And a one, and a two…

Gender-neutral toilets already exist. Every home has one, (unless there are two and the ladies and gents of the house retire to different ones?). And anyone classed as ‘disabled’ might also feel that they’ve been de-sexed as well, since the wheelchair sign applies to mode of transport rather than genitalia.

Even so, when I go out cross-dressed I plan ahead a bit. I try not to eat or drink too much beforehand, to minimise any trips to the smallest room in the building. It can also depend on what I’ve chosen to wear for the evening; sometimes there might be a bit of structural engineering works to undo before I can -you know- do anything.

I like to have some idea of where I’m going – ideally, does it have a disabled toilet? I can justify this on the grounds that when cross-dressed, biology and presentation cancel each other out, making me gender-neutral. Also, if I can’t run in heels, breathe in a corset, or eat big meals (it might wreck my makeup), I’ll pretend that they all count as a disabilities.

Sometimes, I don’t have that option. As always, I think I have it easier than anyone who’s transitioning (and at the mercy of short-sighted local laws when caught short). I identify as a guy; I’m a bloke; a dude (but I refuse to think of myself as ‘manly’); it’s just that I’m wearing a skirt. So I’ll use the gents’ toilets, thank you.

These situations are where I get all brazen (I won’t say ‘cocky’…). At a restaurant with friends, I went to the gents to fix my lipstick after the meal. A guy walked in after me and immediately went into Embarrassed Brit Mode (imagine a young Hugh Grant doing his flustered-and-stuttering routine).

Gent: “Oh, christ! I’m terribly sorry! I thought this was the gents!”

Me: “Nah, you’re okay; this is the gents. I’m just doing my makeup.”

Gent: “Um… um… …” [leaves, unrelieved]

I don’t know if this would work for anyone else – there are some places I wouldn’t even dare – but acting like what you’re doing is nothing out of the ordinary is a great way to convince people that it really isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Mind you, there was another meal where I attended in a red Star Trek dress, and it took about thirty seconds to convince the diners who came in after me that they were actually in the right toilet. I think the trick is to take advantage of the awkwardness and be proactive with it. If someone else feels awkward, that doesn’t mean you have to as well. You can’t show weakness when you look fabulous.

On the other hand, if I’m in a pub setting where I haven’t been before, and there isn’t a disabled toilet, I can either nurse my drinks very slowly, or rely on the goodwill of female friends to check the coast is clear in the ladies’ toilets (that’s happened before as well).

If any readers live in a jurisdiction where toilets have somehow become sexualised, I dearly hope things change soon. Apart from death and taxes, needing to have a pee is something else none of us can escape from, and I see no reason why this should be made difficult for anyone.

The best solution I’ve seen is this:

toiletsigns

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9 thoughts on “And a one, and a two…

  1. Anna Secret Poet says:

    I’ll admit I heavily minimise my drinking when I’m out dressed too. There’s a bar called Stereo in Glasgow that has unisex toilets and it’s a brilliant idea though ever so slightly jarring when you use them for the first time. I’m truly surprised not many other places do it!

  2. summer renae says:

    …if I can’t run in heels, breathe in a corset, or eat big meals … I’ll pretend that they all count as a disabilities.

    that has to be the funniest thing i’ve ever read about the transgender bathroom issue! πŸ™‚

    i admire your gutsy approach to the conundrum. thankfully, i’ve not been in a situation where i’ve had to use a gendered public toilet while dressed. i would be terrified of using either, but more so the men’s room; i dread a scenario where hillbilly joe walks in and opens with “what the f- are you doing in here f-g?” when dressed, i ‘identify’ as female, for what it’s worth, but ultimately i’d just want to use the restroom that doesn’t get me beat up. fortunately, i don’t live in one of those parts of the states where vigilante men are guarding the women’s restrooms, so i could probably get away with using the ladies’ if it wasn’t very crowded.

    it’s interesting how opinion is split on this question – i’ve encountered other crossdressers who prefer the men’s room as well. i wouldn’t say i ‘prefer’ the women’s as much as it’s the lesser of two evils (the idea is still extremely uncomfortable) – ultimately, i think the unisex/family/disabled restrooms would be the first choice of cd’s everywhere. there are a number of sites that list them, one being refugerestrooms.org.

    • Miss Twist says:

      I think it’s down to a couple of things: first is gender identity. If you identify as female (or more female than male), then the ladies’ toilets are the ones to go for. Because I identify as male – even in girl mode – I’ll choose disabled or gents’ toilets first.
      The other thing is living in a very relaxed country (and city) when it comes to gender issues, not to mention the places I go to (restaurants are more civilised than bars, so politeness can work in your favour; and if you go to a more liberal-minded bar, that helps too – metalheads are pretty open-minded…) πŸ™‚

      Having said that, even in guy mode I’m not keen on gents’ toilets. Some people see a ‘wet floor’ sign as a warning; others evidently see it as an instruction… :/

  3. xandrad says:

    Consider that Loos on public transport are also gender neutral. Particularly trains, and especially those bloody awful sliding door ones, where the greatest chance of embarrassment is sitting on the loo and suddenly finding yourself unveiled like some prize on a game show.

    • Miss Twist says:

      In that event, I believe the best course of action is to say to anyone who sees you, “Ta-da!!! Smile! You’ve had your picture taken!” – and then discreetly close the door again…

  4. michellen1960 says:

    Just found your blog via my friend Ruth. Toilets! Interesting take. Personally I would never ever dream of entering any male toilet when presenting as Michelle. I simply would firstly find it to risky and secondly it would remove any doubt I feel in the mind of males entering as to my status. I suppose I am very lucky in that bar very close inspection, I do seem to pass. I will always use the ladies and never ever have I had any problem be it comment or a second glance from anyone.

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