The Bathroom

Now that I’ve made my ebook “Who Cares? Life for an Irish Transgender Teen” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in April 2016.

Something that I don’t admit very often is that bathrooms are an issue for me. It seems obvious but I still don’t talk about it that much. I don’t feel anxious very often but the bathroom is one rare moment when I do. Walking through the door I have no idea who’s going to be on the other side. Will they just keep going about their business? Will they stare at me? Will they laugh? Will they say something rude? I’ve had all of these things happen to me. Most of the time I can laugh about it. I laugh when an old man tells me that “this is the boy’s bathroom.” I laugh when I’m standing at the sink and a man comes in only to see me, apologise and walk out. I laugh when someone looks me up and down or when they ask whether I’m a boy or a girl. I especially laugh when someone sees me while they are standing at a urinal and immediately shields their penis as if I get my kicks entering the bathroom purely to catch a glimpse of their penis urinating. I laugh because it’s useless to get annoyed or upset about it. Most of the time, I tell my friends about it later and we all laugh together. I have to say, the embarrassing experiences have reduced since I moved to the city because people there are more used to diversity.

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The Importance of Gender Neutral Bathrooms.

This year, DIT added 47 gender neutral bathrooms across its different campuses. As a transgender female, I believe that this development hasn’t come a moment too soon. It would be easy to disregard the need for gender neutral bathrooms and of course many people do. I have no doubt that this development has prompted a number of conversations between DIT students expressing their doubts about them. But for a gender nonconforming person, this simple action could be making a world of difference.

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Lack of Gender Neutral Toilets an Issue.

Plans for DIT to include gender neutral toilets in the new Grangegorman campus have been met with praise, but some students are concerned that there are no such facilities in other DIT campuses.

The new campus will include accessible toilets in each of the buildings, and all future buildings on the new campus will also have gender neutral toilets as well as traditional toilets.

David Beattie, a second year Journalism student based in the Aungier Street campus, who is currently in the process of gender transitioning, says that students should feel comfortable while attending their present designated campus.

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