Morning Gorgeous xx
How you all doing today? Hope you’re all doing great and life is fab. If anyone isn’t having a great time at the moment, you have my prayers that better times are just around the corner. As I do hope that they are. But anyway, to the title of this post. As it must have you wondering what the hell I’m talking about? Right? No, you got it straight-away, really? Let me explain, and then we will see if you did. Because I’m not convinced you’re 100% there if you haven’t been through it.
A big issue for anyone who’s just starting out on the transitional journey, is the use of public toilet facilities. At some point in your transition you HAVE to start using public facilities of the opposite gender. Whether you like it or not. And most Trans people do, that’s what they want. Although, I can be a bit (very) scary at first; especially at my age and the type of transition I’m going through.
So, using me as an example (and I’ll add images later so you can see), I’m already dressing and working as a woman – And I’m told I look good, definitely passable, even at this point in the transition. As I’m Male to Female, that makes it REALLY difficult to use Men’s public facilities. Not that most men would care about this too much. They’d look at me a bit strange, but they’d just put it down to the ladies being full and it being an emergency. And likely wouldn’t even think that if a young enough child was present. But women, on the other hand, can have a BIG problem with that. A cisgender male in a female public facility can find himself being arrested and placed on the sex offenders register if he doesn’t have a good reason to be there, no child and you’re doomed.
Some things will take time to change.
There are still women out there though, particularly of the older generations, who still have a problem with Trans Women. The attitude “You’re not a Woman”, when you clearly are, still persists in some circles – It’s been thrust at me, full force and I didn’t like it. On the other hand, most women just generally find it intimidating; and need a bit of time to feel more comfortable around a strange woman – who has male parts – but acts like a woman – but sounds like a man. Do you see what I mean?
In any event, with the advent of gender-neutral facilities,;this shouldn’t be a problem for much longer. The world is changing, and if you really are screwed, there’s always a disabled facility. Or is there…
THAT, is toiletgate. Right there.
You see, where I work, all of the above came into play, really quickly. I transitioned in December, changed my name, and started coming into work as I finally wanted to be known, and dressed accordingly.
It. Was. Liberating. I’ve never felt so good in my life.
The only problem was, that being a rather explosive transition, I needed to think about other people. It wasn’t just going to affect me. So I offered to use the disabled facilities in work; for a short period of time, until things had calmed down. They’re the only gender neutral facilities in the building. The only problem with that, is that there were a limited number of disabled facilities and they’re quite far away from my desk. But such is life, as I thought, it would only be a few weeks at most and I could cope with that – Even though my bladder control had gone out of the window along with my male persona.
So we reach New Year. New Year, New Start. And I advise HR that from the first week in January, I would be using the correct facilities for my new gender. The law says I can, everything else looked good and I thought I had a good body of support behind me (I do, no issue there). I also had a reason to expedite the change, so it had to happen. And I thought everything would be fine, enough time had passed. But I wasn’t expecting what happened next.
Let me give you some background, and I have to be careful not to give too much away – But I was kind of forced into the decision. The nearest facility that I was using; was also directly in front of a different company, who are in the same building. And EVERY time I used the facility, someone would try to access it while I had my Trousers or Dress around my knees. And this, to me, is rude – That’s how I was brought up, I’m a 70’s child; things were different. If someone’s on the toilet and you can’t be certain it’s in use, you knock on the door. It’s respectful, it’s Adult, it’s the right thing to do. Isn’t it?
Apparently not, at least that’s how I now feel about it.
When it first started happening, I let it go. I have a son, he has flung the bathroom door open on me while I’ve been having the morning constitutional many times – And then shouted at me for being there. My presence was required, by him, elsewhere. Get on with it Dad, this is MY time; not yours, sort it out – He’s my son, after all.
But it was happening EVERY SINGLE TIME I was on the toilet. And in a short space of time, it grated on me; a lot, like the fires of hell. So I collared someone one day, who I could clearly see didn’t need to use the facility, and I asked then what they were doing, and they told me. They were taken aback at being asked though, which I thought was very strange. I admit, I was a little harsh in the way I asked; but not overly so, just direct questioning – No introductions, so to speak. Yeah, if you want to call me rude, do it; but re-read this post before you do, just to get it straight in your head. Anyway, I was told they were allowed to use the facility as an extra toilet, and I was taken aback; that’s not normal in the UK. Disabled facilities are separate and need to kept free – that’s the law. Their for the use of disabled persons and I shouldn’t really be using them, but I had no choice and I am classed as disabled anyway, so the law is a little bit on my side.
But it didn’t stop and it happened again. So I complained, to both the company and our HR. Issues were starting to boil and needed sorting out.
So were back the point where I’m going into the Ladies. I see I’ve got no choice, I NEED the loo and there’s an issue with the one I’m using. I’m scared witless of using the female toilet but I don’t know what else to do. So I call HR and I advise them I’m ready. I’m not, but it’s ‘Bull by the Horns’ situation. The one’s I deal with best. But alas, no, I’m not going in yet. Concerns were raised by other female members of staff in my department when they were told what would be happening – they need more time. I can’t not agree, I’ve offered them time just not enough apparently. But please; what do you want me to do. I didn’t have to offer, the law is clear; once I transitioned, I could use the Ladies, no questions asked. And I’ve got a BIG issue with then Gender Neutral (Disabled).
A side issue is going on around the “You’re not a woman” point that I raised in the beginning, and I’ve got a complaint against member of staff but It wasn’t raised yet. In any event, this boils over and I head home, I want blood and it’s not a good idea for me to get it.
In swings the bosses and HR. This needs sorting out. Now.
