why one’s gender identity is none of your business

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This topic has been in my head since a while. It has been initiated when i first came to Amsterdam and started going to Amsterdam Fashion School. It is such small but extremely important point. The bathrooms at my Uni are unisex, thus for women and men or any other sex that one can identify with. I come from a small, private high school where bathroom, changing rooms and others were strictly separated for male and female, as almost everywhere around the world i suppose. I don’t know if at my University this was done because of lack of space or simply because it is a creative, fashion school and nobody really cares about sexes. 

The other day when I was in a lovely restaurant in the middle of Amsterdam I went to the female toilet. I was wearing a hat and boyish clothes so you could not really say who or what i was for that matter. It was one of those days when my legs needed room, my stomach was blown up and my hair was a mess, so all I saw wearing was boyfriend jeans, oversized shirt and hair hidden under a hat. While I was washing my hands I could see an older woman entering the bathroom and waiting in line for the toilets. I supposed she could not see me directly into my eyes but as i was watching her I could see her looking at me, with her eyes and jaw wide open and analysing me from my head down to my toes. After some time she had the courage and she said: ‘Excuse me, but this is female bathroom, only. Why are you here?’ I smiled and said nothing but she kept on starring. It was funny to see her being quite surprised and almost threatened by my presence. She did not stop starring. So I kept on washing my hands and answered: Why do you care? However, still making sure that she would not be able to recognise myself by my voice. She goes on: Because, it is for female, only. And,… I don’t know, but you are… I turned around, took my hat off and and said: Yes, what am I? In this moment she could not say anything, except: Mhm, hm, oh, well, sorry. And turned around, hoping that a free toilet will take her away from this, extremely embarrassing situation. Some younger women around us started laughing and some gave me an approving look. 

Getting out of that place I was thinking to myself about what just happened comparing it to an everyday situation. A boy that feels feminine inside and maybe even dresses that way is not allowed to use female bathroom because he is, by mother nature a male, with male body parts, but by his way of thinking and feeling feels more feminine. I know there are rules, and I know there are separate places for women and men. But then again, think about it. Why the fuck is this even necessary? Like, we are all humans but because somebody decided to have separate toilets. Because grandmas, like this one, feel threatened by male presence when going to the bathroom, however don’t feel threatened when they are on the other side of the wall, eating their food.

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Pants – Zara | Jacket – LIDL | Blue and Pink Turtle Neck – Vintage | Shoes – Reebok

Milena Sekulic

 

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