Can I just say that I miss Ladies’ Restrooms, and leave it at that?
Fine. Let’s talk about it.
Or I’ll talk. You listen. (Read? Same thing.)
In 2016, America went nuts because of HB2. North Carolina made the ‘bathroom bill’ that set the world on fire debating a topic that beforehand didn’t really seem like any issue. Bathrooms were being discussed long before the infamous bill happened but the scale of which had not reached national level until someone decided to pick a fight. The funny part is that if you ask most people who started this fight they would probably say it’s the Conservatives but in reality — it was the Liberals.
It started with the best of intentions. Liberals were trying to set policy in place to protect LGBT rights, specifically in Charlotte, NC. It’s not a bad thing that they tried to do it but here is where it went wrong:
Nobody really cared where I peed until somebody tried to protect my right to do what I was already doing.
It’s stupid really but that’s the reality. Trans people were already using the restrooms they wanted. Yes, it is the extreme Conservatives that have passed bathroom bills but nobody was trying to prevent anybody from using the restrooms until Liberals tried to make sure that everyone could. That’s a loose statement because I guarantee someone could find proof that people were preventing trans people from using the restroom of their identity before the Liberals started promoting protective regulation; probably in a school setting. There were new waves of gender-neutral bathrooms being initiated on universities, so there was other proactive action being taken before it all got out of hand.
I used to worry about the bathroom thing a lot. Well… I still do. I don’t worry about the laws because they are totally unenforceable. I saw a political satire comic that had the ‘hoo hoo inspector’ mocking the inability for North Carolina to enforce the bathroom bill.
I found it!
I think it is hilarious but it also perfectly shows that the concept of these laws is ridiculous. (Plus, they always want to protect the Ladies room but there never seems to be a concern about the Men’s room. You know why? Because it’s dirty and no one wants to go in there anyway!)
The ‘Hoo Hoo Inspector’ is not why I worry about bathrooms. Everybody else is always so concerned about who is going into which restroom but I’m always more concerned about what it looks like inside that restroom. Maybe this seems stupid but Men’s public restrooms can be a problem.
Beyond the fact that they are dirty and smelly:
- Sometimes they don’t have doors on the stalls.
- Toilet paper is hit or miss.
- I always look like I have to poop because I’m waiting for the one stall available.
- I’m always afraid that when I pee it’s going to sound like a woman peeing.
- Worst of all: I’m afraid that if I was identified as trans in the men’s room that I could be assaulted. (I won’t go into the dark details of my fears but they’re probably the worst thing you can imagine. They’re certainly the worst I can.)
Bathrooms weren’t always scary for me but then again I was very ‘butch’ in the Ladies room so nobody would mess with me.
Wait, that’s not true. I did get messed with in the Ladies room. It was really funny actually. It was before I started my hormone therapy. I was at a bar with friends and as is predictable for this story: I went to the restroom. The Ladies restroom. I walked in and this woman stopped me two steps in to tell me I was in the wrong bathroom. I laughed and said, “Technically, still a girl.” Pre-hormones my voice sounded exactly my mother so she realized her mistake instantly and started apologizing. I told her it was no big deal because it wasn’t, I knew what I looked like and it was an easy mistake. I went into the available stall to take care of business. I noticed then the pair of high heeled feet standing right out front of the door. When I was finished, I found that she was still there waiting to apologize to me some more and she had a shadow; there was another young woman waiting to talk to me. It was a little surreal as I washed my hands to have them both talking to me about how sorry they were for the mix up. Apparently the second had seen my shoes, men’s shoes, and believed the same as the first that I was in the wrong restroom.
But this incident was a far cry from when I used to scare old ladies in the restroom for the same reason. This time they were telling me how cute I was and if I were a boy that they would definitely be interested. However, there is something disconcerting about having your cheek kissed by two women you’ve never met in a public restroom while you’re washing your hands. It was odd and not just because I was at the bar with my fiancee (now, wife) and my mother (that’s not a typo).
Men don’t acknowledge each other in restrooms unless they absolutely have to. I rely on that social construct as much as possible to go in, do what I came to and get out.
Still, I miss how clean Ladies restrooms are and there is always doors and toilet paper.
I don’t miss the lines though so I guess it was a trade off.