Tales From the Forbidden Bathroom

Today’s news is ripe with stories about transgender people and which bathroom they should or should not use. There are people that feel that the bathroom that aligns with a person’s gender identity should be forbidden if that gender identity does not align with their anatomical sex. Needless to say, the argument that allowing transgender women into the ladies room creates a loophole for men to sneak in to rape women is absurd at best. However, in some places people are buying into the myths and actually getting transgender people banned from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Where I live, it is illegal for someone to deny me from using the girl’s bathroom. I decided to break this law.

When I broke stealth and went public as a transgender woman, I thought I would conduct an experiment at the same time. Some of the opponents of transgender bathroom rights feel that a viable solution is for transgender people to use a unisex bathroom usually reserved for family use or for people with disabilities. So for a six-month period, I banned myself from using the girl’s room just as though a transphobic bathroom bill had been passed in Nova Scotia. That left me with two options; I could use the men’s room or the one unisex bathroom. Obviously, I was not going to use the men’s room and quite honestly that move, at work, probably would end with me getting fired. In public, it could actually be quite dangerous for a transgender woman to use a men’s room.

bladderIt seemed initially like it was going to be an easy task. I could simply tinkle during my breaks and everything should be fine. Wow, I was so wrong about that. It actually amazed me how busy the unisex bathroom was. Most times, I would have to wait at least 5 minutes to gain access which of course ate into my break time and created a lot of awkward standing around outside of the bathroom which was attached to the lunchroom so very public. Of course, even though I went public, not everyone knows that I am transgender and I am sure a lot of people were scratching their heads over why I didn’t just go to the girl’s room. If anyone suggested it, I would not reveal the experiment, as I didn’t want anyone to think it was a good idea. I planned to return to my old peeing grounds after the experiment was finished.

The experiment very quickly turned into a huge inconvenience. I discovered many things that I really never wanted to know. Some people take crazy amounts of time in the unisex bathroom. Some people were using the bathroom for more unusual reasons such as praying, grooming, reading, foot washing, and, my favorite, taking selfies. There were times when I stood waiting for my whole break and had to give up and wait until my next break rolled around. There were too many breaks to mention where I had to return to work with a full bladder. It was a frequent enough event that I had to reduce the amount I drank to try to make it easier on my poor bladder. It was not fun.

I could not have been any happier when the six-month ban was finished and I could drink and pee as much as I wanted. It is easy to say let them use the family bathroom. However, if you pee in those shoes for six months you will realize just how impractical it really is. Not only is it impractical, it is also not healthy. Holding your pee for extended periods of time can lead to urinary tract infections, kidney stones, cramps, fever, and a lack of concentration. For a student forced into this scenario, it can hinder their ability to learn. This is a huge price to pay for a bathroom fear based on myths.

In conclusion, any measure that hinders one’s ability to pee is a terrible idea. The whole concept that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they want will lead to a huge increase in bathroom related sexual assaults is laughable. If you don’t believe me, then all you need to do is look at any place where transgender bathroom rights have been enacted and you will see there has been no increase in assaults in bathrooms. It simply isn’t happening. The real truth is that bathroom bills are designed to discriminate against transgender people and not protect women and children from the boogeyman.

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