Restroom heroics

images[7]This is for everyone who has ever felt uncomfortable using a gender-specific public restroom.

And for everyone else, too.  Those individuals who have never felt uneasy or unsafe using a public restroom that corresponds with their gender.  If you fit into this category, see what it’s like to be butch or genderqueer.  Walk in my big butch shoes for just a few minutes.

Read what happened to me when I used a public ladies room when I was on vacation.  My story has been published at The James Franco Review.

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9 responses to “Restroom heroics

  1. I often feel out of place in the ladies locker room. I don’t wear a “cute” gym outfit. It’s short and a t-shirt for me. I can feel the stares sometimes, especially if I wear a ball cap.

  2. Let’s see…I’ve had multiple episodes of kids screaming there’s a man in the bathroom. I’ve had women leave the bathroom and get a security guard. I’ve had one woman physically block the door with her body and refuse me entrance. And the most terrifying episode….two women tried to keep me from entering the bathroom despite me telling them I was a woman. One muttered the word lesbian and then they went out into the restaurant and got their boyfriends and all four of them were waiting for me when I exited. I was sure I was going to be attacked. The timely appearance of an employee saved me. I only use restrooms in Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy because fewer women patronize theses stores. Bookstores are usually safe because the clientele is better educated.
    I’ve also hidden in a few stalls to wait for people to leave. Cross I will bear til I die. I sympathize with your pain.

  3. That was a well-written story – though I’m sorry it happened to you. But better that it be a little kid with no filter than an adult who is potentially hostile… And it’s possible that the mother was feeling equally awkward and wanting to escape the bathroom as soon as possible! It took me a while as a parent to figure out that when kids say inappropriate things, the best response is to correct them right away, even though it feels very awkward to be talking about another person within earshot. Like if my toddler were to innocently say “Wow, she’s fat!” about someone in public, it’s better to say right away “We don’t comment on other people’s bodies” than to ignore it and try to disappear. Saying something sends a better message to the child and to the person who was the object of the comment. (Not implying that you should have said something, but the mother should have, because being dismissive of what a little kids is saying only ever makes them say it again, louder!)

  4. I have developed a bladder of steel. I can literally wait it out rather than use a public restroom. I am constantly mistaken for a guy and the restroom scenario is the worst; it causes me much anxiety if I HAVE to use one. The scariest restrooms are the ones at highway rest areas or truck stops when you are travelling. I would rather pull up a roadside bush than have to use one in one of those areas.

    • Hi, MB. I have a bladder of steel, too. I rarely need to use a public restroom. But there are times. In this instance, I was on vacation and had been out all day. Even butches have to pee sometimes. I am confident that we will be seeing more gender neutral bathrooms in the future.

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