Fear of men’s bathrooms

2 09 2008

I stumbled upon this piece, actually written by a cisgendered woman, about a workshop on peeing in the men’s room for FTMs. I found it entertaining but I mostly liked how she brought to light the fear that may of us face when having to choose washrooms, especially in the early stages of physical transition. It’s a good read for anyone: FTMs who are dealing with these issues or anyone else who wants to understand what all the fuss is about.

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13 responses

2 09 2008
genderkid

A couple of weeks ago I really needed to go to the restroom (I usually manage to avoid it) and I started walking in circles, trying to decide which one to choose.
I ended up going to the lady’s, since I know for sure I’m a biological female (for now at least) whereas I’m not certain whether or not I’d identify as male. Plus, I’m not sure I pass yet; people read me as male, but if they look twice they can tell I’m female.

At school, everyone knows me as a girl, so I just use the women’s room. Some bio-boys go there anyway, once in a while, if they want to smoke with female friends, or make out, or if they don’t want to walk all the way over to the men’s.

The thing I haaate is the locker room. I try to get there early, so no one gets uncomfortable (I’m out as a dyke); although that isn’t always possible. I just feel so out of place.

2 09 2008
Edward

Oh, yes I remember the early days. I did not care much for men’s restrooms, still don’t in fact. I could never go into the girls either though….I would definately get thrown out and a lot of screems lol!

I think the most fearful part is that all my life I was told that men’s bathrooms were bad places for girls to be. Absolutely ridiculous of course….men don’t do nothing in the bathrooms. It was just another one of those socialized girl fears. At least for me.

For the most part, I don’t think about it too much though….just hate the fact that they are often dirtier YUCK. Don’t use a STP device and don’t plan to either. Once in awhile I worry about “my feet not pointing in the “”right”” direction”. Mostly I just don’t care. It did take time to get this far though.

I can’t imagine having to use the men’s and not being on T though.

3 09 2008
Cristopher

I struggle with this often. I have two Rottweilers that travel to and from dog shows so I find myself at rest areas a lot. Truckers and the tranny man. There’s a visual. Most of the time I sneak in and out of the ladies room, but lately I have been venturing in to the mens room with little notice. I find that If I just look at the ground and proceed into the stall..no biggie. It is a little un-nerving I have to admit, but the time is now…I dont read female any longer. So I will keep you posted on my adventures into the mens room. lol…

3 09 2008
Ryan

I have serious bathroom angst at the moment. I’ve been having nightmares where I’m in a huge building full of bathrooms behind unmarked closed doors. The bathrooms are boobie trapped at random.

Yes, I know. Pretty pathetic, huh?

3 09 2008
genderoutlaw

@Ryan: I had recurring bad bathroom dreams for *years* then they just stopped a couple of years ago. I don’t have a clear idea of what they meant yet. (Actually, they didn’t just stop: my GF started having them for a while—I passed them on!!)

I definitely have bathroom issues these days because I don’t consistently pass, and I’m not having much luck with the STP device I made, which is frustrating. (The yogurt top works best so far.)

Thankfully, it’s not very common that I actually have to use a public washroom. Last Friday though, I went to a bar for the first time since starting my transition—a logger bar. The place was packed when I arrived and I quickly chugged back a couple of pints (which were soooo delicious since I have only had alcohol a handful of times since January.) Then I really had to whiz and wasn’t certain what I would do. It wasn’t dark enough outside yet to just go out in the parking lot. All of the sudden the dinner crowd was gone and the place cleared out, so I quickly took the opportunity to use the men’s room without any issue. I’m looking forward to this awkward phase clearing out as well!

I read the article you linked to Jacky and I need to know: what is “milling around?”

If the stalls are full, DON’T form a line.” He shuddered at the thought. “Women line up. Men mill around.”

So, we can’t look at anyone, fuss in the mirror, form a line… what are we doing when we’re “milling around” then? Examining the fine Italian tile work?

3 09 2008
Ryan

@GenderOutlaw I don’t mill, I just run away like a scared little boy.
I suspect that when we mill, we are suppose to shuffle back and forth like a one man impression of a herd of cattle.

4 09 2008
Jacky V.

Wow, lots of comments! I was afraid at first but now that I’m pretty consistently read as male, I don’t worry so much anymore.

Genderkid: yeah, I hear you about it being different in a school environment where people know you. I work in a college so for now, I’m using a private gender neutral bathroom near the dean’s office. In a few years, all of the students who knew me as female will be gone, so it’ll be safer to go in the men’s room. I’m out at work, my colleagues all know but it’s the students . . .

Edward: I know, I don’t like them much either. GROSS! You made me laugh with the worrying about feet being pointed in the right direction. I’ve wondered a few times if the guys notice. But I think I’ll never really know. I don’t think any guy in his right mind would come up to me and ask why I pee sitting down.

Cristopher: Yeah, I think when you just go in casually, there’s less of a tendancy to get noticed. Nervousness will be detected.

Ryan: You’re TOO funny.

GenderOutlaw: I have no idea what it means to mill. But one thing that I’ve already discovered is that male bathroom culture is very contextual. In different locations, the men act differently. So I don’t rely on anything I read anymore. Mind you, I won’t start complimenting the guy at the urinal on his jeans or something . . .

Thanks for all the comments guys!

7 09 2008
Punkfairy

Ive never had any problems with bathrooms.
:O

8 09 2008
Edward

I wanted to add like Punkfairy I have never had any probelms in the bathroom but when a guy walks in and I’m sittingto piss, well I stall, I feel kind of stupid. The one thing I do real quick is that as soon as I’m done I stand up, point my feet int he right direction, flush, and buckle. This way if a guy walks in while I’m flusing and buckling alteast it don’t look like I’m a sitting to piss.

The other day at work a guy walked in. It was weird afterward cuz I’m like “queer Edward” at work. I come off more effeminate than I feel and belive myself to be and I’m the dude with the dude and all the kids. Thats just how I am known at work. Very weird post piss.

11 09 2008
Cristopher

Hey Edward-
I was reading your blogg and now I cant. can yu ad me as a reader? thanks
sorry jacky-I dont know how to email him as I dont have his email addy.

cris

15 09 2008
Oliver FP

Edward – could you add me too? (sorry to intrude with this irrelevance on your blog Jacky, but I’m a natural lurker – if your blog disappeared I’d be doing the same thing! 🙂 )

I don’t pass as male at all. I stand in the women’s bathroom going Stop looking at me just stop looking at me I’m not here, no, stop looking, I’m not here!

Although I do like the fact that women who are strangers talk to one another in the bathroom. It’s pleasant. If I ever do pass, I’m going to smile nicely at other men in bathrooms, no matter how many beatings it gets me… or, indeed, sexual offers from hideous people…

Yes, my suicidal streak is showing.

30 09 2008
Jillian

I have some washroom angst, too. I try to find gender-neutral washrooms, but will use the Female washroom if there is no other choice. I just do my thing in the stall, and don’t make eye contact with anyone when washing up afterward. So far, so good. I guess it gets easier . . .

I hope everyone here has had a chance to read Jacky’s wonderful piece on the Gazette website, in the Patent Pending blog. It received more than 300 unique views in the first week, and, no doubt, many more people have read it when just perusing the blog. It’s very informative; I think Jacky has gone a long way to raising FtM awareness. I’m looking forward to another entry, Jacky. We’ll talk.

Best to everyone.

Jill

2 10 2008
Forays into the men’s room « GenderKid

[…] tboy, trans, transboy, transgender, transition, transman, transsexuality, wrong bathroom A couple of guys have been writing about public restrooms. I wonder why I’ve never talked about this […]

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