Trans YouTuber Jackson Bird reveals what it’s like adjusting to men’s bathrooms
YouTuber Jackson Bird has revealed his experience with adjusting to using men’s bathrooms, one of what he calls the “aftershocks” of coming out as trans.
In an excerpt from his new book Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place published by The Advocate, Bird describes his “post-coming out story”.
He said that coming out is usually following by “a lot of logistics and new experiences to navigate while still feeling the aftershocks of coming out”, one of which for him was starting to use men’s bathrooms.
Bird said at first he avoided going to the bathroom at the same time as his cis male friends “because it felt strange to be in this space with them that I hadn’t previously been allowed into”.
He added: “I was scared that if I did anything to break etiquette in there, like talking too much while we washed our hands, they would no longer see me as a guy.
“Plus, I wasn’t wild about having to walk into a stall while they headed to the urinals and knowing they were probably thinking about what I lacked in that department.”
Safety is the biggest concern when adjusting to using different bathrooms, said Jackson Bird.
Bird makes the point that while getting to grips with etiquette and the awkwardness that came with it, his biggest concern was safety.
He added: “I’m well aware that my use of the stall and risk of not being read as male puts me in danger of getting harassed by a fellow restroom-goer, or even reported by one to nearby authorities.
“So many US states keep yo-yo-ing on whether transgender people are allowed to use the restroom that matches their gender that I literally have to google my pee rights anytime I travel to another state or simply have a layover.”
He pointed out the holes in the all-too-common idea that allowing trans people to use the bathroom that matches their gender will lead to sexual assault.
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“Most of the laws, after all, claim a transphobic ‘save our wives and children from predatory men in dresses’ argument,” said Bird.
“This is messed up for so many reasons. First, it perpetuates the myth that trans women are just cross-dressing men and not the real women that they are, and further, that they dress as women with the sole purpose of tricking cisgender people so they can assault them. It’s absolute crap.
“Even if some people want to claim… they’re just worried about someone taking advantage of being able to pretend to be trans in order to assault someone in the restroom… since when would a law stop someone who’s already intent on breaking it?”
He added that the theory “usually fails to recognise that transgender men exist too”.
He added: “The same law that’s trying to keep trans women out of women’s rooms is forcing trans men, some of whom are burly dudes with impressive beards, into women’s rooms.”