Ask a Crossdresser: Bathrooms 7

So like, when you’re dressed up, what bathroom do you use?

I had a co-worker ask me this once (HEY, IT STILL COUNTS) and I forgot to write about it. Also, a commenter asked a similar question, and it definitely deserves a thorough answer.


When I’m at work and I’m dressed up, I use the men’s bathrooms. Since I present as female maybe 10% of the time, it seems inconsistent to pick and choose which bathroom I’d use at work. Almost certainly, no one would have any issues with me using the women’s bathroom, but it still feels a bit weird.

When I’m dressed up, and I’m out in the world… I use the women’s bathroom. Or, more correctly, I try and avoid using the bathroom as much as possible, but in dire need, I will use the women’s bathroom, preferably with a female partner-in-crime, which helps.

Why the women’s bathroom? Well, when I’m presenting as female, it not only makes sense, but feels a lot safer. It’s *far* less conspicuous for me to go to the women’s than it is to the men’s. I wouldn’t say that I’m eminently passable on close inspection, but a sideways glance and you may never know – and a woman going into the men’s bathroom attracts attention, whereas a woman going into the women’s bathroom does not. Believe me, I want to draw as little attention to myself as possible, and going into the men’s bathroom while presenting as a woman (even though I’ve had no issues on that front) is simply terrifying.

Living in the Bay Area makes this an easier prospect. Most people/businesses are somewhat familiar with those of us who are non-gender-conforming, which generally makes this a non-issue. That said, laws local to you may have different ideas about what is acceptable or not, and so definitely be aware and use caution (and more importantly, don’t take my experience as advice! My only advice would be to make your own judgement calls, and be safe!).

And really, why aren’t there more gender-neutral bathrooms anyway? Believe me, the only thing I want to do in there is pee, wash my hands, do a quick mirror-check, and then get the hell out of there. And that’s true, regardless of what gender I’m presenting as!

If you do have to go to the bathroom, it might be worth knowing which businesses nearby you are accepting of non-gender-conforming people. A quick shout-out is definitely deserved by Macy’s and Nordstrom who’ve always treated me respectfully when I’ve been shopping there :D

For more questions, go to Ask a Crossdresser

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7 thoughts on “Ask a Crossdresser: Bathrooms

  • Kathryn Camfield

    A very nice lady from Tahoe City NV emailed and asked me if I’ve ever had any difficulty using Ladies Rooms.
    The answer is: NONE.
    When I was pretending to be a man back in the day, I used a men’s room because that’s what I looked like. (I’ve never used a urinal, I have always sat down in a stall. Always.)
    Since I began living as a woman, I’ve used ladies rooms with impunity since I look like a woman. I’ve used ladies rooms for 16 years and never had any incident of any kind.
    I have also stood in line at ladies rooms, something which happens much more often than you may imagine.
    Inside the ladies room, I go to a stall to take care of business, then wash my hands and stand in front of a mirror to touch up my makeup and then I leave.
    The transgendered bathroom deal is an imaginary debate. Most women have probably been in a public restroom with a transgender person and not even realized it. In Britain, trans people use whichever bathroom they feel most comfortable in.
    Trans rights are being made the focus of a national culture war between religious right and liberal left. As one alleged politician said, “I am concerned that sexually predatory men will take advantage of the new bill by claiming they are transsexual in order to freely access any women’s washroom.”
    First of all, no man would even dream of dressing up as a woman to get into a ladies room. Why should they? And how does one “claim” to be transgendered? It there a guard at the door?
    Do you know how many recorded incidents there are of trans folk harassing people in public restrooms? Nada.
    Transgender folk harassing straight women does not happen. At all.
    But telling lies about transgender folk harassing people happens all the time
    Frankly, for transgender women like me, the ladies’ room is the most logical and safest place for us to go.
    The only thing out of the ordinary that’s happened to me in a ladies room was one night in that small ladies room at the base of the stairs near the Parlour of Prestidigitation theatre in the Magic Castle.
    I came out of a stall to find myself face to face with the beautiful Sharon Stone. I gulped and said, “I so enjoy your work.”
    She smiled and said, “May I ask your name?” “Kathy Camfield,” I said. “Well, Kathy, I really like your dress.” She smiled again and swept from the room.
    Here’s the scoop for the religious right:
    If you look like a boy, you use the little boy’s room.
    If you look like a girl, you use the little girl’s room.

