Monday, November 4, 2013

A Trans Guy's View of the Rest Room

I was pretty naive and thought for the longest time, as rest room usage goes (no pun intended), transgender women potentially have more issues than transgender guys.

I continue to think that from an emotional viewpoint we trans women do have more potential issues than trans men.  Men consider the restroom an utilitarian place and of course women attach more of a "sanctuary" tag on the room. Many times if someone has an issue of you being trans, they will draw an imaginary line at the door of a restroom and think enough is enough.

As with all transition issues, trans guys do have their own unique set of restroom problems and this morning I read a definitive answer from Trans Man Matt Kailey : 

A reader writes: “I have read many articles about bathroom etiquette. I understand that you are not to linger around the men’s room. My question is about a situation where there is only one stall in the men’s room. What do you do when it is occupied? “You don’t just want to stand there and wait. If you wait outside of the men’s room, you look a little creepy or like you are trying to pick someone up. So what do you do when the stall is occupied and you are not comfortable or able to use the urinals?”

(Matt) " I run into this situation all the time. Sometimes I do wait – not outside the men’s room, but just hanging around inside, generally washing my hands or otherwise busying myself. However, if it looks like it’s going to be a while before the guy comes out, I generally leave and either come back later if I can wait, or try to find another restroom if I can’t. When I first started using men’s public restrooms, I learned quickly that you don’t smile at anyone, you don’t make small talk, and, for the most part, you don’t look at anyone at all. But I never did learn what the acceptable thing to do is if you need the stall and it’s occupied. So I just did what came naturally, which was hang around a little bit and see if the guy was ever going to come out, then leave and seek out someplace else if he didn’t.

 Since I wanted to get this right, I just asked a non-trans male friend about the rules. He said that he would not hang around inside the restroom if he didn’t have anything to do there. He said he thinks it would be better to hang around outside the restroom than inside, but if he needed a stall, he would try to go somewhere else or go back to his table or wherever he came from and wait for a while, then go back in. He said, “Nobody wants someone standing outside the stall tapping his foot."

Good advice! I have a couple ways for you to access this post. You can go here  or follow my regular blog links here in Cyrsti's Condo.

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