Today was my first experience with a REAL gender neutral bathroom. Not a one room toilet/sink combination, but an actual corridor of stalls and sinks where I’m acutely aware there’s a dude right next to me while I’m peeing. It was…unnerving.
I absolutely get and support gender neutral bathrooms, but it wasn’t until today that I realized I’m not comfortable in one. Maybe it was because I didn’t realize I had a choice (I didn’t notice any traditional ones nearby and with the conference I am at, it wouldn’t surprise me if it had been decided to make them all GN.), or maybe it was the realization that networking just got 100 times more awkward.
Washing my hands next to women, I can bond over the pain of heels or the best lip gloss ever. I’m not sure what to say to a guy when eye contact is made in the bathroom. Sounds like you had tacos for lunch? Or God forbid I would need to ask for toilet paper.
Welcome to my “out of my comfort zone” moment for today. Maybe I’ll try it again tomorrow and see if it gets less weird.