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Cross Cos-play and the Restroom Issues that may arise because of gender

#1 User is offline   Yui Yume 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:33 PM


Over the 8 years I have been attending ACen (Anime Central) and I have Crossed Cos-played every year. I have been using the women’s restrooms with no problem. In fact the females that find me there think it is cute and pay it no mind as I am respectful, do nothing weird, and are pretty passable as a female. I would think entering the men’s room like that would cause problems. Also I do know Cook Country has laws protecting transgendered people, allowing them to use the right washroom for there portrayed gender.

Has this ever become or is it an issue?
If so what other alterative are there?



#2 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:53 PM

This is a very delicate topic due to the nature of gender identity and how it is perceived (and greatly misunderstood) by the public.

To keep it simple--you should be using the restrooms for the gender you identify as. If you identify as male but are simply crossdressing, I would advise you to use the men's restroom. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, you should seek out a gender-neutral facility if there are any in the vicinity. It's not really an equal comparison at all to compare crossplay to being transgender and whether you intended it or not, it trivializes a very real form of discrimination that transgender men and women face daily.
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#3 User is offline   TheStrongJaeger 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:16 PM

View PostSapphy, on 07 May 2013 - 09:53 PM, said:

This is a very delicate topic due to the nature of gender identity and how it is perceived (and greatly misunderstood) by the public.

To keep it simple--you should be using the restrooms for the gender you identify as. If you identify as male but are simply crossdressing, I would advise you to use the men's restroom. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, you should seek out a gender-neutral facility if there are any in the vicinity. It's not really an equal comparison at all to compare crossplay to being transgender and whether you intended it or not, it trivializes a very real form of discrimination that transgender men and women face daily.


As a transgender person I completely agree with this post and could not have worded it better myself.

So no, I don't think crossplayers should be using the opposite bathroom. The alternative? Deal with the strange looks in the male bathroom or use the one in your room.
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#4 User is offline   Yui Yume 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:38 PM

View PostSapphy, on 07 May 2013 - 09:53 PM, said:

This is a very delicate topic due to the nature of gender identity and how it is perceived (and greatly misunderstood) by the public.

To keep it simple--you should be using the restrooms for the gender you identify as. If you identify as male but are simply crossdressing, I would advise you to use the men's restroom. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, you should seek out a gender-neutral facility if there are any in the vicinity. It's not really an equal comparison at all to compare crossplay to being transgender and whether you intended it or not, it trivializes a very real form of discrimination that transgender men and women face daily.



It was not my intent to compare to the cossplay / crossdressing to transgender people in any way and I am sorry if it came out the wrong way or it a fended anyone… I was just thinking that I do know a person has to dress and live life of the gender they are transferring to for a year of more before even coming to having physical work done. If that is the case what would you call that? I mean it is not like they have a sign that says I am getting the work done soon or under construction in progress. I do not want to nit pick this too much farther for my words may start arguments and upset people more than they are… I am just trying to point out the way I feel.

As fare as there being a neutral washroom any were in any of the hotels around the convention center. I have looked and have not found one…

Also I am not hoteling this year… If I was I would have never brought this up in the first place!!! I am starting to have second thoughts about bringing it up now.

This post has been edited by Yui Yume: 07 May 2013 - 10:54 PM


#5 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:56 PM

View PostYui Yume, on 07 May 2013 - 10:38 PM, said:

[b][color="#800080"][size="4"]I was just thinking that I do know a person has to dress and live life of the gender they are transferring to for a year of more before even coming to having physical work done. If that is the case what would you call that?

Not all doctors require "real life experience" as the other gender before helping to start them on their path to transition; most doctors worth their salt are phasing this out. It can be terribly destructive and is an outdated view on treating gender dysphoria. Speaking from a legal standpoint in Illinois, our state's first name change requirements are static regardless of reason. To get your gender marker changed in Illinois it simply requires a doctor's note and a trip to the DMV. Changing a birth certificate is a more complicated matter, typically requiring surgery in most cases, however this is not something everyone chooses to do. Many transgender men and women leave their birth certificates as-is. There is no "set path" to transition, it is all on a very personal level. Which brings me to:

Quote

I mean it is not like they have a sign that says I am getting the work done soon or under construction in progress.

Again, being transgender does not equal "getting surgery". For some people it may entail hormones, for others they may choose not to go down that route, either. Again, it is a very personal journey and there is not one single path. No transgender person is "under construction" and the point in which that person reaches the level they are comfortable with depends entirely on them.

I'm not trying to sound angry or anything here--as I mentioned, it's a very delicate topic but there's a lot of misunderstandings the public holds in regards to what it means to be transgender. Just trying to clear some of these up.

