“Did a girl just walk into that stall?”
Do not be alarmed. They mean you no harm. You were offset because the young man that walked in had no facial hair, a softer jaw, and a more prominent chest. You can see by his feet that he has sat down and relieved himself, unlike most men.
Congratulations, you have figured out that a transgender has entered the public bathroom. The next few moments will be in your hands.
Some run out, get a manager of the coffee shop or a teacher, others will wait until that person exits their stall and stare them down, or worse, assault them as they entered their intimate space.
Sounds like it could not happen in this society. A nightmare from the nineties that 2017 would change. Bathroom bills that discriminate have lost states literal millions as they are boycotted.
But the world has not truly changed for this group. They still have a lower life expectancy, more likely to commit suicide, and face fear. They have a radar always up, entering these spaces.
But why not go to their respective bathroom? Well, there is the other side. An induvial walks in, masculine clothes, cut short hair, and mannerisms matching a men’s. A transgender (man in this example) cannot exist in any space without turning heads.
RTI International published a recent study, indicating that the age group of youth (for this study is that pre-college age) faced the worst sense of fear, victimization, and goes unreported the most.
Fear that exists in how they are aware of their environment, never turned off as they live. They have a schedule of when they know they will not be with others in the bathroom, around who do they have to be closeted and where they can look such as a teacher, youth pastor, coach, or a boss. If they do not feel safe it can come to the point of active avoidance. Why transgender youths are 2.4 times more likely skip school days than their cisgender peers.
The environment exists in the hands of those who are not within the community. How can one affect this space? Non-reaction is the least you can do. Someone strolls in and they don’t seem entirely passing, ignore them. They are more likely more threatened by you than you are to them.