  • Awoman

    As a woman I have to say I have a big issue with a crossdresser using a woman’s bathroom. Now, as for a transgender, they have been doing this for years. No issue there. Why… A transgender wants to live life as a woman. If a transgender who wants to be a female they want to have a relationship with a man. They are not looking for a female, but as you know the majority of crossdressers are heterosexual males. How do I know this.. I was married to one for over 20 years. He lied to me about his needs and while I did walk away I know now that had he been honest, I would have been able to accept this eventually but I really cannot be with someone I don’t trust. Why do I say this? Because I am now with a great man who… you guessed it… is a crossdresser. He knows my feelings on this and agrees with why I feel the way I do. If I were to walk in and see someone who is a crossdresser I would walk away until he left. But, what I don’t understand is why a crossdresser who wants to feel like a woman.. would hate women so much to take away our rights of privacy?

    • Liz Summers Post author

      I’ll address a couple of things you said

      > If a transgender who wants to be a female they want to have a relationship with a man.
      This is not necessarily true – I know a number of people who have transitioned and remain married to their wives.

      > But, what I don’t understand is why a crossdresser who wants to feel like a woman.. would hate women so much to take away our rights of privacy?
      Firstly, I doubt there’s a crossdresser on the planet that hates women. On the contrary, I would say that crossdressers love women so much, that’s one of the main reasons they dress up. Secondly, I’ve never really understood the privacy thing – you’re in a stall by yourself. No one’s peeing with the door open, unless *that* is the great mystery of women’s bathrooms! Believe me, if I am dressed up and use the women’s bathroom, it’s purely so I can pee and get the hell out of there. I would much rather not use the bathroom at all because any bathroom is a terrifying prospect, but I would much rather use the one I feel safer in.

  • Abby

    I’m pretty new at this crossdressing thing. Been wanting to try it for years. I have been doing it for about a year now and I’m starting to get things right. The Makeup is by far the hardest thing to do right but with a lot of practice much trial & error {mostly error} I’m starting to get a few things right,
    In fact I was feeling pretty good about everything that last Saturday night, and all dolled up and bored with no place to go, I decided to out in public for the very first time. After some driving to get up my courage, I decided on a ice cream sundae at McDonalds, I was so excited and scarred at the same time but I sat there in my best ladylike demeanor {back straight, knees together} and enjoyed every bite. I was so thrilled I could hardly drive home. I loved it, just loved it.
    Then today I was again all dressed up when I discovered that I might be overdrawn on my bank account and I need to go deposit some money in the ATM. I didn’t want to get all undone so I reasoned that nobody would be there in the middle of the day on a Sunday. I couldn’t have been more wrong, There was over dozen people waiting to use that ATM. I grabbed my purse and took my place in line,
    I stood there in my new skirt & blouse waiting to see if someone would make any comments but to my surprise, everyone was very pleasant.
    After I finally got to the ATM I went to a drive-in and got a hamburger and eat it in the parking lot and then enjoyed a very pleasant drive home.
    It was so nice to get out and do something instead of being stuck in the house, I’m still on cloud 9,
    I’m was so thrilled about what had happen to me today that I decided I would get all dolled up again and go to a Walmart store tomorrow for some girl shopping, Again, I’m excited and scared at the prospect of what might be. I’m hoping for a pleasant experience like I’ve had before. However, since I have a slight prostate issue that makes me have urinate a lot I may have a slight problem, That problem would be this, what restroom would I use if I do need to go, I feel that using the Women’s restroom would be less of a problem for me then going into the Men’s restroom dressed the way I intend to dress,
    Don’t know what kind of trouble I could get onto but if I do have to go I will do so very discretely. In and out as quickly as possible.
    I’m so wound up about tomorrow I don’t think I’ll get much sleep tonight