Why would a trans woman want to use a woman’s loo, rather than the men’s, anyway?
It’s not because I fear violence. Men in the genteel places I frequent are not violent. The decline in violent crime may have to do with the decline in heavy industry- men do not habitually undertake hard physical labour in dangerous places, so can be softer.
I found women’s loos pleasanter. This one has a carpet, and a box of tissues by the mirror to aid repairing ones make-up. Some have comfy chairs. There are dried or plastic flowers, and an air freshener to suppress ghastly smells. Men’s loos are yuck. A trans man I met felt the opposite way.
I really don’t want to go in the gents. I get self-conscious thinking of it: “Everyone would be looking at me and judging me!” Other people think about you far less than you do, and if they do, it rarely matters; and I could overcome these feelings, as I have with taking off my wig in public. But the feelings are strong.
It would be a symbol, that I am not a woman.
A friend said trenchantly that she would go in the gents’ if there was a long queue in the ladies’. It’s only a cubicle! I have done, once, in the aforementioned Employment Tribunal offices in Manchester, and the trans woman with me was shocked. This is me, reaching the nub, getting sidetracked and avoiding.
I kind of feel alright, at the moment. I get to feel I have the right to exist if I play this game. It’s not real, though. It would all just collapse, and I would have to find some other way.
Or- I am accepted in society, sort of, like this, and part of the game is that I express myself female.
It’s a symbol that I am accepted in society. It is a symbol for other people, too: if I have to be excluded from the women’s loos because I am a threat, I am more Othered, one of those it is acceptable to detest.
I hope I could talk down the apprehension and distress in me. It is not that bad really. It is only a cubicle. I hope I could bear it. I pray I don’t have to.
How would it be for the straights, the normal folk? The social rules change. I have found a way I can bear to be me, in the world. It was difficult. I might have to find a new way. I don’t want to.
How do you feel about me in your loo, or the other loo?