Guest Post: On Being a Trans Woman and Crossing the Bathroom Line

20 Feb

By Xeph Kalma

I don’t work for a big company. It’s tech, and it’s a small office, and everyone knows each other. The people are generally kind, I guess, and frankly, I mostly feel like I should just be so gosh darn happy to even have a job me that I shouldn’t have any problems with the situation there.

I tell myself that I should just deal with the constant microaggressions, the misgendering, the fact that no one speaks to me unless they have to; I should get used to the fact that I basically get treated like garbage there, because HEY, LET’S BE REAL. As a trans woman of colour, I am literally super, duper, lucky I have a job. Not kidding. Look at the stats. Probably the only reason I’m employed right now is because I started transitioning while at this company.

So I guess what I really mean is that I’m lucky I haven’t been fired yet.

How fucked up is it to say that I, a professional of 10 odd years, I feel sincerely, honestly, lucky to be considered employable? But that’s the honest truth for me and other trans women of colour; our lives are so precarious that it seems like anything and everything could be taken away in a hot second.

Before coming out/while presenting as male, I had no problems finding work. I spent seven years working in South Korea, then came back to Canada and worked for several more. Whenever I left a job, I was always able to find something new, and quickly. I’m good at what I do.

So when I took out a bank loan, I didn’t really think twice about it. I mean, I was always going to have a job, right? So I didn’t worry about not being able to pay it back.

But now pretty much all I think about is the possibility of losing my job, and the huge challenges I would face if I had to find another one.

You might be wondering how I could lose my job – especially if I’m as talented and hard-working as I say. But here’s the thing: while talented and hard-working helped keep me safe when I presented as male, they don’t mean much now that I’m out as trans. Since I started transitioning, nothing I do seems to make my boss happy. I told myself I’d just keep my head down, nose to the grindstone, and hopefully go unnoticed. Unfortunately, that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped; I’m the trans elephant in the room. Even if no talks to me anymore, everyone still notices me.

I told myself, “Just get work hard and get it done. Be true to yourself, carry on with transitioning, work hard.”

I’ve tried to do these things.

But recently I’ve crossed a line.

You see, with all the work I’ve done in transitioning, things started to get really weird in the men’s washroom at work. My co-workers never said anything, but our office is in a complex, and the bathrooms are shared. I began feeling very unsafe in the bathroom whenever there someone else was in there. I started to become very acutely aware of when other people were using the washroom; I trained my ears to the sound of people going and out, so I could use it while it was empty.

Sometimes people would be in there longer than I thought possible, or I would get trapped in the stall for longer than I thought possible because I would wait until the space was empty before quickly washing my hands, drying, and getting the hell out of there. It was torturous, but I felt like listening to these dudes take a ten minute shit was better, easier, than them knowing that, I, just being me, was in there with them.

I worked this bathroom system for months, a huge slice of my time at work taken up by watching, waiting, listening, waiting, worrying about getting “caught,” whatever “caught” mean. Then a friend let me know that due to where I was at in my transition and living in Ontario, I could go change my legal gender marker. It felt like the light at the end of the tunnel. I thought that it I presented a legal document to our human resources department, then things would have to change. So I let my employers and workmates know that I had applied for this document. I let them know that I would be using the woman’s washroom and asked them to start using my preferred pronouns (she/her/hers). I asked human resources to help ease everyone into it; I wanted this to be as smooth for everyone as possible.

I asked human resources to tell my officemates I’m legally a woman.

I thought, “This will be easy.”

Which brings us to now.

It’s been over a month getting this legal document declaring my gender to be female, I still get misgendered 100% of the time at work. Everyone – literally everyone – in office is aware that I identify as a woman. They just don’t acknowledge it.

I’ve started using the women’s washroom.

My ears still acutely listen to doors opening and closing, and I end up hiding in stalls until people are done what they’re doing. I’ve noticed the two cis women in my office doing the same thing; they don’t want to run into me either.

I mean, god forbid, I may be taking a minute to enjoy looking at myself in the mirror and being proud of what I’ve accomplished. I might be fixing my makeup.

And just to be clear: I am, and I do.

But the fact that others have changed their habits because they’re scared to see me in the washroom hurts. It hurts to be treated if I’m not a woman, or not even human for that matter. But what strangely hurts the most is that I seriously, actually, believed that a different letter on my ID would change something.

