Bathroom Blues (and Intro)

I’ve been meaning to make this blog for a while now, so the post that explains where it came from is now several months old. So I decided to start with something more recent that reflects how my life, and my kid’s, actually are now, and then go back and post the two other things I wrote in September. Suffice to say that, not finding a lot of stories of transgendered and transitioning parents of school-age children, I decided to share mine, and that’s where this blog came from. Here’s the first story.

I love places with family bathrooms.

Neutral bathrooms are even better of course, but rather rare where I live.

unisex bathroom symbol

With one exception, I don’t use the women’s room at all anymore. Since early December, when I came out at the office, I’ve been using the men’s room everywhere that there are gendered restrooms. I really can’t stomach going in the women’s room, even in a unisex restroom that’s (unfairly) labelled women. It would feel like misrepresenting myself, like lying or hiding, like going back in the closet. It also unnerved the heck out of me when I had to do it at the office before I was out, because with the masculine way I present myself, I was more afraid of being called out in the women’s room than I am now in the men’s.

And yet, there’s still one occasion when I’ll go in the women’s room (and tap my foot and glance around nervously while also paradoxically trying to appear as manly as possible). And that’s when I’m out and about with my six-year-old daughter, and there are only gendered bathrooms in sight.

My daughter doesn’t want to use public bathrooms by herself yet, so I have to go with her into the bathroom. I’ve seen women bring their young male children into women’s bathrooms, and I feel like the reverse does happen in men’s bathrooms, though maybe not as often. But I don’t pass super well to begin with, and not at all with my daughter. Even before she calls me Mommy in public, I get gendered as female when I have her with me. I don’t know if it’s the way I interact with her, or that people hear my voice (which gives me away), or just the fact that I have a kid with me at all. Anyway, especially since she still calls me Mommy out of habit, but also because of the difficulty of passing in general, taking her into the men’s room would be too much. It’s something we can work on once I start T and begin looking and sounding more obviously male, if she even needs me with her in the restroom at that point. Until then, I just have to hope for family restrooms.