Restroom Madness

Can I just say that I miss Ladies’ Restrooms, and leave it at that?

No?

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.

Making of this Non-profit

I did not plan to make a non-profit organization. As it is, I post on this site completely anonymously for the protection of myself and my family. However, I have been very blessed or just plain lucky throughout my transition and have always felt the need to pass on that blessing by offering mentorship or educational resources whenever I can.

ABOUT ME

First disclosure: I am a transgender man (female-to-male) and I have lived fully transitioned for 5 years.

Second disclosure: I have been on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for 5 years and had top surgery (bilateral mastectomy) 4 years ago. I have not chosen to have bottom surgery (more on that later).

Third disclosure: I live in Texas so most of the resources I am referencing are specific to my state but that does not mean that they are not applicable elsewhere. I hope that with time I will be able to offer the same resources about other states as well.

MY STORY

I did not start my transition until I was in college. Before I transitioned, I lived as an out lesbian. I come from a conservative family who had been loving and supportive of my sexuality even when there were times of struggle. This is just one of the many reasons I say that I am very blessed. Though I had long felt the need to transition, I pushed those feelings aside and wouldn’t allow myself to consider the possibility that I might be transgender because I felt like I had already put my family through enough. It wasn’t until I was dating the woman who would later become my Wife that I was finally able to truly accept myself. I have never been more comfortable or confident with myself than I was until I transitioned to become the man I am today.

As a further blessing, my family was even more supportive and were the encouragement behind starting How To Trans. Whether or not it grows to be more than a resource website at least it will be my contribution. I was able to journey through my transition from a place of education and it made all the difference. I hope I can offer that to you.

NOTE TO PARENTS AND OTHERS

These resources are not only for transgender people. I will include many posts and pages for allies, people who are unsure how they feel about trans issues, and yes — Parents. I’m specifically making a note for parents because:

A) I wouldn’t be anywhere without mine. They are a dependable constant in my life. I know that isn’t the same experience for everyone but I can only speak from my own experiences. I wish others had the kind of parents that I do but you can’t have mine — because they’re mine.

B) It isn’t always easy to be a parent to a transgender child, no matter their age. Scratch that, it isn’t easy to be a parent at all but sometimes transitioning can be or seem to be a self-involved process and people forget that parents and loved ones are transitioning as well. Parents, I promise I won’t forget about you.

I will be sharing resources that helped my parents and loved ones over the years. Again, I hope they help you as much as they did us.

Disclaimer: I am not now, nor will I ever be, speaking for anyone but myself and through my lens of perspective. I am not the transgender poster child, nor do I intend to be. There are probably many things I will say or points that I will make that are from my opinion, based on my experiences. While I do not mean to provoke or trigger anyone, I have in the past offended other transgender people (seriously, one misunderstood text conversation and you’d think I was a transphobic tranny) – case in point, I use the word ‘tranny’ comfortably while others find it extremely offensive. I am not a representative of all transgender or LGBT(I’m not typing the whole alphabet, it’s confusing) people. I am not politically correct. I am human and my lens of perspective is that many LGBT are overly sensitive and unsympathetic for others who don’t oppose or oppress but still struggle with aspects of humanity, such as the LGBT, that they have not had the exposure or education to better understand (which is a major focal point for providing these resources). If you don’t like or agree with something I have said or shared feel free to tell your best friend, but don’t tell me or ask me to change it or tell me to ‘check my privilege’. I find it offensive and it triggers me in my ‘safe space’ of free speech. That is my truth and I’m living it the best I can.

Anonymously.

On the interweb.

Signed,

HTT