I competed last night at a Moth StorySLAM at The Oberon in Cambridge, MA.
The Oberon has two restrooms. When I started performing there in 2013, these restrooms were identified by placards as "Men" and "Women."
About a year ago, the "Men" and "Women" placards were replaced with placards that read "All Gender." Since then, I had only found myself in the restroom with a woman once, and it was alongside several other men. Though the placards had changed, people for the most part continued to segregate themselves according to sex.
Last night, however, I found myself in the restroom at one point with one other man and three women, and when that man exited the restroom ahead of me, I was the only man in the restroom with these women. I almost didn't notice, but as I stood at the sink washing my hands alongside two of the women, it occurred to me that I was using a public restroom with a majority of women for the first time in my life.
Also, none of us cared a bit.
At the end of the night, I returned to the restroom and found myself alone with one other woman. As we approached the sink together, we began talking. I had won the StorySLAM, and she had recognized me from my previous victories and wanted to know how I managed to win so often. As we washed our hands, I gave her a few storytelling tips, and she told me about her battles with stage fright and her desire to tell a story someday.
I was back on the street, walking to my car, when I realized that I had just engaged in my first conversation with a woman in a public restroom, and I couldn't get over these two facts:
- It was no big deal at all.
- So many dumbass jerk faces (I'm looking at you, North Carolina) think it's a very big deal.
If your opposed to allowing people to use the restroom of their choice, it's time to put on your big boy or big girl pants and grow up. Sooner than you think, "all gender" or "gender neutral" restrooms will be the norm, and people will wonder why gender segregation was once required in order for people to sit on toilets and wash their hands.
After last night, I'm wondering it myself.