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Which restroom to use at work?

Brianna R

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I’m wondering when if ever I should start using the women’s restroom at work. I work in a factory where there are many more men than women. I’ve worked here for over fifteen years and have been slowly coming out over the past couple of years. I’ve only come out to everyone in the past six months and I’m slowly presenting as more feminine.  I still use the men’s room because I’m afraid of upsetting my female coworkers. The problem is that as I go through this transition I’m becoming more feminine both inside and outside.  So eventually I feel like I won’t belong in the men’s room.  I’m planning to have GRS and breast augmentation in the next couple of years. I was wondering how others have dealt with this a their work places. 

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It depends on the people involved, both yourself and your co-workers.


Personally, I am pretty binary, so I didn't do a gradual transition.  I stood up at one of our monthly meetings and told everyone that I was trans and that, starting the following week, I would be presenting as female and going by the name Kathy.  Kind of like flipping a switch.


The rule of thumb for most people is that your choice of bathroom depends on your presentation.  When I was presenting as male, I used the men's bathroom.  When I started presenting as female, I started using the women's bathroom.


That rule of thumb works pretty well for bathrooms, but may need some rethinking if locker rooms and showers are involved.

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I started a job late last spring as security at a factory, telling the powers-that-be that I was a transgender female. I was told up front that I would use the ladies'room or an any sex one. Only worked there for about 5 weeks - never saw an any sex one. Never a problem. My current workplace has a fairly small area for employees - drivers and aides in and out constantly. My use of whatever restroom was never discussed at hiring. The ladies room has only two stalls, so I tend to avoid the voiding when there's a lot of folks milling about. (I operate under the assumption that there are some who are not on board with who I am, and certainly want to avoid any conflict.) Never used the men's room there, and never will.


I wanted to start using a local health club, but during the winter, the management does not want coats, gym bags, whatnot, cluttering the floor, so that means frequently using a locker. Not there yet - will rethink after hopefully getting surgery.

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yeah Washington is a pretty progressive state.

I think they have open bathroom law

So go where you feel more comfortable. Rule of thumb is you go to restroom that you present as

good luck


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I'm guessing there isn't a gender neutral or "family" restroom?


I work from home, so my advice is limited.  But having started life out as female, I know that women often go to the restroom in pairs or groups.  Do you have any female friends that you hang out with at work?  Sometimes there's safety and reduced discomfort in numbers.


For myself, on the rare occasion when I visit a restroom in public, I follow whoever I'm with.  With my GF or a female partner, its the women's restroom.  With my husband, I go to the men's.  With my friend who is a trans girl, she prefers the women's restroom so I go with her.  My appearance is relatively androgynous, so I haven't had issues. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the event of any incident while using a womens room,  I think you’re legal gender is what counts.   (Is that right anyone?)

@Brianna R I also worry of upsetting my female co-workers.  Guess we’re both considerate😊


I gratefully started my current job after my legal gender change.  
With mask mandates that helped hide my continuing transition through the first year+ there.  These things helped me be confident to be in the womens rooms with everybody else I work with all the time. 

Its important for me now to feel comfortable passing as female while dressed down and not trying to pass.
I wish this for myself and for every single person soul reading this who wants it. 

In my earlier transition, I would use public womens rooms when I was dressed femme, with makeup.  I did it a lot.  Kind of intending to make myself comfortable through varied repetition. 

If I wasn’t comfortable, I might have darted quickly in and out of any closed stalls.
Same if I went into mens rooms. Definitely.

 I live by trust my gut. 


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12 minutes ago, Maddee said:

 I think you’re legal gender is what counts.   (Is that right anyone?)


In theory, yes.  However, the thrust of recent legislative attempts is to define your "gender-for bathroom-purposes" to be whatever was recorded on your original birth certificate at the time of your birth, regardless of any paperwork that you may have filed since then.  In other words, they don't care what's legal.


It should be the legal gender that counts, but the nutbars think otherwise.

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  • Admin

I would check with your work's Personnel Director and/or Human Resources Director on any company policies in regard to Transitioning employees.  They will use their procedures to notify your co-workers who need to know and remind them of how to deal with THEIR problems with the situation.  I do not know specifically about Washington, but down here in CA, any single user restroom is considered All-Gender no matter what the sign on door says, and your employer may have the same policy in place, so that is one avenue to look at. 

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I had already retired by the time I finally admitted to myself I was trans.

Where I worked there was only 1 woman there -- secretary/receptionist.  She used the one in the office, as did any female visitors.  I'm positive that I would have been terminated if I had come out there anyway.


The last time I used a men's room in public, there were a few guys in there.  (I was wearing a dress but didn't know what else to do. This is NC, home of the notorious bathroom bill.) Let's just say I was terrified.  I will hold it till I bust before I ever do that again.

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What I have learnt while socially coming out to my friends is that we put far more thought into things like this than most people do in their lifetime.

The first time I went out and used the female bathrooms my friends or sister were always there with me, because I was so nervous.

When I went on a girls weekend with my friends I worried about using the loo at rest stops and even the single loo/shower & hot tub at the house we stayed in. None of them had even thought about it until I was thanking them for being so understanding. 

We make it a bigger issue than it is or needs to be. Everybody pees.

I echo many of the above sentiments, in public just use the place that matches your presentation.

At work, if you are nervous just ask one of your female friends & they will probably accompany/guard the door for you until you feel comfortable or raise it with management to get an official policy in place.

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Thank you all for your advice.  I asked my HR department what the company policy was she told me that I could use whatever restroom I’m comfortable with and if anyone didn’t like they could use a different one. I still don’t want to make my female coworkers uncomfortable so I asked one how she felt about it she said it would be weird at first but she’d get used to it. Turns out that there is a single use female restroom in the building next door so I’ll use that on until I have my surgery next year after I’m presenting more feminine. 

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