In the first half of my 20s, I spent a lot of time thinking about my personal gender expression and how I wanted to present myself outwardly to reflect the person I was in thought and in deed. (I swear this is about food. Just give me a minute.) At some point in the last year, my gender expression resolved itself. I developed a fashion style I liked. I realized that super short hair with a poofy skirt with pockets is just as good as with skinny jeans, and also that I shouldn’t reject the “feminine” styles and give into the cult of masculine = good, feminine [sissy] = bad. Provided that the skirts have pockets and the shoes are comfortable, anyhow.
Mushroom wrap at Cock & Bull, Cincinnati
My later 20s have been rife with a growing sense of discomfort about my food habits, particularly the consumption of meat. Growing up in the Midwest, I was used to meat as the center of the meal and veggies as less-worthy side dishes. At university, I drastically cut down my meat consumption, rarely eating red meat (dining hall…) and eating poultry once a day or so. At language school, I was presented with amazing vegetarian options. Then I moved to Japan, where meat, particularly chicken, is more expensive. I disliked the fatty cuts of meat at restaurants–not fine marbled beef, mind you, but just badly cut meats with fat left on. Sans my oven and a supply of lean cuts at the rural grocery store, I was even less inclined to have meat for dinner, though I longed for burritos and hamburgers.