To Pee or Not To Pee (It Depends)
I usually have the title before actually writing these blogs (the ideas usually bang around inside my head for a while before hitting the keyboard), and I like a title that might make people notice. LOL.
I read an article today that gave some good news for trans folks in Atlanta. I think it's great that more accessibility to bathrooms without judgment is coming to the city. It got me thinking about the issue in general, that being, where does a gender non-conforming or trans person go to tinkle when out and about? As we get more and more past the pandemic, it's going to be an issue for a lot of folks like me.
I realized that it is among many things that hold me back from being out there much. People might think that since I write so much and am out that I am just being my Shann-tastic (new word, like it?) self all the time. Truth is, I really have only been in what I'd call full-on girl mode a few times in public. In fact, I've written about just about all of them in this space. And in each instance, the bathroom has not really been an issue.
Since it really hasn't been an issue for me yet, it means I've been fortunate but also sheltered. I wonder how many others feel the same way. It can be enough of a task to get oneself dressed nicely, put on makeup and get out of the house, but what about when ya, you know, gotta go?
I know I'm not alone in this. I can see many who will read this and know exactly what I'm talking about. Others and I'm not trying to pick on any cishet (cisgender heterosexual) folks who see this, have no clue about it. Bathrooms are everywhere, right? I'm still in that same category with you there. But think about it: you have been in a store that has a bathroom, but it's being cleaned and is closed. Everyone has had that experience, right?
So, if to this point you don't understand what I'm trying to babble about, realize that RIGHT NOW, in some US states and many other countries even, that bathroom is closed to you PERMANENTLY. Because of how you look. Black folks, you have seen this. "Whites only". Etcetera, Etcetera.
I really try to avoid politics, but sometimes I just can't. While I am happy that the mayor of Atlanta is doing something to make the situation better, I can't help but wonder when it's Georgia's turn to pass a "bathroom bill" like they did in Tennessee and other places.
I mean, I try to see all sides. I can comprehend when someone says they don't want a 6'5'' trans person in the bathroom with their little girl (most trans people are nowhere near this tall, and so what if they are?). I don't agree with it, but I comprehend it. But that 6'5" trans person might have the biggest heart of gold in the world and wouldn't hurt a fly. She just needs to pee! And admit it, you've seen far scarier people that are your same gender. Walmart at 3 AM, anyone? (Sorry Walmart)
I don't know what the ultimate answers are. Trans folks are a minority and probably always will be. But we shouldn't need to use an app like REFUGE Restrooms to find a place to do our all-too-human business. I get it when establishments don't want to create single-use bathrooms just for a small number of customers. I think this will all evolve and I believe the stigma of trans people will continue to ease. It's gonna take time.
They say "all things will pass". But that's not entirely true.....because I don't know about you, the need to "use the facilities" just gets more and more urgent. It only passes when I do something about it.
One last thing before you "flush" this article: if you like what you read here generally (maybe not today, this one might be a load of crap. Sorry, these jokes write themselves!!) go ahead and subscribe by clicking the Subscribe link at the top here and pop in your email address. I promise to not talk about the bathroom anymore if you do.