So I’m worried about losing my job. They can’t legally fire me for using the women’s washroom, but there are other ways, you know? Totally legal ways to get rid of me and make it look like it wasn’t discrimination. These thoughts colour my every action and interaction at work; I’m always on my guard.

That’s what it’s like to be the only trans person in the office, I guess.

I just want cis folk to know something. If you’re cis, I want you to read the following, digest it, try to understand it:

If you ever run into someone who might not visually match the gender of the washroom you’ve found them in, just chill. They are probably way, way, way more scared of you, than you of them. Scared of losing their job, scared of not being able to find employment again, scared of losing housing, scared of having to even look someone in the eye/talk to them. Don’t say anything; just leave us be. We’ll be on our way in no time.

Chances are, especially if we’re alone, we didn’t even want you to find us there.

10991067_10152581276771583_8032961374066055258_n

Xeph, while mainly being of this world, has spent a large amount of time occupying space in others, and hopes she brought back the best aspects of those other places with her. She’s now committed to somehow, possibly, making this world a better space. She has a background in Earthly psychology and tech, and spent many years passing on communication skills to others. One of the main things she’s learned is, animals are better than people.

41 Responses to “Guest Post: On Being a Trans Woman and Crossing the Bathroom Line”

  1. Arcee Elliott February 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this. A good friend of mine that I met while at my last job was transitioning to male and was working on steroidal injections when I met him. He just fully transitioned over the last summer. He encountered the same kind of prejudice in the workplace regarding the bathroom, and was constantly afraid of losing his job for some ridiculous, spun-up reason despite being one of the best project managers we had. Thankfully for his own sanity, he went on to join a more welcoming company — but he shouldn’t have had to do that in order to be accepted for who he is.

  2. carambalache February 20, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

    This makes my heart hurt. I promise I will keep all of this in mind for the rest of my life.

  3. lynwilderdean February 20, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

    Xeph. I really appreciate you posting this and reminding me that there are other types of prejudice encountered at work besides the disdain for mental illness that recently cost me my job. I feel sorrow over the fact that you can’t use your work bathroom with freedom and I also feel sorrow that you feel your employment is so tenuous. I’ve never encountered someone presenting as a man in a bathroom while I was using it, other than a romantic partner that I expected to be in mine at home, so I can’t say from past experience that I would be, as you say, “chill” – but now that you have highlighted the possibility in this truthful and matter of fact piece of writing, and I have considered it, I am pretty sure that I could be very chill indeed if the circumstance were to arise, and I would do my best to make it just as welcoming as I would for someone presenting as a woman. Thanks again for writing this, I take my cisgender privilege for granted far too often.

    • Mario Savioni February 20, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

      Yes, I appreciate this too. I want to know more. It must be so amazing. You can see both sides of the gender divide, and yet what is safe for me is that as a gay man once told me angrily when I rebuffed him, that no one wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with them. I would however be weary of fear or accidentally insulting someone. This is new for some people.

  4. Nawthorn February 20, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    Okay I am going to try to write this without sounding like an a-hole. Even though I know it is a major risk, and no matter how much I preface this with being 100% on board with trans rights and understanding how much transmisogyny affects everyone negatively (including costing lives), it is going to rub people the wrong way. Maybe this is the wrong place for it. But I’ve been thinking about it a while, since reading ‘Whipping Girl,’ and thought I’d say something.

    In this situation, women are bigots because they’ve been taught that if they aren’t paranoid enough when it comes to their bodies they are responsible for being hurt.

    It is actually sad and hilarious how much shame and paranoia goes into using the bathroom, for (cis, or all) women. Forget jokes about women going to the bathroom in packs to gossip. Consider, instead, women refusing to touch the seat. Holding your breath as you try to rip open a tampon without anyone hearing because… sin? Forget doing #2 while someone else is in there. That’s disgusting. (And forget calling it anything other than #2.)

    So what of (cis) men? One of my earliest school memories is being told we had to go to the bathroom in pairs. I finally found out it was because a man had gone into the girls’ w/c and made someone pee in a cup, telling her he was a doctor. Two years later another man went to a nearby school and flashed some girls.

    Two years ago there was a man in the bathroom at work. I went in (there are about 12 stalls, a numbered lock). He was humming. I froze. I stepped back outside and waited in the office. I thought, okay, trans woman (or possibly man), and watched as a 6ft2 seemingly cis man in a suit slinked out a few minutes later. When I went back in, the seat was a sticky white mess.

