A few days ago we had the perfect summer evening here in my part of the UK. Warm air, just a bit of cloud and a spectacular sunset. I spent it in the garden of a local pub, looking out over a river and a patchwork of flood meadows.
My tipple of choice? Weston's Country Perry, a dangerously quaffable still perry (For the uninitiated, perry refers to cider made with pears instead of apples). At the end of the evening I had a clear head, but the perry had definitely gone to my legs and I was ready for bed.
I don't think I'm alone in finding a drink helpful in dealing with the aftermath of a bad day. It's a worry that I could make a habit of cracking open a beer or cider when I come home form work. Just the one would turn into a couple, and before I'd know it I'd be getting through a crate of bottles in a week. It's not a coincidence that I know more than one person in this sphere with a drink problem. One or two of my acquaintance have in my view allowed it to wreck their lives.
My medication bears the warning that alcohol is best avoided while taking it. Since I prefer to sleep I think that's the factor that has saved me from getting into the drinking habit. But like so many demons that lurk below the surface of the gender dysphoric, I know that one could make itself felt.
It might seem odd therefore, that I make cider in near-industrial quantities. But I have made cider for many years without over-imbibing and the cider-making rather than the cider
is an escape from some of my troubles. Or an argument could be made that my cider is so dangerously unpalatable that one could never drink enough at a sitting to risk one's health, I dunno.
But it's a serious issue. I suspect I have this in common with many other gender dysphoric people, a lifetime of this has left the GD as just one of several problems. I know more than one post-transition girl who's realised that all they've been through hasn't cured their depression, and if that happens to me I don't want to find myself using the bottle as a crutch. Because at the end of an annoying week in which the noisy girl and a lot of high-powered work meetings have left me worn out I know that the world as seen through the green glass of a cider bottle could look mighty attractive.
And I don't need to be told that tomorrow morning or indeed any morning thereafter, that wouldn't solve anything.