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As fare as there being a neutral washroom any were in any of the hotels around the convention center. I have looked and have not found one…

Perhaps, then, as a man identifying as a man, you should use the men's restroom.
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#6 User is offline   Yui Yume 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:19 PM

View PostSapphy, on 07 May 2013 - 10:56 PM, said:

Perhaps, then, as a man identifying as a man, you should use the men's restroom.




Well I definitely would not be identified as man by look and nature. Nor do I want to be identified as one as well… But curtain physical traits say different and cost lots of money to fix… Some people just don’t have that type of pocket book. So I hope people just understand like they have in the pass and pay me no mind…



#7 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:24 PM

View PostYui Yume, on 07 May 2013 - 11:19 PM, said:



Well I definitely would not be identified as man by look and nature. Nor do I want to be identified as one as well… But curtain physical traits say different and cost lots of money to fix… Some people just don’t have that type of pocket book. So I hope people just understand like they have in the pass and pay me no mind…



Okay, let me reword it this way: Unless you are transgender, you should be using the restroom of the gender assigned to you at birth. When I say "identifying as a man" I am not referring to the fact that you are crossdressing for a convention, I am referring to gender identity as an actual medical thing. Crossdressing for a convention is fine. Crossdressing is fine. Crossdressing and gender dysphoria are, by and large, separate issues.

As a man, you should be using the men's restroom. Use the men's restroom.
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#8 User is offline   TheStrongJaeger 

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:49 PM

View PostYui Yume, on 07 May 2013 - 11:19 PM, said:

So I hope people just understand like they have in the pass and pay me no mind…



And I'll hope you understand my concern. Some states have much stricter laws about what counts for gender and what bathrooms you can use. The people who push for laws like that say it's for the protection of women or children because "Otherwise any man could just walk into the woman's bathroom and do something perverted." When you go into the bathroom of a gender you don't identify as you give those people ammunition to make it more difficult for people like me to live normally.

So I don't want to be mean, but I will not be giving you a pass and I hope other people don't. You are a man, use the man's bathroom. If you're concerned about how people react to you then you've gotten a small taste of the problems people like me deal with on a regular basis.
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#9 User is offline   Yui Yume 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:08 AM



I understand the perversion issue completely. I myself am fully not like that in any way… I always avert my eyes for respect of the other people in any washroom I enter. But I know Mr. Pedo Bear is hiding some wear at these types of functions too. So I know the fear people have.

So I get what you are saying TheStrongJaeger and the point you are trying to make.

To be honest, I my self really don’t care about using the Men’s Washroom. It’s probably cleaner away. In fact I think it is funny on some of the looks I have gotten from people at other states conventions in the pass. Some states jail you, Trans. or not for entering the wrong washroom. But the people I do worry about are the ones that don’t just look and snicker. I have gotten a few in the pass that get violent, follow you, and give beet downs!!! Mainly because they hate the idea that you are a guy or transgender and they were thinking hentai thoughts at some point or they get violent because at one point they were thinking you were really cute and start having feelings about you. Then they find out you’re a guy or transgender and can not cope with it. So they feel that they have to justify it by severely hurting the person dressed like that.

These are the people that I worry about above all others, and make me want to push the washroom issue for people like myself more so…

Like Sappy mentioned
“Being transgender does not equal "getting surgery". For some people it may entail hormones, for others they may choose not to go down that route, either. Again, it is a very personal journey and there is not one single path. No transgender person is "under construction" and the point in which that person reaches the level they are comfortable with depends entirely on them”.

So the word transgender is more so a state of mind I’m gathering, than a physical thing in some ways… Like myself I feel that I am Transgender because of my daily activities and visual presentation. Weather or not other people of the transgender community have the same views is a different story. I have a few transgender friends that accept me as I am. There are other transgender people on the other hand that don’t give me the same respect because they feel I have not made enough effort in my transition and it is no excuse that I don’t have the cash to do so…

So to some up, I have no issue with the using of the Men’s Washroom and will do so. So to those who worry about me entering the woman’s washroom it will not be an issue at the con on my end… But I do still worry about those evil people that don’t understand or except the fact of who I/we are and what we may be as a person, body and mind…

Now I want to apologize to the all the other Cross Cos-players and semi-transgender people if this topic may have ruined it for you while at ACen… Do to the fact that some people may be on the look out / hunt now that I brought this topic up. It may cause you problems and I am truly SORRY.

I didn’t mean to kick the sleeping dog and waking it up or opening up the Pandora’s Box.
I felt it needed to be brought up and still feel it should not be an issue if you look like a female.

I love Cos-playing and because of my nature and looks I get so much positive feed back from being the female characters I come to love so much.

It is unbelievable that my opinion can upset so may and make such a simple thing as a bathroom an issue so fare.