    Consider why bathrooms are separated at all, by sex. Perhaps part of it is some outdated notion of chivalry, WASPishness, but really, isn’t the spoken or unspoken fear that men – men who can’t keep their hands off women on buses and subways, can’t keep themselves from leering on the street or raping in frat houses – will have an added level of access to vulnerable, half-naked bodies? And is it such a wild fear? If a woman can be blamed for her own assault by wearing a short skirt, what if she’s hiked it around her waist?

    There have been several incidents of men hiding inside port-o-pottys at festivals. Inside, as in under the seat. How is that even possible, outside of someone’s fever dream?

    And NONE OF THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH TRANS WOMEN.

    NOT A THING.

    Trans women aren’t attacking women in public washrooms. And trans women are not cis men. The more this becomes clear, the better for everyone. Trans people shouldn’t be discriminated against because of the sins of some cis people. But this is one of the reasons why women are paranoid.

    This story breaks my heart. I’m truly, truly sorry if this whole comment has done nothing but make people angry, or deterred from the original power and tragedy of the original post.

    • thepragmatist February 25, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      Yes to this: rape culture alive and well. But women are able to remember that the author works with them and get over it. If anything, perhaps she can approach one of the women (at least) and start the dialogue.

  5. Damita M-S February 20, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

    I want to wish you well. You are going through something that is very difficult. Stay strong.

  6. Karin Griffis (@KarinGriffis) February 20, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Xeph let me first say thank you for sharing your experience and writing this entry. I WISH that I could not believe that in the damn year 2015 that people who know you would treat you in this way over just being a person. I mean what is their damage? Seriously. Secondly, I identify with what I guess you can call well-reasoned bathroom phobia. I use the ladies room and look like a guy. I’m always worried about scaring women who don’t know me and in public spaces and sometimes use the men’s room for this reason although I feel uncomfortable in that room. I’m not trans but I think anyone with any variant on gender expression could id with the effing paradox of a somehow having not-horrible-time in the public bathroom. That being said it is horrible that people that KNOW you would be so prejudiced with their behaviors. Seriously. That’s just disrespectful of them despite your good intentions. All you can do is be classy and unfortunately deal with the fact that other people ain’t as classy as you.

  7. Mario Savioni February 20, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    I remember using a gender nonspecific bathroom at aclub in Hawaii and it was the highlight of the evening. Why? Because I noticed that we still had to be respectful of others, and just like men standing next to each other at the urinals, unless someone cheated and looked toward your penis, we got through it pretty easily, but if you are standing there and can’t quite get going someone walking up to you makes it that much harder.

    What you have on your side is the closed stall. Stay in there and don’t ever cop a glance. People can feel that. I don’t mean to take away your freedom. We have a long way to go. To me this is very exciting. I would not have a problem. What comes to mind is women’s intuition and fear of men, in general. They have to basically have faith they will not be attacked. To them, you may have transitioned, but now you are in the bathroom with them. Ask them how they feel. Make an announcement. Get the awkwardness in the open and don’t corner someone who is uncomfortable with you. After all, this isn’t just about you, but because it is about the truth, it should work in your favor. What about single-person bathrooms in other locations?

    The point is some people are going to feel threatened. I say all bathrooms should not be gender specified. It would lessen objectification, decrease mystery, but some men would still be predatory, perhaps this is what is at work in terms of women’s perception of you as a former man. They may feel their privacy and safety is threatened.

    I don’t believe your job should be at risk, I believe that this relates to the protected class of gender, but perhaps as it is with religious rights in the U.S., which may be applicable to Canada, although I am not an attorney and should not be construed as providing legal advice, in some cases people not wanting to work on religious holidays over more senior people have to work anyway because those with more seniority don’t want to, but I don’t know. This is all conjecture. Perhaps, if it becomes an issue, the company must make accomodations. But, you want to work for a firm that embraces you. I say stop worrying about what you cannot change. You were able to change your gender. I find you exceptional/marvelous, and we have so much to learn from you. You are a valuable asset to what life is really about, which is the truth. I support you. Come to San Francisco. Find your tribe.

    • Lynda M O March 9, 2015 at 6:51 am #

      I second that invitation. Come to the Bay Area where we are so incredibly aware of the differences that make us so valuable and unique. I would love to be your friend and have coffee dates and museum dates and walks in the parks that are so common and so gorgeously natural here.

