Do men care who’s in the restroom with them? The debate over gender-neutral bathrooms has usually centered around women’s restrooms. As the conversation continues, trans men have also raised concerns.
The Ongoing Debate
Is there a specific point in transition that makes it okay for a person born as female to use the men’s restroom? Does the ability to pass for a male make a difference?
Should Transgender Men Use The Male Toilets?
Unlike the conflicting debate over trans women using women’s restrooms, the response on the male side seems fairly unified.
According to a viral post on social media, where a trans man asked for cisgender men to weigh in on the topic, most men shared varying levels of acceptance.
Cisgender Vs Transgender Person
The Centers for Disease Control defines cisgender as “individuals whose current gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth” and transgender as “individuals whose current gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.”
The Transitioning Process
The original poster has been medically transitioning from female to male for four months.
According to the American Psychological Association, transitioning refers to “the process of shifting toward a gender role different from that assigned at birth, which can include social transition, such as new names, pronouns and clothing, and medical transition, such as hormone therapy or surgery.”
Some Notable Male Features
While the poster does not consider himself as “passing” (able to appear like a cisgender male), he has started to exhibit some traditionally male features, like facial hair and a deeper voice. Due in part to these features—particularly the facial hair—he felt much more comfortable using the men’s restroom.
Feeling a Little Self-Conscious
Despite his transition, the Redditor shared that he experienced some “funny looks.” On the post, he wondered if his presence perhaps made other men uncomfortable.
However, women were uncomfortable sharing the bathroom with him at this point, which left the men’s restroom as his only option.
Social Media Users Responded to the Post
An overwhelming number of men responded that they neither cared nor noticed what other people did in the restroom. Therefore, they were unlikely to observe if a trans man entered the space.
“I have not once inspected, sized up, or otherwise noticed a single human in any bathroom ever, I think,” one user wrote. “I kinda just keep my eyes down, walk into my stall, sh** in privacy as far from everyone as I can, and leave.”
Follow The Rule
Another commenter echoed the sentiment: “Just follow the rule. Eyes straight. And no talking to others… Men’s bathrooms are not a social get-together. Pee. Wash hands and go.”
The Question is Still Up For Debate
Some commenters also brought up public worry about the idea of predators taking advantage of being trans to harm others.
Although multiple posts stated that they did not assume danger simply because a person using the restroom is trans, not all agreed.
Despite these mostly encouraging responses, a handful of users did assert their belief that men would “care and judge and complain” if trans people used their restroom.
Men And Women Are Different
Other men in the post’s comment section compared the differences between men’s and women’s restrooms. Men typically do not go to the bathroom in groups, nor do they use the space to socialize. Women, on the other hand, go to the bathroom with friends.
As one user put it: “I think you might be getting ‘looks’ because of your behavior and not your actual looks (passing etc.). If you act awkward or unsure, then that’s odd behavior in a bathroom.”
The same Redditor went on to explain how the men’s bathroom is efficient and task-oriented, whereas “the women’s bathroom is like a teashop sometimes.”
The Overall Advice
The user then advised the original poster to “keep using the men’s and try to act more casual about it. Don’t look too much at the other men; just politely avert your eyes and go to a stall.”
This advice lines up with other posts, which describe the unspoken rules of the men’s room and how (if the poster follows these guidelines) he should fit right in without concern.
Men Are Not Paying Attention in The Bathroom
Overall, users sought to reassure the original poster that the culture of the men’s restroom seems to lean towards function: “I think there’s very different bathroom culture between men and women.”
One commenter wrote, “Men’s bathroom culture is not a ‘safe space’ or has any social purpose. It’s just to do your business, wash your hands, and get out. For women, it seems [to be] very different.”
According to most Redditors in this post, this difference creates a space where no man pays enough attention to others to get upset about things like gender.
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This article Transgender Man Wants To Use The Male Toilets But Feels Uncomfortable, was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source: Reddit.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.