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Forced to use the Nurse's Bathroom

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by PossumJack, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. PossumJack

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    So as some of you know from my previous threads, I'm came out in school as transgender. The problem is that the school administration still doesn't allow me to use the men's facilities. Instead, I've been told to use the gender neutral bathroom inside the nurse's office.

    The problem is, half of my classes are at the exact opposite end of the school from where the nurse's office is. It takes me 10+ minutes to go to and from the office. It feels ridiculous that I need to miss out on so much class time just for a bathroom break

    I live in New Jersey, which has some of the most progressive laws against transgender discrimination. This includes school environments, where the administration is not allowed to discriminate against me or restrict my gender expression. Theoretically, I'm supposed to be able to use the restroom which matches my gender and the school isn't allowed to take action against me for it.

    Nevertheless, I've been told not to use the men's room. Should I say "fuck it" and use the right restroom anyway? I pass pretty much all the time now to anyone who doesn't know me personally. And it's not just that it takes a ludicrous amount of time to get to the nurse's office. I also feel marginalized and pissed off by how I'm restricted from a male-only area which I have every right to access. :tantrum:
     
  2. banana1

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    I just took a look at your profile photo... just say "fuck it" :wink:
     
  3. jane anon

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    This probably won't make you feel any better, but as somebody who's spent 18 years going to the men's bathroom, I can say with 100% confidence that male bathrooms are always gross. There is always pee all over the place (more pee ends up on the toilet seats than in the toilet).

    (Hope that at least gave a laugh.)
    Good luck.
     
  4. Kaiser

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    That is where the problem resides.

    Because of the possibility somebody could take advantage of that, which could cause a fiasco:


    "Oh, uhh... I'm a woman/man, yo! Lemme use dat men's/women's bathroom!"​


    The school system here, appears at least, to be taking a "better safe than sorry" approach. It is unfortunate that, because of potential hooligans, it comes back to bite us, the genuine souls.

    Now, I know you don't want to hear this, but it needs to be said, to explain what is happening here. You pass as a male, and that's great -- but people are going to hold you to, your body's features. To those who know your situation, that is. Nothing screams easy lawsuit, a.k.a. "gimme dat money" like a woman (and I say that, on their behalf, and no disrespect to how you identify) in the men's bathroom.

    You could take action, but then you risk adding more atop the stack of life's miseries. You could just defy them, and go to the men's restroom, and risk some type of action taking place. Or, you could look at this golden opportunity here:

    You have access to a faculty bathroom. In EVERY education facility I have attended, from public school to alternative schools, the faculty staff bathrooms are, not only cleaner on average, they're more private. You're receiving this in exchange for some extra walking distance; I'd say that's a fair trade, or it would be for me.

    Besides, it could be worse. You could be denied use of the nurse's bathroom, and told to go to the women's restroom. But they seem to acknowledge your situation, which is a lot better than many of us, who get laughed at or shot down.

    If you're really passionate about this... well, you do what you believe is necessary.
     
    #4 Kaiser, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  5. Michael

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    Great.
    Go to your local LGBT center and tell them about it, they'll probably take action, and if they don't want to, then ask them who would be willing to do it. If they still refuse to help you, look for another LGBT center.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. DoriaN

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    Use the men's bathroom.

    If you feel you will be physically harmed then opt otherwise.

    Aside from your safety and your safety alone, do it.
     
  7. lyjo

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    You're a man, and should have every right to go to the men's toilets. Complain about it to the administration and report it if they deny you that right. If it's a battle you're willing to take on, then do, for you and for all the others who feel discriminated because of being trans and surrounded by ignorant people. It's important to stand up for yourself. I think that it would be symbolic and just normal that you obtain the authorization from your school.
     
  8. BradThePug

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    I would get in contact with the people that are in charge of enforcing the anti-discrimination laws for transgender people. I would avoid using the men's bathroom for now, because that could get you in a lot of trouble.
     
  9. WillowRose

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    Contact the state chapters of the ACLU and GLAAD, and tell them you've got a situation nearly identical to The case of Nicole Maines in Maine. (Her case was just decided, in her favor, last November. It cost her school district $75,000 to be told to do the right thing). I'm pretty sure they'd be happy to help you out. What your school is doing to you - forcing you to use a segregated, inconvenient facility - is WAY out of bounds.
     
  10. PossumJack

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    Thanks for all the advice! I think for now I'm just going to start using the men's room when I have to. Most dudes I know have stated that they don't really care, and it's pretty unlikely that the school board would even find out. Unless someone reads me as female and actually takes the effort to complain to the board about it, which is amusingly unlikely considering the "not giving a shit" atmosphere my school has.

    I'll have a talk tomorrow with my guidance counselor and GSA adviser (who's also the school's anti-bullying specialist) about the issue and see what the administration has to say. If they still refuse to budge then, well, things might get a little complicated since I'm still technically a minor and my mother's on the fence about accepting me as transgender. Legal action would be...difficult.

    @Kaiser:
    Problem is, I've already worked with the administration on this. They know that I'm a guy, I present myself to everyone as a guy, and almost everyone in school is at least aware that I identify as a guy. It's a pretty different situation from a girl in a flowery dress randomly declaring herself a man and then waltzing into the men's room. I doubt anyone would take all that trouble talking to counselors, school psychologists, and principal assistants just to gain access to the bathroom of the opposite sex for...hooliganism, or something. Nevertheless, I see your point that the school is trying to safeguard itself from a potential buttload of lawsuits by bigoted parents.

    I agree that compared to a lot of other transgender students, I'm far better off in that the school is at least trying to address my needs. Even so, it just doesn't feel right that I have to be restricted to what is basically a segregated facility like some kind of deviant. You know what? It's my last semester in high school, I have 4 months before I get to flip up both my middle fingers and waltz out of there. If right now isn't the perfect time to take a stand, I don't know when is.

    On a lighter note, the nurse's bathroom isn't as clean as you'd think (the staff bathrooms aren't gender neutral so I'm not allowed there either). On my last visit, a kid just finished throwing up in there. Using a bathroom facility usually reserved for sick people isn't a particularly pleasant experience >_>
     
  11. WillowRose

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    It doesn't matter what they "think" they're doing: what they are asking you to do has already been judged to be illegal discrimination in (multiple) other states, and also runs contrary to explicit guidelines recently issued by the (Federal) Justice Dept. They are flat out, unambiguously in the wrong on this.

    If you choose to challenge them on it (which I'm encouraging), you'll be doing it for the sake of the next trans kid, and the next. Seriously - ACLU of NJ will almost certainly be happy to help.