You see two bathrooms. I see a very big decision. If you’re a man you enter the “Mens” room. If you’re a woman you enter the “Womens” room. But what if you are neither, what if you used to be one and now are the other? Where do you go? There is one sign that I love seeing more than anything else in this world.
Simple right? A sign that allows both sexes inside. If you’re trans or genderqueer a sign like this is literally life changing. Their is an extreme fear that lives inside of me on a night where I know I am going out. Going out to establishments that aren’t necessarily gay or particularly aware of the needs of an individual who is gender neutral or who has changed genders. I usually postpone going to the bathroom for as long as possible, although it has become very clear to me that in a world of straight people I can easily pass as a man and therefore have no problems entering mens restrooms. When I do enter mens rooms though there are many fears that run through my mind:
1. I am alone in a room with drunk men how do I blend in?
2. If any altercation were to happen who is to say that I would be safe and who is to say that management would give a fuck.
3. Will there be a stall?
4. Will that stall have toilet paper?
The list goes on and on and on and on and on and…you get the point.
Usually in this pretty gay friendly city I can find compassion and places where I don’t feel like I’m being judged. Usually. There have been more occasions than I can count where my gender or non gender has gotten me and those who’ve I’ve been with into some very hostile situations. Heres the thing though. I won’t back down. I do not feel comfortable in women’s bathrooms. I feel just as uncomfortable in men’s rooms. I am also very conscious of how others perceve me. In a straight world I am a man. Therefore my presence in a woman’s room causes uproarious response. My presence in a men’s restroom usually goes without a word. Even when a man has recognized that I am fermale bodied they’ve joked with me and been (thus far) extremely cool with it. It’s very funny that in my experience women have been more hostile and have lacked any form of understanding of who I am. I seriously do not get it. Nor am I trying to. I am simply trying to pee in peace. I do not want to get beat up, yelled at, questioned, or otherwise berated. I want to fucking use the toilet.
Last night I was screamed at by a bouncer of one of my favorite “straight” bars. In the past he has told me that I had every right to use the woman’s room and that I was being disrespectful by using the mens bathroom. Disrespectful to who I asked? I am simply trying not to have my ass beat. I tried explaining to him by situation but his ears were mute. Last night after entering the bar I made my way to the mens bathroom, and when I got out I was screamed at. I was told that if I ever entered the men’s restroom again I would be refused entry to the bar. I was told that by entering the mens room I was taking advantage and disrespecting the establishment. I do not see myself as a female. I do not see myself as a male. I see myself as a paying consumer who as a paying consumer would like to use the establishments restrooms. Of course as simple as this looks on paper in real life looks like a big old pile of shit (sorry for that reference in all of this bathroom speak). But seriously. SERIOUSLY.
My biggest problem at venues has always been bouncers. ALWAYS. Everyone has problems with bouncers. They are on ego trips higher than any of us could properly grasp. Meatheads with the power to turn away the rich, beautiful, black, white or ugly. They have the ultimate power into ruining your night. They also have the ultimate power in ensuring whether or not you are allowed to ever re enter an establishment. Awesome. Yeah ok not all bouncers are assholes yada yada blah blah blah most of them are, it’s true deal with it. I’m not apologizing for that generalization.
The fact that I could be screamed at for using a bathroom is beyond me. How many of us have been to gay bars? (all hands up) Now most gay bars have bathrooms that are for all to use. Girls, boys, queens, fairies, twinks…. WE ALL PEE TOGETHER and with no issues. No problems. No disrespect. Why? Because we get it. Ever been to the dressing rooms at Patricia Fields? Unisex and open. No clothing sex wars go down. No disrespect. NO PROBLEM.
I rarely get stupid angry. But I am. Like stupid. Blinding light. Flashes of Madonna vs. Lady Gaga hell angry. I am a person. Not just a gender. My choice to ignore gender has opened the flood gates into allowing other people to essentially pick on me. You can not deny me entry because I did not pee in the bathroom that YOU think I should have gone into.
You best believe that I’m taking some form of action. I want to go out. I want to have fun. I want to be able to go to a bathroom and not be berated by meathead bouncers. Das. It.