Lastly this Topic ONLY applies to a female looking male or Semi-Transgender people entering the women’s bathroom to escape ridicule and possible harm.

Now here’s a thought. What about a woman entering the men’s room, which does happen. Oh, but I know females have the luxury of not being judge no matter how they a dressed while entering there own washroom, GRRRRRRRRRRR …..

It all comes down to this, a guy walks in to a female public washroom, God forbid!!! When a woman walks into a men’s public washroom, most of the time the reaction is Yahoo! I think the God forbid effect should be in both genders. I mean, so what if the women’s line is trailing out of the convention center and you have to PEE!!!



#10 User is offline   AznAndy94 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:28 AM

I just wanted to share my experience from last year, but it doesn't answer any questions. In fact, I think it raises more questions.

So I crossplayed last year and of course the first thought I had before the con was "What happens when I have to use the bathroom?" The funny thing is that through out ALL THREE DAYS, the fact that I never had to use the bathroom never came up, even after returning to where I was staying. I could have sworn I never had to use the washroom all three days... o_o

Then again, I probably peed in the shower like I occasionally do...
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#11 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:33 AM

Yui Yume, you have to remember you are at a convention. I'm actually quite sure a great majority of the con population would defend you if someone threatened to beat you up over crossplaying. But you say you have had bad things happen in the past so I understand the concern.

As strange sounding as this is, bring a friend with you to the bathroom.

It doesn't seem like anyone is upset at all, actually all I see are posts supporting you and giving you honest advice. I'm having a hard time seeing anything mean about what they are saying.

And maybe I just don't have that many headstrong women friends, but I haven't ever heard of a woman going into a men's restroom and it being well received. Hell, you guys sometimes have your stuff exposed, I'm fairly sure most men would not "yahoo". They may get confused or just think it's a damn good crossplay.
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#12 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:49 AM

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So the word transgender is more so a state of mind I’m gathering, than a physical thing in some ways...

It is based on body dysphoria and is not a "state of mind" any more than a person's sexual orientation is a state of mind. Transgender folks feel as if they were born in the wrong body, which is why many (but not all take steps to make physical changes. Having your body match your mind is extremely important, and it also helps others to accept them as their gender they feel they are. It's insensitive and incorrect to assume that a person can switch back and forth between being transgender and not being transgender. You either are, or you aren't. Transgender folks typically know they are transgender from a very young age and realization of what they are feeling often comes around puberty, when the body starts changing in directions they feel their body should not change.

It's best to think of gender as a spectrum ranging from male to female--transgender people fall on the opposite side as their physical sex. There's a catch-all term for people who fall somewhere inbetween--"genderqueer". Here's a wikipedia article that details the genderqueer side of the spectrum quite well: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Genderqueer

The fact that you enjoy crossdressing does not mean you are transgender. Many cis people ("cis" referring to people whose gender identity matches their physical bodies) crossdress. If you simply enjoy dressing up as and masquerading as a woman through cosplay or other means, this is fine and encouraged.

If you truly believe you are transgender (to me you still seem horribly misinformed on what being transgender is), I highly suggest you get in touch with a doctor. The Howard Brown center in Chicago is a community-run clinic for both LGBT and straight/cisgendered folks alike, and they offer sliding scales for their services to make everything as affordable as possible. They're wonderful folks.


Quote

Now here’s a thought. What about a woman entering the men’s room, which does happen.

If you were a woman wanting to use the men's restroom because you were crossdressing as a man, I would recommend you to continue to use the women's restroom.

Quote

When a woman walks into a men’s public washroom, most of the time the reaction is Yahoo! I think the God forbid effect should be in both genders.

You're generalizing. I would never and have not ever used the men's restroom. My guy friends would be just as shocked if a woman walked into their restroom as I would be if a man walked into mine.

I'd like to echo linlindesu--bring a friend with you to the men's restroom.

This post has been edited by Sapphy: 08 May 2013 - 09:50 AM

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#13 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:11 AM

View PostYui Yume, on 08 May 2013 - 08:08 AM, said:

Now I want to apologize to the all the other Cross Cos-players and semi-transgender people if this topic may have ruined it for you while at ACen… Do to the fact that some people may be on the look out / hunt now that I brought this topic up. It may cause you problems and I am truly SORRY.

You don't have to apologize at all. There isn't anything that I've read so far that seemed to be upsetting or even judgmental. Who in their right mind is going to be on the lookout or hunt? And for what? Most people at ACen are busy worrying about their costume or what time their panel is. Sure we people watch from time to time, but no one is "out to get" crossplayers or transgender people.

