By George Daikon
The current hullabaloo over transgender people in the human community has amused and baffled the vegetable world, whose members — from peas and celery to squash and asparagus — have long understood transveggies as a normal part of nature.
“Why would I care that a neighbor of mine, born a potato, identifies as a yam?” asked Carol Jicama, an edible root who prefers the name tuber. “We watch the news together and can’t fathom why so many people get their undies in a bunch over the issue.”
Edward Green, a transveggie, was born a cabbage but early in life began to identify as bok choy, and now he places himself on the continuum between bok choy and brussels sprouts.
“I’m lucky to live among veggies,” said Green. “They don’t insult or condemn me for being a little different from many of them; on the contrary, they have the civility and self-assurance to acknowledge and accept differences in others.”
Such an attitude took root more than two thousand years ago.
“You’d have to go back to the time of cave veggies or the early Neolithic period to find any trace of discrimination based on vegetable identification,” said Dr. Helen Aduki, a tiny reddish-brown bean who teaches the history of legumes at Oxford University. “The primitive Garbanzo culture, from roughly 350 B.C. to 175 B.C., was and remains notorious for its crude depictions of transveggie beans on rock formations along the northwestern coast of South America. Fortunately, the culture was wiped out by an unlikely coalition of seafaring navy beans and black-eyed pea pirates in the second century B.C. Interestingly, a remnant of the Garbanzos later emerged in civilized form as the Chickpea Dynasty.”