Next up is a 2 hour meeting with me, my boss and HR. Where I clearly explain what is going on and that I’m not happy – A duty of care for all members of staff is fine, and I’m happy to use a different facility; but it’s not working out with this one. I’m told it’s the only option and it was my decision, just give them more time – I agree. They’re right, no denying it; no matter what the law says or what I feel, that’s the way it is – I said it first. For me, at this point, it’s put up and shut up. And being the type of person I am, I actually agree with that; it’s just VERY difficult where my privacy is concerned, so it can’t go on forever. There’s also going to be a point where the other staff are going to have to put up and shut up too – I mean, what happens if one of these idiots successfully manages to open the door. I get a feeling there’ll be fireworks, I’m VERY protective of my privacy when I need it. In all honesty, that would not be a pretty day in the office, or hell as it would quickly become. I know I’d lose it and that’s a big No-No. I just felt that day was rapidly approaching, and it scared me. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost control.
As a way attempting to sort it out, building maintenance got involved. A notice went on the door advising users to check the handle. I was told, by building maintenance, that eventually some kind of upgrade to the lock would be fitted – it was just being looked into, and it was being treated as urgent. That appeased me a little bit more. And for a few days everything was fine. But then there was a weekend and during weekends everyone forgets. Come the Monday morning, I head the little girls room and I do my business. All is fine you would think? Hahaha, gotcha – No.
The damn door near comes off it’s hinges while I’m in there. I hear the other companies door go, I hear two steps and then boom. Luckily it didn’t open, but it was close one. I LOST IT. I shouted at whoever was outside, the words “excuse me”; very loud. I finished my business and I left the toilet, then I waited. Someone was going to come back round the corner in a moment, right into the jaws of hell – I didn’t care, I was pissed. Luckily for them it never happened though. Our office manager appeared first and politely asked me what I was doing. I’m quite an honest character, even when I see red. So I told her, no reason to lie. I was quickly dragged off to one-side and told in no uncertain terms not to be where I was and DO NOT do what I was about to do. Understandable, and rightly so. They have a point. It would have gone off.
At this point though, I’m not sure if she fully understood my perspective. There were members of her team who raised concerns and she has a right to be protective of that. So I do wonder if having that perspective maybe clouded mine in her mind a bit. Again, I’m a straight-forward girl and I like to see all sides of an argument, even when pushing my own. Therefore, her perspective was for me to calm down. Try and see thing as they are and get used to the situation, it will resolve itself in time. There was relationship between the two companies and this issue was putting it in jeopardy, calm the **** down.
Well of course it will resolve itself in time. I agree, it has to. But it’s just not going to happen while I’m using that toilet. Whatever situation has gone before needs to change if I have to go in there, it is at great odds with my personal privacy. I feel it was getting discriminatory pretty quickly as I’m forced into using a facility that I clearly can’t. Even if the situation is of my own making. I was trying to be helpful but I had NO idea this was going on, and there’s was NO way I was making it my problem. Personal privacy to me is paramount. I’ll tell you what I want you to know, for example. It just couldn’t go on and there was no way I having anyone tell me that it would.
A solution was very quickly found.
There is a set of toilets in that building that very few people know about, as they’re hidden behind a door in an area of the building where it’s obvious if the facility is in use. And it’s not a long walk to the next nearest. And guess what, it’s Male and Female – NO disabled or gender neutral. The staff that do use it are aware and are very pleasant about it’s use. If the door is shut, someone is in there.
And now I’m allowed to use it. I CAN use a public female toilet after all.
Anyone want to call me a B***h right now? Please do, I think I found my inner b***h over this – I do need to know who she is. But I honestly thought I’d given people enough time, and there was the Christmas break in the middle. So did I misjudge something? Clearly I did – I misjudged people and their feelings, and people can be as protective of their feelings and privacy as I can, so I get it. But I think I got it in the beginning as well, so maybe that wasn’t it. What I think I didn’t get, and I reacted badly to, is how rude people can be when they think they have a right to something and that right is being taken away from them – Whether or not that right actually exists in law. If they think it’s theirs, get out of the way because they’re not letting it go.
My male persona would have fought tooth and nail for the underdog (the disabled in this case) and would have been like a dog with a bone – no way would he have let it go. Once he had the bone, tough. But then so will my female; or my natural, persona – They’re one and the same after all, just one was an adaptation of the other trying to fit in with the world around it. But here’s the difference. As a woman, the feelings spill quicker and then they’re gone, they dissipate. I’m not angry at what or why this happened, I just wanted a solution that allowed me some privacy. So I’ve backed down quicker, and I see the level playing field sooner. I still have travel to a toilet, a lot further than I need to – but I don’t have an issue with that toilet, and using it is keeping the peace for all concerned. The dog will give up the bone if you just let it bark for a minute, because it’s not really interested in the bone unless you throw it and ask it to play fetch.
Food for thought isn’t it.
Love you all.
5 replies on “Toiletgate.”
Women have a bad time when being confident, assertive, or fighting for their rights. In men, such behaviour is celebrated. A woman displaying the same behaviour is ‘a bitch’. So yeah, you’re a bitch. Thank fuck for that, be a bitch, OWN IT X X X
[…] to being Transgender, as I too have suffered discrimination due to my gender expression (see “Toiletgate“). He was discriminated against, he was seen as a second class citizen, it was as if his life […]
[…] give you the details of that, sorry. That wouldn’t be fair on the individuals involved (See Toiletgate if you want an idea of why I do things this way). It’s not fair on other people, this is not […]
[…] in a later post). And I was working as a Senior Analyst at HR software company here in the UK (Read Toiletgate for how that ended). I was starting to get things back on track – Making new friends, […]
[…] Toiletgate. – Feeling Trans […]