View PostYui Yume, on 08 May 2013 - 08:08 AM, said:


I didn’t mean to kick the sleeping dog and waking it up or opening up the Pandora’s Box.
I felt it needed to be brought up and still feel it should not be an issue if you look like a female.


You didn't upset anyone. Not even a drop of drama in here. Are you trying to start drama by bringing up this issue? Most people here will actually support you. You really don't have to worry about bringing this question up. I'm sure there are some people out there who has this same question in mind as well.

View PostYui Yume, on 08 May 2013 - 08:08 AM, said:


I love Cos-playing and because of my nature and looks I get so much positive feed back from being the female characters I come to love so much.

It is unbelievable that my opinion can upset so may and make such a simple thing as a bathroom an issue so fare.

Lastly this Topic ONLY applies to a female looking male or Semi-Transgender people entering the women’s bathroom to escape ridicule and possible harm.


If someone tries to harm you find IRT immediately. Again, I doubt you have to worry about this.

View PostYui Yume, on 08 May 2013 - 08:08 AM, said:


Now here’s a thought. What about a woman entering the men’s room, which does happen. Oh, but I know females have the luxury of not being judge no matter how they a dressed while entering there own washroom, GRRRRRRRRRRR …..

It all comes down to this, a guy walks in to a female public washroom, God forbid!!! When a woman walks into a men’s public washroom, most of the time the reaction is Yahoo! I think the God forbid effect should be in both genders. I mean, so what if the women’s line is trailing out of the convention center and you have to PEE!!!

Okay this kinda bugs me. Females do NOT "have the luxury of not being judged while entering their own washroom". Girls are the worst at bullying, nitpicking, and being mean in general. I could tell you so many stories, but at the convention where most people are past the grade school phase it's not really an issue. Maybe you've had a bad experience in a men's bathroom before at a con, but generally at ACen I don't think this is an issue. In my experience generally people are accommodating and accepting.

The bathrooms are usually busy with people who want to get out of there as fast as possible. Sometimes there will be someone trying to put in contacts, fix their cosplay, touch up makeup, etc. Sometimes there are very young children there too. The bathroom should be a safe place to do your business and get out. As Sapphy said, you should be using the restrooms for the gender you identify as. Go in, do your business, wash your hands, and leave. If you come in looking all paranoid and tense you're going to make people around you uncomfortable. Walk in like you own the place, and if anyone questions you(which I doubt will happen) just say "It's okay I'm a dude".

I did ask my husband what he would do/think/feel if a woman used the men's bathroom while he was using it, and he said "idk/wtf/uncomfortable". I would feel the same way if a man, even in a crossplay used the girl's bathroom. Would I do or say anything? No. I'd leave asap. My husband also said "not sure if I'd say something or not. or even notice. guess it depends on what they're doing. guys go in, do the do, wash up, and leave. we don't hang out or anything. so it's possible I wouldn't even notice." I didn't give him any context other than what if a girl walked into the men's bathroom at ACen while you were using it. Just an honest outside opinion.
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#14 User is offline   Yui Yume 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:17 AM



Well Thank You to all the comments thus far…

I feel a little more relieved… After using the female bathroom for the last 8 years, it was a topic that was just bothering me. I wanted to get some other CON goers and people opinions about the subject, before one day something stupid happens and I get in to trouble.

I was not trying to create any drama here with anything I have said. It is a touchy subject and I was just getting frustrated when I was typing my last post to address some of the things that were mentioned that got under my skin.

Also I apologize to mentioning this topic because I know personally a few other people that have been doing the same thing as myself for the pass years and they also have had no issues as of yet. In fact a few of them told me to use the women’s room in pass. Because of the 3rd degree I would receive going into the men’s room dress as a female.

So I figured what the hell play the part be the part.


This post has been edited by Yui Yume: 08 May 2013 - 04:34 PM


#15 User is offline   unknownwarrior33 

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:33 PM

Ignoring the controversy for the moment and just talking as a member of the general public who has experience with the transgender community: I would just say consider (a) where you are and (B) how the people in that place would react. I'm not saying anyone should conform to anyone else's views, but I do believe we all have a responsibility to consider other people's comfort in our decisions. The hotels are obviously being used by non-con-goers, who may not be so understanding or open-minded on the subject. I guess in the end, I'd say use your judgment.

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:10 AM

I my self do not forewarn about the issue, nor even I agree… If you are an girl or boy in a dress then act like it then go to that bathroom. But think about it. Being there are people that don’t do it at the CON!!

#17 User is offline   feuerwerke 

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:05 AM

Use whichever bathroom matches how you actually see yourself, not the character you're cosplaying. If you actually think of yourself as more female than male despite being born in a male body, fine, use the women's room. Otherwise, use the men's room. This is a con and most dudes there know that some dudes crossplay.
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