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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sooo hiya guys! Uhm I'm terrible with intros so uhh, I'm Fiery and I'm an alcoholi...wait, that's not right. Oh, there we go, *reads postcards*. Ok, I'm Fiery and I'm trans and currently in university. I've been presenting female here for a while and been on hormones a while (in addition to starting youngish), so I'd say overall while I still have a lot to learn, most people either do see me as female with 0 idea I'm trans or people are just really nice and accepting here (I can't figure out which). BUT, the issue is that in the building where all my college classes are, there's no unisex bathroom and next semester, I doubt that I'll be lucky as I was this semester to get a class schedule that essentially grants me a 2 hour break in between my classes to run to my dorm and back repeatedly. What does this mean? It's very likely I'll have to use the gendered bathrooms.

The problem? 1) I have social anxiety so the "Just act like you belong (which you do) and no one will care" advice is kinda hard to do and avoiding eye contact, dashing to a stall, then to sink, then out totally won't draw attention to me (sarcasm), 2) women arn't like guys in that all eye contact is entirely avoided in the bathroom, and 3) while most people who meet me see me as female, all it takes is that 2% of women who realize I'm trans, get uncomfortable, and decide they want to make a big mess out of it and I've got all kinds of monumental trouble to work with.

I talked with a friend who goes to the same university who's trans but went the other way on how the university handles it and he's basically just "It unfortunately relies on if you pass or not." Though with the time he's been on testosterone, I'm pretty sure everyone would be thoroughly confused if he walked in the women's at this point. One year of hormones for me isn't quite as dramatic as his one year due to the difference between the two. So yeah, I have no idea how to handle this situation for next semester and quite honestly, go in the men's and LOTS of people are going to be uncomfortable and freak, or go in the women's and someone may REALLY freak out. I mean, it really shouldn't be a problem since next semester I will be living with 2 other girls who both know and don't care but they are both psychology majors who get the situation as well so, *shrugs*.
 

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I'm going to assume that the ladies' room has separate stalls, while the men's room has urinals?

Just go into the ladies' room and act like you belong there. You say this is hard because of your social phobia, but what is the alternative? You'll undoubtedly draw much more (negative) attention if you go into the men's room, presenting as female, and whip out your... thing in front of the urinal.

I'm quite curious of how your FTM friend managed the men's room if he can't, you know, pee standing up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to assume that the ladies' room has separate stalls, while the men's room has urinals?

Just go into the ladies' room and act like you belong there. You say this is hard because of your social phobia, but what is the alternative? You'll undoubtedly draw much more (negative) attention if you go into the men's room, presenting as female, and whip out your... thing in front of the urinal.

I'm quite curious of how your FTM friend managed the men's room if he can't, you know, pee standing up?
Men's rooms also have stalls. Sometimes people have to do more than just pee. Trans men usually just go in a stall in sit down though there ARE devices that let you standing up if he so wanted. Usually a stall and a urinal for a small bathroom and a few urinals and a couple stalls for larger.
 

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Men's rooms also have stalls. Sometimes people have to do more than just pee. Trans men usually just go in a stall in sit down though there ARE devices that let you standing up if he so wanted. Usually a stall and a urinal for a small bathroom and a few urinals and a couple stalls for larger.
I honestly didn't know that there were devices that could help a person with female genitalia pee upright. I guess you learn something new everyday, eh?

I stand by what I said in my first reply. Just go into the ladies' room and do what you have to do. It's nobody's business but your own what you do inside a bathroom stall. Either way, I think that using the men's room would set you up for many more problematic situations. I can only speak for myself, but I sure as hell don't particularly pay attention to fellow bathroom users. If you generally pass, I really doubt anyone will question your presence there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I honestly didn't know that there were devices that could help a person with female genitalia pee upright. I guess you learn something new everyday, eh?

I stand by what I said in my first reply. Just go into the ladies' room and do what you have to do. It's nobody's business but your own what you do inside a bathroom stall. Either way, I think that using the men's room would set you up for many more problematic situations. I can only speak for myself, but I sure as hell don't particularly pay attention to fellow bathroom users. If you generally pass, I really doubt anyone will question your presence there.
I honestly don't know if I generally pass or how well, unfortunately. It's a whole new social arena. Guys will flirt with me but some girls give me like deathglare looks or judgemental looks and I can't work out if it's because I don't pass or I pass and it's a "you look ridiculous" type thing. Learning curly hair is hard, ok >.< and my female friends are always "you look fine and don't have anything to worry about"
 

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Just use the women's washroom and act like you belong there (because you do), like you said.

I think it might cause a bit more trouble for you to use the men's, because they might think you're going there for a different purpose. Hope that makes sense.
 

