I began to hate the signs I saw on the toilet doors. After so many unpleasant experiences of being stared at, there was no longer a toilet where I could go in and come out comfortably. No matter which toilet I entered, I would be taking a risk. Even when my hair started to grow out and I started to look like a female again, I knew I would remember the things I experienced when I went to the toilets as a male. However, I knew that if I had shaved my hair before, I would feel like doing it again at any moment. For the next two to three years, I constantly had thoughts about getting my hair shaved and come out as queer again, but all my previous experiences of going to the toilets made me hold back.
Things changed for the better when visited the UNSW Queer Collective for the first time in three years of my university life. I met a diverse range of people with different gender identities, all fearlessly expressing themselves wherever they went. I was inspired by their bravery. I also found out that a lot of gender-queer people would go to disabled toilets. So, I had the courage to shave my hair again.I decided to go to toilets for the disabled.
Sure, there would be no one staring at me whenever I entered because there’s only space for one person in there, but I would often be conscious of what people would think of me if I entered the toilet. Would they think I wasn’t meant to be in there because I wasn’t disabled? I’d think so myself. Things become more troublesome when it’s occupied because I have to go searching for another toilet for the disabled that isn’t occupied.
I want a place where I can go to easily without being worried about getting kicked out. I don’t want to look at a label that does not represent who I am and feel forced to enter a place that other people think I’m not supposed to go, or be labelled as disabled when I’m not. I need unisex or gender-neutral toilets so that I will not cause any inconvenience to disabled people who actually need toilets for the disabled.