The one without a line.

Someone wrote…

I use whatever bathroom I want, usually the one without a line.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on June 2nd, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 22 comments »

22 Responses to “The one without a line.”

  1. Smoerfisk

    As a FtM, I prefer to use the male bathroom at university. But I do think there is a complexity to this, considering especially religion. I know we have some religious girls at school who would have a difficult time using the bathrooms knowing that men – or what they consider to be men – are using the same bathroom.

    I wish it was more simple. I want to be able to use the men’s bathroom, but on the other hand I don’t feel like insulting anyone or to make it harder for them..


  2. Tree

    Unfortunately, its a shame that many male-bodied genderqueers can’t have this freedom.

    When a female-bodied person uses a “men’s room”, very few bat an eye.

    But when a male-bodied person uses a “ladies room”- and someone doesn’t like it, it can cause hell.

    Fortunately, where I live, anti-discrimination laws mean that transgender people have the upper hand if there is ever a dispute- but people aren’t so lucky in other places.

    I wish evry facility could have a single unisex bathroom- one that ISN’T the handicap stall.


    tigr replied:

    I agree, more unisex bathrooms would be nice. Some places do, and I don’t get why others have two single-stall toilets right next to each other: but one is marked “men” and one “women”; why not just have two unisex ones? Would be more convenient for anyone if there’d otherwise be a queue in front of one of them…

    Incidentally, in the UK there is now a campaign addressing this (and similar issues, like “Sex: [ ] Male [ ] Female” on forms): Think Outside The Box :)

    Tree, which state do you live where you’ve got such nice laws?


    Tree replied:

    I live in New South Wales, Australia :) We have wonderful laws dealing with Transgender- for example, if a child is transgender and they want to apply to any single-sex school for their identified gender, and there is no other reason NOT to enroll them (i.e waiting lists) then the school can not refuse them enrollment based on their transgender status. This is especiall god because we have a lot of Public single-sex schools as well as co-ed (So, not just religious single-sex schools).

    Same goes for jobs, university- anything (except Religious institutions, but then again- any decision they make can be appealed at court).

    The only law I dislike is the one that requires any transgender individual to have SRS *before* being allowed to change their birth certificate, as for many, this isn’t an option (though it is covered by a lot of health insurance suppliers).


    Tree replied:

    I meant to say “especially good” not “especiall god” lol!!

    tigr replied:

    Cool :) Was it there where a person managed to get a third option for sex or gender legally recognised ?

    (And as a side note, could you not edit your comment after you wrote it to add the o ?)

    Tree replied:

    Yeah- that was here! We have the first officialy legally recognised genderless person in the world :)

    But we’re still behind in other areas- like, we have relationship recognition for gay couples but no Joined Unions (let alone marriage).


  3. Dagda

    I do that too! I almost feel like it’s cheating, but I figure, being genderqueer puts me at a disadvantage in so many other ways, why shouldn’t I take advantage where I can? :P


  4. Anonymous

    I’m fortunate enough to pass as either and I haven’t done a thing to my body.


    tigr replied:

    Sometimes I feel like I’m *not* passing as either — More to the point, sometimes I’m read as one and sometimes as the other; by some people, as male, and by others, as female; and I DON’T KNOW, so WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO GO? And then I ask but sometimes the answer’s not helpful ’cause both entrances are next to each other, and then again I don’t really want to know ’cause it could be the wrong answer…


    Anonymous replied:

    I think each individual should use the restroom that they feel comfortable with. I don’t believe that others should dicate the toliet one uses. After all every toliet ends up in the same place.


  5. Laurence

    I wish it was so easy for everyone. I’m FTM and I pass fairly well… I only use the male bathroom but I have a lot of anxiety about it. I bullshit my way through but it’s still tough for me.


  6. Alex

    I am terrified of using gendered bathrooms. I’m FTM, and I don’t want to use the men’s room because I’m afraid of people attacking me. And I hate using the ladies’ room because just the WORD “Ladies” makes me feel incredibly dysphoric. I usually either use the ladies’ room or any unisex ones. I’m lucky in that my university has a fairly substantial amount of unisex bathrooms around, and that’s where I spend most of my time.