  8. andreablythe February 20, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    Thank you for this post. I can only imagine how frustrating and scary this must be to deal with. And, I hope things improve for you at work.

  9. leo February 21, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    what is a “cis”?

    • hypermach February 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      most likely you are if you have to ask – it means your gender identity is the same as your assigned at birth gender

  10. BecHanson February 21, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story, this sounds like a very difficult transition and I can’t imagine what you’re going through, I wish it was easier for you and others in the same position.

    I’m not transgender so I don’t understand first-hand, but I’m thinking maybe once you’ve gone through the transition you may have other adjustments too – being a woman. I’ve read that it is quite a surprise to be treated so differently. Apparently men are still automatically given respect, job security etc. just because they’re men, so be ready for that too. Good luck and welcome to the other side!!

  11. Shadiya February 21, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, I really hope things improve, for you and all of us. One numpty question ( I don’t get off the farm much) – what does cis mean? I’m fifty, some of these terms are new to me.

    • bellejarblog February 22, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

      It means not-trans, so basically if you identify with the gender you were assigned at birth then you are cis🙂

  12. Sue Wagner February 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    I’m so sorry you’re having such a hard time of it. I hope it gets better for you—-I hope people become more understanding. Blessings to you!

  13. ItalianHurricane February 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    I bet all these people avoiding you just because you are trans claim to be against racism and to support human rights…

  14. sierradarrell February 22, 2015 at 1:59 am #

    Good

  15. saymber February 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    Reblogged this on As I see it and commented:
    When I was still in the Air Force working customer service I can remember having a transgender customer (male to female). They had such a sad face, nervous. I tried to treat them like I would any other customer – with dignity, compassion and respect. It takes a lot of courage for someone to realize they are in the wrong body gender wise and do something about it. I hope things are getting better for Xeph. Thanks Belle Jar for sharing this.

  16. emilyrwolfrum February 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    My college newspaper recently published an article about the development of several gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. This came to mind as I read this article, and I felt myself instinctively wishing that more establishments would embrace the usage of such restrooms. Not only are they constructed with universal utilities, but they come with a mutual, non-threatening understanding by each user. They are a safe space.

    I hesitate, however, in that I believe that as a woman (whether cis or trans), you should be able to use the restroom associated with your gender identity if you wish. You are a woman, and thus, you should be free to live your life as all women do. Unfortunately, as this is an issue of personal biases and attitudes rather than one of company law abidance, what ‘should’ be has limited practicality. It’s terribly unfortunate, but from looking at other comments, you do have the support of others as well as some helpful ideas. Best wishes.

  17. cllgarrison February 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

    I’m so sorry you don’t feel accepted as you are. If ever I have a job again (I’m a stay at home mom) and we have a trans employee, I will show compassion toward this person and hope others follow suit. Everybody deserves to feel valuable. And you are valuable, even if those sad people you work with don’t let you know it.

  18. hbusse February 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    As someone whose sex and gender seem to match up fairly well, I know I shouldn’t talk…but DEAR GOD YOUR CO-WORKERS ARE AWEFUL! Or maybe I can talk, because I’m a cis-gendered person who has the ability to deal with much more complex situations? like a friend who is proudly female with her friends, but still male with his parents and at his job. I can use the correct pronouns and names; it’s not super hard.
    WE ALL PEE IN SEPARATE STALLS! WHAT DOES IT MATTER?!!
    (Thanks for letting me rant in response to your rant. I can’t believe human resources isn’t like 1000% on top of helping you through this. Ah! So many problems with so much of this story.)

  19. fullmetalfeminist February 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    Just a fist bump of solidarity from a fellow trans woman. It does get easier in time, but it’s never gotten easy, if you see my distinction. Thanks for writing about it, and good luck (also, hey fellow Ontarian!).

  20. hayley February 24, 2015 at 8:36 am #

    This is a heartbreakingly beautiful post. It means nothing, but can I just say, I HATE that you have to feel like this at work.

    I also want to ask this rhetorical question, and I hope you don’t think it’s belittling your message in any way… Why on earth do offices/public spaces even have gendered rest rooms? It seems ridiculous to me.

    Just one rest room with stalls. Everyone’s toileting their own business. Makes more sense to me.

