Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bathrooms...

When TN starting dressing very male, cut his hair, and was "passing" for a boy, the bathroom question became important. We would be in a restaurant and the waiter, would say "he" or "what would you like, buddy?" while taking TN's order. People saw TN as a boy but TN was still going into the girl's bathroom.

That needed to change. We were in one of the Smithsonian museums downtown and TN was walking into the girls bathroom with me. A security guard yelled "Oh hey, buddy, that's the girls bathroom!" to stop TN (probably thinking TN wasn't paying attention).  I said "Oh that's my daughter." and TN went in with me. However, we'd be in the girls bathroom and ladies would walk in and give a double take or they'd say "Oops, am I in the wrong bathroom?"

It became very clear that it wasn't going to work with TN going into the girls bathroom anymore. That was so incredibly scary for me - you have no idea!  I'm imagining my then 14 year old kid getting questioned or (God forbid) sexually assaulted in the men's room. TN could not physically use a urinal so he would have to use a stall all the time. There aren't as many stalls in the men's room. What if he got questioned?  What if someone heard him peeing in the stall and made a comment?  What if some uber macho man guesses TN was Trans and decided to test him?  Ugh... I don't even want to think about it. 
Fortunately, most of the places we go, there's not a lot of chance of those awful things happening. So TN started going into Mens rooms at age 14-15 (now he's 17) and I would stand right outside the bathroom. If he took too long, I'd pop the door open slightly and call his name. But I can't be there all the time. There are going to be many many pee breaks and I won't be there. All I can do is hope TN uses good common sense and keeps his eyes open. 

Now public bathrooms aren't as big of an issue because it's a very anonymous function. However, at school, TN has been with this same group of kids for the past 11 years. They all knew TN as a girl and many are now aware that TN is Trans and living as a boy. However, I have NO CLUE how many of those boys would react if they came face to face with TN in the boys bathroom in the high school. I'm sure many would feel awkward. 

It would probably be awkward for TN if the guys looked awkward. Along with that, my horrible fears come out again - what about those boys who don't understand Trans and are lead by violence?  Would anyone threaten or go through with "proving TN is really a girl" by sexually assaulting him?  I'm sorry but there have been groups of high school and college boys who have gang raped girls. So it's natural for me to be afraid of that same gang mentality becoming a horrible reality with my TN in the boys room where there isn't immediate adult oversight. 

With all of that said, if TN were in a different school, starting as a boy, I'd be comfortable with him using the boys room. Many Trans kids have done this. Unfortunately in some areas, politics and lack of understanding is causing issues. There's a Trans boy who has been using the boys room in South Carolina for years. However, all of a sudden a teacher learned the boy was Trans, and pushed the issue. Now the administration is saying the Trans boy must use the girls room or the nurse's bathroom. Even though this kid absolutely looks like and lives as a boy.  http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/school-suspends-trans-boy-for-using-boys-restroom-after-girls-complained-he-was-using-theirs

Currently TN uses the nurse's bathroom. It's a little out of the way but his teachers all know he may take longer to go to the bathroom if he gets a pass during class. So far, TN hasn't complained about using that bathroom vs the boys room. I honestly prefer that because of my concerns. 

TN is halfway through his Junior year in high school. I fully expect him to start college in a year and a half and use he Mens rooms all over campus. The hope is if he starts that way - and starts as a man in college, there will be no concerns.  

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