  7. Courage

    I use the ladies’ room, usually, but I try to use the emptiest bathrooms I can find. So at school, I’ll walk to a bathroom halfway across the campus to avoid having to deal with people. Luckily, if there IS somebody in there, she’s usually crying and wants to be alone, so she won’t care that I’m there and get out quickly (which, by the way, I hate doing because I’d rather cheer that person up or help them in any way I can, but they usually don’t like that and just want some private time :( ).

    Outside of school, I have many strategies. Sometimes I go into the bathroom when someone else walks in at the same time. The person I walk in with is confused about me going into a bathroom when I appear the opposite sex, but has to pee so they don’t ask questions. The people in the bathroom think I’m with that person, so they don’t care.

    I find that if I walk into the men’s room with a male friend, or the ladies’ with a female, it instantly makes it ok, even if I’m perceived as the other sex! that’s how I got the idea to walk in with strangers.


  8. Anonymous

    Elude confidence and no one will give you a second thought. show hesistation (ie staring at the floor) and i guarantee you’ll attract attention. just my 2 cents.


    Poet replied:

    Not so true. I’m MtF w/no surgery (however, I pass very well) but I still use the “men’s” room. Now, I’m not a shy person and I’m not timid about using the restroom; I think for the general public what’s in your pants matters more in terms of restrooms than how you present (usually, if I choose to reveal my sex I get left alone). Even though I’m confident in my restroom choice at this point in my transition, men never seem too abashed to say something to me. Most men just run out of the room and check the sign, some politely inform me than I’m in the “wrong” restroom (I then politely inform them that I have a penis–in different words, mind you). Others, however, become belligerent and will shout at me while I’m in the stall (not a place where I’m willing to have a conversation). So, I suppose what I’m saying is that people are going to be dicks (haha, pun)f they choose to be regardless of how you present yourself.


    Courage replied:

    Hmm, I disagree. That’s true in most situations, but not bathroom ones. When I confidently enter the ladies’ room alone, some women will assume that I’m a little boy up to a prank. On the other hand, if I appear nervous, they may pity me and let me pee in peace, thinking that this is my last resort and I REALLY have to go or something.

    But, jerks will be jerks, as Poet said. You can’t prevent all of these situations.


    Keanan replied:

    I’m a transguy. When I use the “ladies’ room” I try to look, as Courage said, nervous and nonthreatening so that people will leave me alone. When I use the “men’s room” I try to have confidence and look like I “own it” (while making sure I don’t look like I’m checking anyone out and that I want to be in and out of the restroom). The restroom situation is certainly a tricky one that takes confidence, courage, and sometimes a bit of cleverness.


    Nicholas replied:

    I’m the opposite! I’ve always been androgynous (possible intersex condition, can’t pay to find out yet!), and as I got more comfortable with that, it was more difficult to use the men’s room. The would, like Poet said, panic and get embarrassed for themselves (or for me!)–all that drama when I just wanted to pee. Using the women’s restroom for the first time was also the first time I actively tried to “pass”, which I hated. I got over my personal feelings about having to pass, and everything has since been dandy. I go in there, tall as anything, wearing men’s tassle loafers (so cute!), and “own it” and have never had a problem. I worry sometimes, but then I just smile, and they’ll smile, and we’ll all go about our merry way.

    What bothers me about having to pass is not that I have to “try” and shave my beard or wear something cute, it’s none of that. It bothers me when I “try” to bridge that gap to make everyone more comfortable, and I walk into a stall only to see the latest “hovering accident.” Men’s stalls were almost always cleaner, a little shabbier, and smelling of a bathroom, but almost always cleaner. Women’s bathrooms were usually nicer, more stalls, more mirrors, and the place smelled nice, but goddamn, you walk into a stall and think it rained. :(

    I would like my own bathroom wherever I go, need a special code, the works!

    Anonymous replied:

    I just wanted to thank everyone for their replies to my original comment. I know that bathroom issues are different for everyone and I was reflecting on my own personal experience. Regardless of my personal appearance on the days I’ve used public restrooms I’ve never had anyone ever say anything to me. I don’t know where everyone else lives but I’m in Indiana.

  9. Pun

    Gender segregated restrooms have always realy bothered me. If abolishing racially segregated restrooms was hailed as such a civil-rights triumph, why are people still so ok with gender segregation?


  10. K

    I just wish that more places would have gender-neutral bathrooms. We’re all in stalls anyway.


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