Earlier this year we hosted a dinner party for some of my trans* friends. I won’t bore you all with all the details suffice to say we had a lovely evening and I believe our guests did too. The evening did however throw a few unexpected curve balls and I thought I would share some of these with you so that any other budding Delia Smiths (showing my age) or Come Dine with Me-ers can avoid some basic errors.
We are seasoned home entertainers. We have had dinner parties for family and friends and often cater for groups of between 16 and 24 people. We usually have a more or less equal mix of males and females and we have got used to accurately estimating the quantities of food required, avoiding wastage and ensuring everyone gets enough food.
Trans people tend to throw this knowledge out. Without generalising too much, I think it is safe to say that most male to female trans people (regardless of their femininity) are larger (not in a nasty way) than most genetic females. This means they tend to eat more than your average genetic female, biological fact: bigger organisms require more calories. When I think of my gurlfriends, I think of them as well, girls, females women. Not as men, former men or whatever. So we catered for them as women. Oops! We had a total of ten people at our party. Three of them were genetic females and seven were trans people. Our intuitive calculations were thus somewhat flawed.
I think we sort of had enough food for everyone, but there were no left overs, which could be read as a good sign or could be read as bad sign… Lesson learned: make more food!
We did give a lot of thought to the kind of food that would be appreciated and we deliberately tried to avoid overly fussy foods that may need dexterous fingers (some of us are less adapt at handling things with our fingers when we have longer nails than we may be used to on), we avoided sauces that could end up with smudged make up and sticky hair. So I think we avoided most pit falls in this regard. Of course we tried our best to accommodate dietary requirements as well.
Another body mass related issue was our table setting. We have a largish, rectangular, eight seater dining room table that experience has shown can comfortably accommodate ten people by putting two at each end, rather than the traditional, one. Here is the thing, again male to female trans people take up a little more space than genetic girls. Things were quite snug to say the least…
Apart from these little surprises I think we had a successful party that most people enjoyed (I suppose we will only know for sure if we invite them again). I hope that this short note will be of use to other entertainers. No great discoveries I am afraid, it is all very logical but it is easy to overlook and forget these little details.