Ladies Room Lament

Hey Readers. On day 7 of NaPoWriMo my poem is on a topic which if you are trans woman like me seems to be the subject of more curiosity than any part of your life and I can’t seem to figure out why. I’m at a loss to understand why so many people seem fascinated as to which toilet I use when I go to do what we all do. Surely common sense would dictate that I and every other trans woman should use the ladies as we are living full time in our true gender or at least you would think so.

This however is not always the case and there have been a few occasions when I have faced prejudice and outright discrimination with regards to this issue and the perpetrators have been mainly though not exclusively men. In the main though, I am fortunate that I can walk the streets of Baillieston, Glasgow, and Scotland without too much transphobic bigotry getting in the way of my quality of life.

This is in stark contrast to trans woman in certain parts of America who have been told that they cannot use the ladies room because they are not biologically female. This to me is prejudice at its most ludicrous and forcing trans woman to use the male is not only an example of blatant discrimination it is also has the potential to put trans women’s lives in serious danger.

You know it’s often said that where America leads Britain will follow later. Please Britain this is one lead I urge you not to copy as to do so would be an embarrassment beyond all measure. It is with a genuine concern that have written this poem in support of trans rights and entitled it Ladies Room Lament I hope you enjoy what I think will be challenging and thought provoking read.

Ladies Room Lament

Dear Narrow Minded
For your information I am a transsexual woman
this statement of identity
does not mean I am less human than you
just because you think boys wear blue and girls wear pink
so I ask why do you care what toilets I use
why do you get confused
about where I go to do
what we all need to do
why does this phase you so much
I don’t question your right
to do as you please
so why do you feel the need
to tell me your unsolicited opinion
I live as a woman
so I think it’s obvious
I should use the ladies
rather than the gents
would you be more content
If I had to stand next to a male
in my party dress
or a short skirt
or stood at the mirror
for what men would claim was   hours
to re-apply my lippy 
or check my slap
look the world has moved on
from Jurassic park
there are safety concerns to be addressed
do you not get it
if I looked the wrong way
I could regret it
even if my glance was unintentional
going to the loo is not remotely sexual
at least not for me 
I don’t want to be viewed as a piece of meat
a tasty treat to be devoured
by a stranger’s eyes
viewed as a prized position
this is why I will always use the ladies
to do what I must
in privacy and with dignity
where nobody sees what I want to keep hidden
well I learned the rules on discretion
in my formative years 
they served me well as a trans teen and twenty something
when my condition was swept under carpets not to be discussed
in polite company
and certainly not with friends and family
who would get it mixed up with sexual orientation
now in more liberal times
my identity no longer perceived
as a crime
I am an equal citizen
I am just like any other
trans I may be but woman I am
so when you use words
daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend
you are describing me and many others
who though we may never be mothers
are still women
with all the rights and challenges that presents
I am not content to fit in to your world of boxes
where choices are fixed at birth
prejudice is an ugly child
discrimination its uglier sibling
so stop pretending I’m something
I could never be
just because it’s easier for you
I don’t care what you say or do
I will use the ladies room
to celebrate my right to be myself and every other woman and man
who has stood by side on my journey.

@ Gayle Smith 2016 

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