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Maybe you can go in with a friend that you trust for a little while until you feel better about it? Not sure if this is the best advice, but that's all I got.
 

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Put it this way. Women don't urinate in public the way men do, so using the women's bathroom as the default should be absolutely fine. Afterall we just enter a private stall anyway. If someone makes eye contact you smile and say Hi then go about your business.
 

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I honestly don't know if I generally pass or how well, unfortunately. It's a whole new social arena. Guys will flirt with me but some girls give me like deathglare looks or judgemental looks and I can't work out if it's because I don't pass or I pass and it's a "you look ridiculous" type thing. Learning curly hair is hard, ok >.< and my female friends are always "you look fine and don't have anything to worry about"
Women give each other death stare looks if they feel threatened for any reason. Maybe it's because you're pretty and they feel insecure and jealous.
 

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I honestly don't know if I generally pass or how well, unfortunately. It's a whole new social arena. Guys will flirt with me but some girls give me like deathglare looks or judgemental looks and I can't work out if it's because I don't pass or I pass and it's a "you look ridiculous" type thing. Learning curly hair is hard, ok >.< and my female friends are always "you look fine and don't have anything to worry about"
Are you sure these women are really giving you judgmental looks, or could that simply be your own insecurities telling you that? Much of the time we imagine people are focusing on us more than they actually do in reality. I remember having really bad acne during my teenage years, and I used to think everyone was looking at the spots in my face, but I eventually came to realize it was mostly all in my head.
 

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I'm sorry you have to be in this situation. I know at my university we're getting a lot of unisex bathrooms in our new buildings... but of course that doesn't help you at all next semester.

I'm not trans, and I'm not even in the same state as my trans best friend so I don't have much personal experience practically dealing with this. But... It sounds from how you've described it like you do pass pretty well? I could be incorrect, but that's how it sounds like. I think you could make it in the girls' room.

Also, I think it could cause some problems as well if you went into the boys' restroom. If you're trying to pass, working on people seeing you as female (sorry I just know this is what my trans friend is working on) and getting people to see you as that... it's going to be shattered for people a little bit if/when you go into the restroom that you don't identify with. And it'll help people see you as more female if they see you going to the female restroom.

But as I said, that's just my inexperienced opinion.

Do you have an LGBT center on campus? Or even a disability resource center, if you have the psych diagnosis to accompany your transitioning (which I assume you do, as you've been on hormones for a while) they could help you with this too. The LGBT center especially, I'm certain you are not the only person who has run into this dilemma.

If it helps, there's a trans guy who lives in my dorm, who's in the Honors program with me. I wouldn't have any idea he was trans if I hadn't seen him at one of our LGBT meetings. He passes extremely well. I know a few transphobic people, and they have absolutely no clue that, wow, they know a trans person and he's actually a really great guy. I understand you may not yet be comfortable in assuming yourself as passing, but when you do reach that point there's a really good chance that other people won't see you as anything but female either :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm sorry you have to be in this situation. I know at my university we're getting a lot of unisex bathrooms in our new buildings... but of course that doesn't help you at all next semester.

I'm not trans, and I'm not even in the same state as my trans best friend so I don't have much personal experience practically dealing with this. But... It sounds from how you've described it like you do pass pretty well? I could be incorrect, but that's how it sounds like. I think you could make it in the girls' room.

Also, I think it could cause some problems as well if you went into the boys' restroom. If you're trying to pass, working on people seeing you as female (sorry I just know this is what my trans friend is working on) and getting people to see you as that... it's going to be shattered for people a little bit if/when you go into the restroom that you don't identify with. And it'll help people see you as more female if they see you going to the female restroom.

But as I said, that's just my inexperienced opinion.

Do you have an LGBT center on campus? Or even a disability resource center, if you have the psych diagnosis to accompany your transitioning (which I assume you do, as you've been on hormones for a while) they could help you with this too. The LGBT center especially, I'm certain you are not the only person who has run into this dilemma.

