Photos that Confront the Fear and Anxiety of Peeing While Trans
"I just want to pee, wash my hands, check if I have food in my teeth, and leave without being harassed."
It's 2016, and peeing while trans is still generally viewed as a political activity. If it's happening in a public washroom, legislators want to know it, schools are trying to rebrand it, and at least one Alberta mom attempted to rap about it.
All of this never-ending debate can feel pretty fucking strange, considering trans people are just doing the same things as everybody else in there. That there isn't competing outrage over sounds, smells and soap availability is anybody's guess.
It's frankly no wonder trans activist Jack Fox has spent a decade scouting out every non-gendered toilet in his city. Even though Fox says he "reads" as male, the the fear of harassment in the "men's room" still lingers. "I was so nervous to use a public washroom for fear of being attacked or verbally harassed, I would often wait all day until returning home to go," he told VICE of his early transition days. "Some days I waited up to 16 hours, being strategic as to what I drank or ate so I did not need to use the toilet."
Fox recently teamed up with Vancouver photographer Jackie Dives on a photo series that confronts those anxieties and the transphobia that causes them. It pairs photos of non-binary people having a chill time in public stalls with personal stories of dealing with assumptions and hate. To mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, we've publish a selection of them here.
Follow Sarah Berman on Twitter.
Follow Jackie Dives on Instagram.