Be Fruitful

| Mar 15, 2021
Spread the love

Early spring greetings to TGForum readers! The snow is clearing, the days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and the trees and shrubs are budding — unmistakable signs of a long-awaited spring. For those of us who love to garden and landscape, it’s finally time to prepare and assemble this year’s annuals, perennials, and assorted supplies and accessories. (And to schedule pre-emptive allergist and pharmacist visits!)

I’ve been an avid amateur gardener for many decades, and have come to enjoy the process of grooming a garden plot throughout the year. Designing a landscape, selecting the right plants, and nurturing them to maturity is not only challenging, but a fun and creative way to express something beautiful to the world. There are many steps to this process, and it requires plenty of patience, combined with an awareness and acceptance of how little control one ultimately has over nature.

Beginning in late winter and early spring, it’s necessary to prepare the grounds. Clear away the previous year’s dead plants, fertilize the soil, mulch for weed control, buy your new garden stock, and watch for the reappearance of your perennials. (If you have Lenten roses, you can enjoy their blooms before the snow has finished melting!) Fresh buds become visible on the trees–think of those glorious magnolia and cherry blossoms—and spring bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinths begin to poke up from the ground and greet the season.

As spring progresses, so does the green growth, both in height and in foliage. The initial results can be very impressive; the flowers come next. When these gorgeous and fragrant blooms appear, they draw in the pollinating male bees, butterflies, and beautifully plumed birds, those lucky fellows. (Interesting how only in the human species do the females enjoy the pretty, decorative style distinctions!)

After pollination has occurred, the produce will start to grow—ultimately yielding a wonderful assortment of nutritious fruit, vegetables, nuts and herbs. (These must ripen to maturity, in order to be edible and bear viable seeds from which the next generation of plants will come.) Harvesting, consuming and sharing the results of one’s own garden—genuine, unprocessed, locally flavored—never fails to be a satisfying experience.

With some reflection, it can be seen that people have much in common with plants. Regardless of prevailing elements and local culture, life will still be what life is. The right climate is obviously important, and roots can only draw from the nutrients that are present. Care given and received also matters just as much, if not more.

And unless there is a true need to keep plants sheltered in a greenhouse with limited growth space, they must eventually be naturalized–even at the risk of exposure to pests and unpredictable conditions.

We are all wired for fruitfulness. Humans have more features and skills than plants, so there are many options at our disposal. And we also have choices as to the kind of fruit we can produce, which is both an awesome privilege and a great responsibility. None of us should wish to be a bearer of toxic, inedible fruit–let alone be a hardy but noxious weed, casting allergenic pollen grains into the air we all breathe. (And let’s not even get into poison ivy!)

For my part, I have been steadily acclimating myself into the general landscape–a proverbial lily of the field, confident that the bees will ultimately find me. I have found that, with patience, I can be productive and nurturing in this way.

Last year I became the first openly transgender employee at my company, where I have worked for over fifteen years. There may be extra eyes on me as a result–especially since my professional role comes with above average visibility–but that’s what I voluntarily signed up for, and at any rate I was already accustomed to that in life.

More importantly, though, I have preserved my reputation as a reliable person, talented contributor, and honorable colleague, known for her professionalism and accountability. Several of my colleagues have made it quite clear that, although they liked me well enough before, they enjoy working with me even more now. (One has even very charitably told me that I have gone “from drab to fab”.) And during off-time, some informal outreach has been possible. So it seems that we have all supported each other!

At my church, where I have been a member since the 1990s, I believe I am the sole transgender parishioner. (You know, we do have an unofficial patron saint!) When I first came out as such in 2014, I expressed an interest in joining our ladies group, which coordinates the social activities and fundraisers. I was immediately welcomed, and after becoming familiar with the members and functions, I volunteered to prepare and maintain our event promotional materials (print and online), a role which did not then have a dedicated resource.

Thankfully, my skills and experience proved to be well suited to the task; it has helped make our events more visible, well-attended and enjoyed by everyone. I also now coordinate the floral display inside the church, helping to create a beautiful worship environment. Parishioners, visitors and staff have personally expressed their appreciation to me for these efforts.

Easter flowers!

The staff at my salon has known me since my initial appointment in 2004 for a makeup lesson; most likely, I was among their first openly non-binary clients. Over the years, they have watched me progress and flourish into (I hope) an attractive, considerate and confident lady. During my appointments–which now include hair, skin and nails–my stylists and I freely discuss fashion, family, dating, lifestyle and much more.

My feminine deportment and manner have been favorably noticed, and I seem to be completely accepted there as one of the girls. They all anticipate my visits just as much as I look forward to being with them. Obviously, there is business at stake; even so, the courtesy, care and kindness I receive (and hopefully reciprocate) goes above and beyond such considerations.

I have repeatedly demonstrated my loyalty to all these places, particularly throughout this chaotic past year. Everywhere I am perceived as a helpful, supportive person, who simply happens to be transgender. Hopefully I am setting a high personal standard, and making it easier for the next such individual that follows in my footsteps. Maybe some personal opinions will be (or have been) changed as a result.

I am doing my best to be a plant worth cultivating and nourishing. Occasional pruning I have received over the years has contributed to more focused growth and increased productivity on my part. Whether I am sought after for flowers, fruit, seeds, or maybe even healing properties, my roots are deep–and I make every effort not to exhaust the soil, or choke out the neighboring plants in the garden. No one has been inclined to weed me out.

So ladies, as we live our lives, we should not be content with simply displaying our foliage. Let us strive to be fruitful! Whether we find ourselves in a cooler or warmer climate, there is always time and space for growth. Make it a point to thrive, blossom, and bear fresh and ripe fruit for public nourishment!

Like to make a comment? Login here and use the comment area below.

  • Yum

Spread the love

Tags: , ,

Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I am a project management professional in the greater Philadelphia area. I enjoy travel, domestic arts, reading and gardening. I am an active member of several ladies groups. I am a fan of 1970s & 80s hard rock, do not own a cell phone, and still have my high school football varsity letterman's jacket in my closet.

Comments are closed.