  21. katansi February 24, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    I’m really sorry it’s horrible for you and the behavior of your boss and coworkers is f’ed up. I’m cisgendered, not straight, but sometimes I’m butch so I’ve also been called on heading into a women’s room while not matching American gender markers of female. I’m not freaked out by people who gender female in women’s rooms. I’m really freaked out by women who appear male or transmen in the women’s room because of previous cis men in the women’s room. I’ve been assaulted by men in women’s rooms. I have walked in on men assaulting women in women’s bathrooms.

    I’m sure you’re quickly learning that women have far less safe lives than men everywhere. I know transphobia even in feminist circles is also ridiculously common (and horseshit). But there are also women like me who just have had trauma regarding bathrooms. That’s not even an uncommon thing because they’re often placed out of the way from other traffic for obvious reasons. They’re at the end of long hallways removed from crowds. They’re in basements, sequestered, and hard to escape from. They’re placed where sounds coming from them are hard to hear because no one wants to hear someone taking a crap but this means that no one hears screams and struggling especially in loud public venues. The men at your work place probably just suck as humans but the women at your office might have other reasons for being wary which is something to consider. This is why I’m a huge fan of single serving, and locking, gender neutral bathrooms. I have no idea what the actual solution is to bad reactions since telling possible trauma victims to just chill is not it either. I get that “bathroom panic” is a constant joke to people who deal with trans issues. I gender check because I’m afraid of men and though I’m aware you’re a woman, if it takes me a second to realize it and go on with my business I need that to be ok too. I realize I’m an outsider to your personal situation and I realize in a clearly abstract way that being transgendered must be horrible basically entirely because of other people, but I am also scared for not insignificant reasons when someone I can’t immediately identify as female is in the women’s room.

  22. katansi February 24, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    I’m really sorry it’s horrible for you and the behavior of your boss and coworkers is f’ed up. I’m cisgendered, not straight, but sometimes I’m butch so I’ve also been called on heading into a women’s room while not matching American gender markers of female. I’m not freaked out by people who gender female in women’s rooms. I’m really freaked out by women who appear male or transmen in the women’s room because of previous cis men in the women’s room. I’ve been assaulted by men in women’s rooms. I have walked in on men assaulting women in women’s bathrooms.

    I’m sure you’re quickly learning that women have far less safe lives than men everywhere. I know transphobia even in feminist circles is also ridiculously common (and horseshit). But there are also women like me who just have had trauma regarding bathrooms. That’s not even an uncommon thing because they’re often placed out of the way from other traffic for obvious reasons. They’re at the end of long hallways removed from crowds. They’re in basements, sequestered, and hard to escape from. They’re placed where sounds coming from them are hard to hear because no one wants to hear someone taking a crap but this means that no one hears screams and struggling especially in loud public venues. The men at your work place probably just suck as humans but the women at your office might have other reasons for being wary which is something to consider. This is why I’m a huge fan of single serving, and locking, gender neutral bathrooms. I have no idea what the actual solution is to bad reactions since telling possible trauma victims to just chill is not it either. I get that “bathroom panic” is a constant joke to people who deal with trans issues. I gender check because I’m afraid of men and though I’m aware you’re a woman, if it takes me a second to realize it and go on with my business I need that to be ok too. I realize I’m an outsider to your personal situation and I realize in a clearly abstract way that being transgendered must be horrible basically entirely because of other people, but I am also scared for not insignificant reasons when someone I can’t immediately identify as female is in the women’s room.

  23. experitokimazi February 25, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Reblogged this on experitokimazi and commented:
    Hi nice day

  24. thepragmatist February 25, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    I don’t identify with a gender and never have, but I’m not unhappy with my body (just wish I could alternate bodies, I guess, at my will!) But I am biologically a woman and I remember the very first time I was confronted in the swim change room by a male-female trans in transition. I knew her from Women’s Studies. My heart pounded because there was a biologically male body disrobing in the room and I was 23 and a survivor of rape. So, we locked eyes, and she turned away. Other women came in, some with children, and loudly talked about her. Avoided her. Stared. It had been a big deal to get this “privilege”. So I changed benches so I was between the gaggle of meanness and her, and started talking about the bad weather, school, etc. I could feel in that moment that she needed that shield. I changed until I was naked, as I normally would, and I could feel the others in the room staring at us. Silenced. She very slowly and nervously answered the small talk about class, but didn’t budge. Changed with me. Chatting as same-sex students would in a public change room.

