Restroom Etiquette

Early women's room photo
Jessie Hart

Every now and then I feel the need to share my learning time using the women's restroom. 

Even though I had exactly no experience of using the "room" as a novice transgender woman, I had plenty of experience with women being totally inappropriate when using the women's room. I can't tell you how many times I cleaned up messes, tried to repair broken stalls and even had to remove feminine hygiene products from toilets. All of this occurred when I was a restaurant manager so you can probably imagine the problems I encountered.

So before I even started to have to use the "room" on my way to playing in the girl's sandbox, a couple of preconceived ideas I had about others (women) who used it were destroyed. Women were definitely not always the cleaner or well behaved gender when it came to rest room usage. An example was how quickly I learned to check the toilet seat before I sat down.

Many other "rules" were self explanatory such as sitting down when you pee. Other not so evident rules include trying to direct your pee stream into the bowl to mimic the sound a cis woman makes in the next stall over. I even went as far as carrying a tampon or pad in my purse if I was asked to provide one by another woman. 

Truthfully the one thing I had to get used to was being greeted eye to eye in the rest room by other women. Of course I was so used to the exact opposite in macho men's rooms I sued to frequent. Early on I became used to it and often tried to speak first. 

Another hard and fast rule I couldn't forget (no matter how quickly I was trying to finish and leave) was to always, always, always stop to wash my hands which was a great time to check my makeup and hair. Another surprise was I rarely heard any of the super secret conversations I thought women were supposed to have when they head off together to use the restroom. So called girl talk became boring quickly. 

Even though it has been years since I have been challenged about using the rest room of my choice, back in the day when I was first coming out of my gender closet that wasn't the case. One night I had the police called on me for just having to pee, all the way to some cis woman calling me a pervert. To this day I still carry the scars of those long ago encounters, 

I am sure you all may have your own restroom etiquette experiences such as never putting your purse on the floor. Plus some of you are lucky enough to live in a state where it is legal to use the restroom of your choice. Sadly we have to go through all of this to do what should come naturally. You shouldn't have to hold it in all day just because narrow gender minded people still exist. Just don't forget to follow a few simple rules in the room to help yourself along.