If it helps, there's a trans guy who lives in my dorm, who's in the Honors program with me. I wouldn't have any idea he was trans if I hadn't seen him at one of our LGBT meetings. He passes extremely well. I know a few transphobic people, and they have absolutely no clue that, wow, they know a trans person and he's actually a really great guy. I understand you may not yet be comfortable in assuming yourself as passing, but when you do reach that point there's a really good chance that other people won't see you as anything but female either :)
Well, my situation is a really weird mixed bag of sorts and things are really complicated haha. On campus, there is no way in hell I'd use the men's restroom, I'd made up my mind this semester that if I had an absolute emergency, especially with how people see me, I'd use the women's if I absolutely needed to, but I usually would just wait until I got to my dorm and purposely not drink much if I knew I'd be in class a while. My goal is to pass entirely as well, yes. The complication with this and this is probably why I'm so self conscious is that I was always of the impression that once you start passing, you stop passing as a male. The thing is that I work 2 days a week and I still have to present male. I pass as male when I do this and go to lunch so it creates this odd disconnect of "Wait, I pass as female when I present that way, but I pass as male when I present that way too, wait what?" I have a pet peeve that I refuse to change my voice (to the lower register it once was) even when presenting male. Worst I'd get was that someone would be unsure of my gender. As for LGBT centers and disability, dysphoria apparently isn't recognized as a 'disability' and most schools give you more of a 'tough' response. I could provide my psych letter if asked but at this point I talk to my doctor more than my psych so I'd probably just get her to write it.

Women give each other death stare looks if they feel threatened for any reason. Maybe it's because you're pretty and they feel insecure and jealous.
I doubt it haha. I'm 5'11 and I often have shortish frizzy/curly hair even after I blow it out due to just how curly it is and I never wear makeup for fear of looking like a clown due to inexperience. I don't think anyone would be jealous of me, haha.
 

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1. I highly doubt that there are no handicap bathrooms or single-person bathrooms available at your university. I'm willing to bet they exist and you simply aren't aware of them.

2. I cannot imagine that anyone would care if you went into the girls' bathroom--as long as you went into the stall and minded your own business, who could possibly care? Especially if you dress as a female. I think this generation is a lot more aware of trans issues; probably the best possible place one could be trans (most accepting place) would be college. Especially if you're at a liberal arts college.

3. honestly just find a single-person bathroom. I swear they exist. There's a single-person bathroom on my campus--it's in the art building (go figure. It's the one place I'd expect to find one).

4. There are lots of other bathrooms that aren't single-person but that are rarely visited. They're almost always empty. Those are good, too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
1. I highly doubt that there are no handicap bathrooms or single-person bathrooms available at your university. I'm willing to bet they exist and you simply aren't aware of them.
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There are, a 10 minute's walk away from the building where all my classes take place. I have 15 minutes in between classes :p And it's a STEM college, but *shrugs* I just know some people can make a really big deal out of small things and I'm hoping to avoid confrontation. My picture is in my profile and I look dorktastic.
 

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There are, a 10 minute's walk away from the building where all my classes take place. I have 15 minutes in between classes :p And it's a STEM college, but *shrugs* I just know some people can make a really big deal out of small things and I'm hoping to avoid confrontation. My picture is in my profile and I look dorktastic.
You look adorable.

I bet if you walked into the bathroom as though you owned the place, no one would even question it. I think confidence has a huge effect on other people and their willingness to accept things. If you do something unordinary but are super confident about it, no one would even question it or notice that anything unordinary was going on, I bet.*

But if you do something unordinary and it shows on your face that it makes you uncomfortable, that signals to other people that there's a reason to be uncomfortable. That perhaps something is going on that's out of the ordinary that they need to take notice of.

'nom sayin?



*I'm not necessarily trying to imply that confidence is something so easy to achieve that anyone could simply be confident anytime they want to be. But, that is kind of my opinion. I'm a huge believer in "fake it til you make it." It's never let me down. Really truly.
 

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They don't have any single person bathrooms or ones in the basement or somewhere hidden away that almost nobody ever goes there? My university had a bunch but they were kind of hidden away (that's kind of the whole point). They actually had single person bathrooms with showers in the Engineering building but nowhere else (guess they were trying to give us a hint with that one).
 

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Your best bet would be to use the women's restroom. Is there another girl who could escort you? People generally are less likely to judge or make comments if somebody is with a friend and not alone.

Also, if you are comfortable with telling your professors you're trans, I'm sure you could work something out that would allow you to take a little longer and walk back to your dorm to use the bathroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Your best bet would be to use the women's restroom. Is there another girl who could escort you? People generally are less likely to judge or make comments if somebody is with a friend and not alone.

Also, if you are comfortable with telling your professors you're trans, I'm sure you could work something out that would allow you to take a little longer and walk back to your dorm to use the bathroom.
I'll be rooming with two friends and I know either would if they were around. The complicated part is that they are both psychology majors and I'm a computer science major and while we will be staying on one campus practically, I will be taking a ferry to a campus 15 minutes away for the STEM program where they won't be. So unless I can get really lucky early into class and make supportive friends quickly, someone with me won't be there. >,< But my friend swears that I'd be fine and that if she didn't know I was trans, she would have never guessed.
 
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