Shadow (dariaphoebe) wrote,

We sat in the same pub we'd had dinner in a few hours earlier. Separating those moments, we'd walked a bit over 4 miles around the small town in which we sat. Punctuating our walk were a college's grounds and the courthouse of the county that cleaved to the southwest flank of my own. Our party of 8 had shrunk to just 3: my ex and another friend who played the same game we did sat across from me.

We waited, at first, to see if someone would come by to take our order. Finally, the owner came by and queried as to what we wanted. As I spoke, I asked myself what was passing through his mind. Maybe he hadn't known I was transgender before I opened my mouth. It was certainly possible. I was quite certain he would after hearing me talk, though.

As they chatted, I passed to and from the conversation as I checked my phone compulsively. The world was changing around us as we sat there, and unlike them, I didn't have the privilege to ignore it.

I tried to stay engaged in the moment. There was nothing I could do, anyway. Still, as the musing continued, I finished my drink, and then the water in front of me. A 45 minute ride back to the city would follow, and one of my medications is a diuretic. Even though I knew what I needed to do, the burden had increased.

Finally, though, I steeled my resolve and walked away to void my bladder. I still had that option.

The state of North Carolina last evening passed HB2 of 2015, an act which in addition to some collateral damage of minimum wage and anti-discrimination laws would make it illegal for me to use the proper lavatory facilities in any state or school facility in their borders. More broadly, though, the local anti-discrimination laws which were struck would have also protected my ability to use the correct bathrooms in other public places.

The laws codify the gender on a birth certificate, so my Pennsylvania birth means that the surgery I plan to have when I figure out which rock I left the money under will entitle me again to the right facilities there. In that vein, my privilege shows again: I'm rather certain I'll eventually find a way to pay.

But the trend is now evident, and it points at an ugly future. It beckons the way to a world where I am expected to put myself in harm's way, in the path of people who would molest me because I am, and have been forced to be, accessible to them in moments where they might not otherwise be controlling their urges and impulses. It's not unique to me, either: a conservative estimate places the transgender population of just this country at over a million people.

Two interstates and a simple path of surface roads separated me from the bed I planned to end the night in, but the truth of the world weighed on me far more during the ride than the full bladder I'd traded for it had.
Tags: bathrooms, gender, transition

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