How Should Transgender People Conduct Themselves in Gender-Specific Public Restrooms?

Transgender Persons in Shared, Public, Gender-Designated Restrooms

A “transgender male” is a person with a female or part-female anatomy who self-identifies as of the masculine gender. A “transgender female” is a person with a male or part-male anatomy who self-identifies as of the feminine gender.

A transgender person whose outward appearance is consistent with the gender with which he or she identifies should use public facilities consistent with his/her self-identified gender.

When using public restroom facilities, a transgender person should, to the extent possible, conduct him/herself in a manner regarded as generally consistent with the gender with which he or she identifies. For example, a transgender female, when using the women’s restroom, should sit to urinate when using a shared facility even though her anatomy would allow for urinating from a standing position—the reason being that urinating from an upright position would alert, alarm, and may make uncomfortable other women in the facility. A transgender male, on the other hand, would not attempt to urinate at a stand-up urinal in a male restroom, but should, instead, urinate in a toilet stall from a sitting or stooping position.

A transgender male desiring access to a dispenser of feminine products within a female restroom facility should not enter the female facility, but should, instead, request the kind assistance of custodial personnel or a female entering or exiting the facility in the securing of the desired items.

Inter-sex, inter-gender, bi-gender, gender-neutral, gender-ambiguous, gender-fluid, gender-curious, a-gender, etc., persons should utilize the gender-specific public restroom that is consistent or more consistent with their outward appearance, conducting themselves accordingly therein.

As with all other matters of etiquette, one’s personal needs and wants must be balanced as against those of others. The objective should be for everyone using public restrooms to be comfortable and at ease.

With the increasing acknowledgment and acceptance of transgender people, business establishments and municipalities are increasingly offering gender-neutral restroom facilities with individual stalls, or offering gender-neutral accommodations in addition to gender-specific ones. But in the meantime, the onus is on gentlemen to make the transition as comfortable and as seamless as possible.

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