Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where is the trans restroom?

I don't remember the first time that I was out dressed as a woman and had to use the restroom.  I really don't; which is interesting because it is a little uncomfortable for me and I would think that is something that I would remember, but I don't.  After years now of going out dressed as a woman, I'm a little more used to it, but it is still something of a concern for me as I often feel as though I am behind enemy lines.  I often feel as though I am  someplace that I do not belong and soon enough someone is going to spot me and call me out.  Honestly I often feel that way even when I am not in the women's restroom but it is especially acute when I am.  I feel uncomfortable enough about the situation that if there happens to be a line for the restroom I don't think I have ever waited in it.  I will hold it until I can find a more secluded place to go.  Now don't get me wrong, if I'm about to pee myself, I will use whatever restroom I can find.  I have even thought about just using the men's room if I really need to go and feel so uncomfortable about the ladies room, though I never have.

I do feel more comfortable now using the women's restroom than I ever have and honestly that is simply do to doing what I do, face my fears.  Trust me folks I was terrified before I ever set foot into a women's restroom, but I did it anyways.  I have certainly thought that while women have tolerated me while on the street, or shopping, or at the movie theater, or while eating dinner, women would never tolerate a man being in the women's room while they were going to the bathroom.  But honestly so far people have done exactly what they have always done with me, they have worked hard to avoid any potential conflict and nobody has ever said anything and I have been using the women's room now for about 5 years, at least.

Here is my advice about how to go about using the women's restroom.  Get in, do your business, and get out.  You don't need to doddle, to hang out, to look out of place.  It's fine to wait to in line, though I never have, it's fine to go to the bathroom, but please sit down like everyone else does in that room, wipe the seat if you dribble all over it, flush the toilet like a polite person should, arrange your clothes properly, don't forget your purse, which should have been hung on the door and not set on the floor, open the door, go wash your hands, check your hair and makeup, and then leave.

My main piece of advice for any of you is to act like a woman.  Mainly that means, do your thing without being concerned about others.  Most women do not look at people the same way that men will.  Women will look at other human beings quite a bit, but in general they will not let you see them looking at you.  To me, a born and raised male, this just feels odd.  It feels as though I am acting like a stuck up snob.  But at the same time it is kind of a freeing attitude which goes like this - "I am going to do what I need to do and I'm not going to worry about what you think about it."

Okay?  So that is my personal advice and history and thoughts about using the restroom.  Now while looking through the web for a graphic I spotted all sorts of things about trans people using restrooms like the following:

The Best Little Trans Bathroom Controversy In Texas


Here are my final thoughts on this topic for today:  We need to stand up for ourselves and not be afraid of what others will say or do to us because of who we are.  It's such a sad thing that having to go to the bathroom results in all of this discrimination.

Fear is a powerful thing.

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