I want to bounce something off you guys. It's actually a serious subject and I invite your honest opinion. I value and learn from your comments.
Next Saturday, I'm going to a Halloween Party at a fancy restaurant with four other women. We're going to eat, drink, laugh and have fun. We'll be a mini-party in the midst of the larger, public party.
As you know, I'll be wearing the costume on the right. So will Robin. We'll look alike.
When the five of us head to the restroom, we'll travel as a group... up to a point. At a critical juncture, I will have to split off. The other four women will continue on to the Ladies' Room, laughing and keeping each other company. I, on the other hand, will have to veer off into the Men's Room. Looking like this.
I'll miss them. I'll miss the opportunity to chat while we refresh our lipstick. I'll miss being part of the group we were going in.
How do you feel about this? It's not merely concern for other people's feelings that will keep me out of the Ladies' Room; it's also the law. In almost every area of this country, it's illegal for a person of one gender to use a bathroom designated for the other gender.
Some of you rebels have reported that you sneak into Men's Rooms at concerts to avoid long lines in Ladies' Rooms. I'm okay with your lawbreaking. :)
There are a small number of communities that have made it legal for transgendered people to use a restroom consistent with the gender they are presenting, even if that isn't their biological sex. Those well-intentioned laws aren't always recognized, however, and TG people are often harrassed when they try to legally use those bathrooms.
Two years ago, when I was dressed as Alice Kramden, I faced the same situation. We were in a large catering hall for several hours. Each time I visited the Men's Room, I got bewildered looks. Comically, men near the door double-checked the sign, thinking they'd made a mistake and gone to the wrong room.
More seriously, I felt awkward applying lipstick at the mirror inside the Men's Room. I didn't feel comfortable doing that there -- the men who passed me wore sour expressions of disapproval. But I wasn't going to not do it. I wanted to enjoy the party; I needed to fix my lipstick. Appearing in public that night was a big step for me, even under the cover of Halloween. I wasn't going to let condemning strangers prevent me from pursuing my dream.
Your thoughts on this subject?