    I watched her transition over the years until she could “pass” and eventually, we’d mock ourselves laughing, in that same room, many moons later. “Hi,” she’d say, “Bad weather!” 😄 this was in a small town 12 or 13 years ago now where my gay male friends got physically assaulted by bigots fairly regularly. Good thing about “bad weather” is it passes. BE YOU. Find allies at work. It takes bravery and a good sense of humour but this is going to get better. Focus on the positives and start to relate to your women colleagues as a woman. Confide your discomfort with a woman who seems like an ally: women do go to bat for one another. Maybe she’d agree to be your bathroom buddy. As juvenile as it seems, once you’re seen a few times exchanging make up tips and talking at the sinks, you’ll find other women fall in step. It’s too bad there’s no woman there courageous enough to welcome you.

  25. robertmgoldstein February 27, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    I feel your struggle. I’ve always been a bit of a gender queer and I’m proud to be part of the GLBT community–But It takes a special kind of courage to go through the transition-
    I respect your courage, I’m glad that I found your blog.🙂

  26. lilypup February 27, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

    I am so sorry you are forced to go through this. I have bipolar and have been sick and somewhat out of the loop, but saw “The Imitation Game” the other night. Look at his treatment. Twenty years from now, your situation won’t be a blip on the scale. It all seems so silly. Who cares who you pee next to? http://lilypupslife.wordpress.com/

  27. Sharrow February 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

    Reblogged this on Activism and Agitation and commented:
    Please take the time to read this.

  28. vhbui101 February 28, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    Rock who you are. There is nothing to be ashamed of. If your coworkers don’t see that you are still the same you, simply with a different gender on a piece of paper, then they don’t matter. The ones who do are the ones who still take your gender change in stride and treat you the same/as you want to be treated. Keep your head high, never feel bad for being true to yourself.

  29. laurabedlam March 7, 2015 at 12:04 am #

    Thanks so much for writing this. A couple of years ago I did something that left a pretty big impression on me. I was at a bar with some people including a friend of mine who is a trans woman and had come out like less than a year before this. I had a few beers and then I had to pee and sometimes that stereotype of women going to the bathroom in clusters is pretty true. So, without thinking, I snagged my friend by the arm and bounded all tipsy to the women’s bathroom with her in tow. It didn’t occur to me at the time that this might be the first time she’d ever been in a public women’s restroom – which it was. I just did what I’m accustomed to doing: going to the bathroom with another girl. When we got inside, she looked around the place with this mixture of wonder and excitement and nervousness, but she told me that she was really stoked to be there and said that it was her first time. So I got excited for her and I felt kinda special that I got to be there for it and share in this experience that was really important to her and that made her happy. That being said: if I could do it over, I’d definitely ask her first if she wanted to join me, because dragging her in without thinking could’ve gone bad in a couple of different ways. So I got really lucky that she handled the unexpected milestone so gracefully and that she didn’t get mad at me for being myopic and that nobody gave us any trouble. But the experience kind of opened my eyes to some of the stuff I take for granted that trans* people have to deal with on a daily basis. I really hope for the best for you regarding this issue and I’m distressed to know that it’s taken such a toll on you. Wishing you lots of luck for whatever the future has in store for you. -LB

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. OUR SUNDAY LINKS : GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine - February 22, 2015

    […] Xeph Kalma’s guest post on the Belle Jar speaks frankly about the microaggressions and misgendering trans women of colour regularly experience in work environments. […]

  2. Gender Focus | Round-Up: Feb. 24, 2014 - February 24, 2015

    […] Xeph Kalma has a guest post at The Belle Jar about being a trans woman and starting to use the women’s washroom. […]

  3. Think of the children | Queer Femme Mama - February 26, 2015

    […] The people who have most to fear in bathrooms are those who are gender non-conforming and face harassment every time they try and go pee. […]

  4. Another Sexual Deviate Too Frightened to Use the Can | baconfat55 - March 31, 2015

    […] Guest Post: On Being a Trans Woman and Crossing the Bathroom Line […]

  5. On the second day of Christmas: February 2015 | Sex blog (of sorts) - December 26, 2015

    […] On Being a Trans Woman and Crossing the Bathroom Line, Xeph Kalma, 20th Feb […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: