Friday, February 10, 2006

Peeing in Peace

And no, it's not for those of you who are shy about peeing in public or for those mommies out there who get followed into the bathroom when your child was otherwise entertaining themselves just moments before.

It's about transgendered (.pdf) folks being allowed to pee without worrying which bathroom they should choose to do the peeing in. When a MTF or FTM is transitioning, they may find it difficult to pee in either place because they are not either gender at the moment (hence the meaning of the term androgyny). Something as simple as going to the bathroom can rapidly become a traumatic experience.

Which is really what Peeing in Peace is about. Why aren't there non-gendered bathrooms? Who cares whether you have a penis or a vagina, so long as you pee in the proper place?

That said, I do wonder if non-gendered bathrooms would be safe, which isn't about it being right or not. I do think it's the right thing to do, I'm just not to sure it's safe given the large amounts of intolerance this society still suffers from. We've heard the stories of people getting attacked in bathrooms, more so women than men, yet I feel that safety is a mere glitch than an argument against non-gendered bathrooms.

I have been known to use a men's restroom from time to time and I've given men permission to men to use a woman's restroom a few times, too. Usually this happens when I know there is only 1 stall so as not to disturb anyone else or make them uncomfortable. However, I've had to go in men's bathrooms several times in order to help Peanut. (At Busch Gardens once, as soon as I got in the stall and locked the door, several men came in. We ended up waiting for almost 10 minutes before it was finally empty again. You should have seen the look on the guy’s face that was going in as I was going out. Priceless.)

So my point is, why not non-gendered bathrooms? Is there really any harm in them? Wouldn't it help transgendered and androgynous persons feel more comfortable within their own skin and in society?

)This whole quest for inclusive peeing rights could also expand to disability rights. Have you seen some of the accessible stalls? Who the hell do they think will be accessing them? Certainly not persons using a chair or a walker....)