Susanmillers Blog

My life as a heterosexual crossdresser.

Crossdressing issue on restroom use, woman’s vs mens room?

One of the biggest issues facing cross-dressers or anyone in the gender community is the use of public bathrooms. When one is out dressed as their chosen gender what do you do? Now I have been getting out more and more and this now comes up more often for me. Now I have always tried to use common sense on this issue, I really do not want to use the men’s room while out as Susan as I think this would cause more of a problem and be a little more dangerous for me.

I myself try to find a family rest room if possible, most malls have one. I have found this to be the best option. If there is no family restroom then I look for one in a store (like Nordstrom’s or Macy’s most department stores have their own) over one in the mall. This is for the simple reason they are usually less busy. I can also shop in the area for a few minutes (woman’s bathrooms are usually in the woman’s department) and keep an eye on it so I can time it when there is the least amount of woman in there. The key is to not look like you are watching the bathroom as that would look bad. The other most helpful thing is to not act scared or nervous as this will draw attention to you. If you come across as if you don’t belong there others will feel the same way. Try to act calm and confident as if it is totally natural for you to use the woman’s bathroom. Now these are my tips and views and I must admit the better you pass the fewer problems you will have. If they clock you right away there is more of a chance of a problem then if they have to make a decision about you and weather you are female or not. One they could be wrong and two by the time they are sure hopefully you will be out and gone.

 A little etiquette, be sure and sit, take care of business, please wash your hand and if needed a quick touch up on makeup and then leave. If we limit our time in there then there is less of a chance of a problem. I also try to use the restroom on the way out that way if someone does have a problem hopefully I will be gone before something happens. Remember that how we all act reflects on all of the gender community. Now again as so far I have been lucky and not had a problem but I think if I did I would not push what I thought my rights, I would just leave and go someplace else. Most stores I do not believe would make an issue unless someone complained as they are in business and need all the customers they can get especially now with the state of the economy.

This topic has come up a lot in the t-girl group I belong to here in Portland Oregon and Cassandra went ahead and e-mailed the city of Portland and they forwarded her e-mail right to the Mayor’s office here in Portland Oregon. Below is the e-mail and the answer she got back after they consulted the cities attorney’s office. It basically say’s in Portland Oregon we should feel free to use the bathroom of our expressed gender but needs better clarification. We should always remember that there are also laws (public nuisance or public indecency) that could also be used if there was a complaint and a police officer was not sure. So let’s all be courteous and as discreet as possible as to not create a problem and maybe someday this will not even be an issue. A big thanks to Cassandra for finding some answers and also to Portland for getting back to us with an answer.

 Hi Everyone, When that question came up about which bathroom to use in public places for the trans community, I contacted the city with that specific question. The person I contacted forwarded the question directly to the Mayors office and they checked with their attorneys and here is the email they sent back to me. Here is our answer for now. Andrew is with the city of Portland and Clay is with the Mayors office.

Cassandra

 Hi Andrew,

 Yes. Yesterday afternoon, I chatted with one of our attorneys who helped me understand what the current rules are. Basically, this is the situation: part H is a requirement of the party responsible for the “permanent or temporary structures” referred to in part A, which means that the City (or overseer of any public restroom) must “provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations permitting all persons access to restrooms consistent with their expressed gender.” It was understood by the attorney’s office, that this insinuates that a person should utilize the public restroom that is associated with their expressed gender but that there is no clear-cut rule or exception for gender-variant persons.

Violation of these rules is only enforced on a complaint-driven basis and, frankly, we don’t know of any complaints being filed in the city. That said, we do want all citizens in Portland to feel confident, comfortable, and safe in their daily activities, including in choosing which public restroom to use – it’s only logical and fair. For the here and now, Cassandra should feel relatively confident that she can utilize the restroom of her expressed gender (female).

However, I would like to extend a thank you to Cassandra for bringing this to our attention – the policy is much too vague and needs a review. We are considering how to best move forward so that city regulations pertaining to public restrooms are clear and accommodating. Please let me know if you have thoughts on how to do so.

Sincerely,

Clay

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November 29, 2009 - Posted by | crossdress, crossdresser, crossdressing, T-girl, transgender | , , , , , , ,

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