Tip #5: Know the bathrooms in your areaPosted: December 15, 2011
This is a tip I use all the time. Get to know what types of bathrooms are in your area. If you go to the same workplace everyday, the same gym, the same bar, etc. – scout out the bathrooms. Get to know what’s available for you. You may find that there’s a better option for you very close by. You may find there’s a better time to use a certain bathroom (e.g. before the drunkards arrive). The point of this is to ease any anxiety or insecurity you may have over going to the Men’s Room. For this guy, at least — it took practice.
To tell you a little bit about my experience – I had to start going to the Men’s Room because I was presenting as too masculine to be able to go into the Women’s Room. This was a personal victory and joy. I felt uncomfortable in the Womens Room. For some reason, it was still hard to let go of that option — I felt safe there. When I no longer had that choice (though, now having the thrilling option of going to the Men’s Room at will), it did benefit me to find out what Men’s Rooms I felt comfortable frequenting.
In the last town I lived in, I frequented one bar for Queer Night every week. But the bathroom at this establishment was particularly wretched — it sported a urine trough and one stall without a lock. Of course there was no mirror or soap. It also sported lots of drunk assholes who had to pee and were liable to unwittingly rip the stall door open and leave me feeling exposed. It scared me. Sometimes I even snuck into the Women’s Room — it boasted two sinks, a huge mirror, and a private bathroom with a lock and toilet paper. But I felt weird and quite unhappy doing that. One night, I went to the bar just one block over. Lo and behold! they had a single-room Men’s Room with a lock! No mirror or toilet paper — but I was suddenly freed from feeling like I had to choose between the unsavory options at my favorite dive.
For those out there who have the option of using the Women’s Room or may not be heading to the Men’s Room yet — this is still a good tip. Whatever your priority may be for the bathroom — avoiding bad situations, using the Men’s Room, having privacy — it may bode well to figure out what options you have around you. For me, walking a block away to a private Men’s Room felt so much better than sitting in a stall, holding the door shut, listening to bros peeing in a urine-trough together loudly slurring about fucking chicks. It was well worth just taking a peek around.