be concerned faces of family members that I haven't come out to yet. To this very second, I have no regrets over my decision.
So this Thanksgiving, there were no 8AM church services, no slow singing gospel choirs, no smell of the heavily perfumed bodies of the older women in my family. Instead, there was Queersgiving; 5 good (Queer!) friends and my sweet potato covered self, stuffing our faces to a menu that I still can't wrap my head around. Though the scenery of Thanksgiving had changed for me, the menu was pretty close to what I'd eat at home: pineapple and brown sugar glazed ham, mac and cheese, stuffing, and kale were all present and accounted for. 3 sweet potato pies were the result of my destructive cooking. To top it off, 2 apple pies and a tray of delicious enchiladas had also made their way to my friends' kitchen table. By 10PM, I was knocked out.
What began as a week of uncertainty over my absence from an annual family gathering, ended in a Thanksgiving I probably won't stop talking about for quite some time. I didn't have to go home and spend my break creating excuses and justifications for my identity, something that should never have to be justified in the first place. I didn't have to create an excuse for my flattened chest, for the sudden change in the pitch of my voice, or for anything, really. I got the chance to celebrate turkey day the way it should be celebrated- doubled over laughing, stuffed, mildly tipsy from my culinary adventure, and surrounded by people that I care greatly about, and who've gone out of their way to express that they care just as much about me.
How I would deal with holidays was never a part of my deciding to transition. I assumed that the holidays would be an extremely unpleasant 24 hour period of CSI style interrogation and questioning about my life and my body. Thank goodness I have friends who have shown me that it doesn't have to be that way.