This week, I'm giving you a few questions which share a common thread - those gender-segregated spaces which have become a lightning rod for legislatures all over the United States!
About 6 months into my transition, I had gone to a MLB game and was wearing a skirt. When I went to the bathroom, I used the men’s and was extremely uncomfortable with the men watching me in there. The next time I went to use a public restroom, I started to go in through the door, but when I glanced inside and saw a man washing his hands, I excused myself and went into the women’s. I’ve never looked back.
More often than not, transgender people avoid using any locker rooms, at least until they are feeling confident that they will not be challenged for using whichever locker room they do use.
Personally, I used the men’s locker room before I realized that I was a transgender woman, and once I realized this, I didn’t use any locker rooms – I’d seek to bypass them altogether if possible, but more often than not, just forgo exercise at a gym/fitness center for fear of other forms of harassment. More recently I’ve used the women’s locker room at my community’s fitness center, but it is a small enough community that I was the only person in the locker room. Were I to visit a larger facility, I would also (if forced to use one) use the women’s, as I am a woman.
Wondering if this is the time some macho toxically-masculine boyfriend is going to assault me for using the bathroom matching my gender.
And when people don’t clean up after themselves. But mostly worrying about being assaulted.
In a women’s bathroom with two sinks followed by four stalls in a row, which stall is most often used?
The one with working plumbing.
The one with a decent supply of toilet paper.
The one which is reasonably clean.
The one without something floating in the water.
That’s pretty much it, in the order of importance. Women don’t concern themselves with silly things like appearing to be interested in each other’s privates, like guys seem to do. A bathroom is a place to pee and poop, wash our hands, check our makeup and outfit, and get back to whatever we were doing before.
I am absolutely comfortable with unisex bathrooms. In fact, every bathroom in my house is unisex!
But really, everyone is in there to take care of business. Make sure the doors provide adequate privacy and there’s no problem.
It can actually solve problems! Dads can accompany their young daughters (young enough to not be alone, but old enough to take care of peeing and wiping themselves) into the restrooms. People with disabilities who need assistance and their helper happens to be of a different gender don’t have to navigate which restroom to use.
We live in modern times. Why are our notions about restrooms stuck in the past century?
Yes. I’m a woman, so I use the women’s restroom, fitting rooms, locker rooms, etc.
I don’t know about promoting gender equality, but they don’t hurt it. Gender neutral toilets are more a sign of gender equality than of promoting it.
I can’t answer for the trans men, but as a trans woman, it can be more messy. You can’t really aim, and depending on how things down below are doing at that moment, you might get a stream, you might get a spray, and it might just bubble out and cover the whole area. I’m 6 months post-op, and I suspect that I still have a little swelling going on, so my experience may improve more in the coming months, but from what I’ve heard from other trans women (many of whom are many years post), I can expect more of the same, with possibly a little improvement as I find sitting positions which help to open things up and give me a better chance of a stream.
Of course it’s a good idea!
I’ve been in both men’s and women’s public restrooms over the course of my life and you know what the difference is? One has urinals. That’s it.
You know what men do in the restroom? Pee and avoid eye contact. You know what women do? Pee and hope nobody heard them doing it. Ok, I’m kidding. Or am I?
You know where there are already gender neutral bathrooms and the world hasn’t stopped spinning? Nearly every house, apartment, condo, townhouse, mobile home, and camper. All that gender neutrality and nothing bad happens! Why are we so concerned about gender segregation in public?!
Do I wish I could still pee standing up? No, not really. Sure, peeing while standing up was really convenient (especially in a skirt or a dress), but the reason I could pee while standing was terribly inconvenient!
I will admit, though, that I do occasionally “tee up” when I’m getting ready to pee, until I remember that I can’t do that anymore, laugh at myself, and turn around and sit down. Old habits die hard.
In my experience, the answer can vary from place to place, but in general, they’re about the same. Men seem to have reputations as filthy pigs, and indeed, some are. Some men don’t think twice about leaving the seat down while peeing into a toilet; and believe me, even with all that experience, men still pee all over the place. But the surprise is that some women do too. Some women hover over toilets to avoid butt-to-seat contact, but the result is that their pee can spray/splash on the seat as well.
As far as other conditions go, I’ve seen both men’s and women’s restrooms trashed with paper all over the floor and stomach-turning smells. The reality is that men and women are mostly alike; we all pee, poop, fart, etc. And we can all be lazy and messy and not clean up after ourselves.
“Opposite gender” to what? The one designated for the bathroom? Then I’d expect a lot of questioning looks and protests at a woman being in a men’s restroom.
“Opposite gender” to the one I was assigned at birth? You mean transgender people! I get the same looks that most other women get – mostly “are you in line for a stall?”
While I don’t think I “pass” (shudders at that word), I don’t notice any different looks. But I also work to be confident, especially in spaces that are gender-segregated; after all, I’m a woman, I have to pee like everyone else, and it’s proper for me to use a women’s restroom. If someone is looking at me, I’ll make eye contact and give a friendly smile; I typically get a friendly smile back and we each continue with our days.