Given the recent Tip Series on Bathrooms, I wanted to put a plug in here for a website that I think has such a great concept. This is, of course, the Safe2Pee project. Like TfTM, Safe2Pee is a project run by and for trans people. And, like TfTM, they’re thinking about public restrooms.
This is the last post in this very first TfTM Tip Series — Bathrooms 101. I’m sad to see it go. If you have an idea for a bathroom tip that I left out of this series, go right ahead and Share a Tip or Request a Tip!
I’m rounding this one out by talking about places we have to pee that aren’t bathroom stalls. One of these options I am very familiar with..the other I am not.
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.
Bathrooms come in lots of different configurations. And unlike Women’s Rooms, Men’s Room come with two different types of toilets – so the trans man may or may not be encountering some layouts he’s not used to. This can be anxiety-inducing as well as fun.
Before you think about going to the bathroom – it’s a good idea to take stock of the environment you’re in. Is it crowded? Is it rowdy? Are there a lot of drunk assholes? Do you feel comfortable and safe? If not, you may want to check out what kind of bathroom is present and decide if/when you want to go.
Following is a list of bathroom types in order of how I prefer them – but this is simply my preference. I’m a guy who happens to like privacy in the bathroom and I’m a guy who always uses the stall (I’m not gonna lie, all this bathroom talk has definitely made me urinal-curious). Now would be a good time for your urinal tips!
Are bathrooms social places? In my experience, they certainly can be. I never realized how accustomed I had grown to thinking of the bathroom as a social space until I started frequenting the Men’s Room. Of course, public bathrooms are social spaces in the sense that multiple people gather there. But, my subconscious had been trained to also expect that I might be socializing in the bathroom or privy to others’ social interaction. I was used to people making a point of going to the bathroom together, used to people greeting each other and being very polite, used to people hanging out in front of the mirror, used to seeing people chat in front of the mirror, even used to listening to people chat between stalls on occasion.
The Men’s Room was a small culture shock. Personally, I never was one to socialize in the bathroom or enjoy the prospect. While I was quite anxious to begin with, going to the Men’s Room also became a relief for me in a certain way.