Having used the men’s room habitually for the past few months now, it’s no longer an issue for me personally. I walk in, do my business, and walk back out without thinking too much about it. However, when I first started to use the Men’s, that was some of the most terrifying moments of my transition. In addition to the fear of violence, mockery, and torment, it’s a true test of self confidence.
Here are some things I’ve picked up on to get you through those first couple of months:
- Don’t look down. Despite temptation, don’t look down at the floor as you walk past everyone. It makes you look like you’re doing something wrong or you’re ashamed. Be proud of this glorious opportunity to relieve yourself in this bathroom. Own it. Look straight ahead, and even give a slight nod if it feels right.
- No stall open? Be patient. Breathe. If you don’t use an STP device and haven’t had bottom surgery, you are one of us lucky ones who are forced to use one of the 1-2 stalls in the bathroom. I’ll be honest, I have had moments where they have both been full and I proceed to turn directly around and walk out the door. But, the truth is, that every other guy in that bathroom uses stalls too. That is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. Hold your ground and stand firm as you wait. Hold your head high and cross your arms, or pull out your phone.
- Don’t be weird – smiles & small talk. The other guys in there could give not give fewer shits (oh the puns) about what you’re doing. They’re not going to smile at you or make small talk. Most of the time, they’ll hardly notice you’re there. Don’t take it personally, and don’t be the one to try and initiate it.
- Don’t show your urinal envy. Try to resist staring at the urinals as you walk past, no matter how amazing they seem. Don’t let your jealousy show. Again, don’t be weird.
- Bring a friend. The #illgowithyou campaign is brilliant. If you’re with a cis or passable trans guy, ask him to go with you. That will give you more credibility, and you’ll obviously have a buddy if something goes wrong.
What else has worked for you guys?