Public Bathroom | Teen Ink

Public Bathroom

May 17, 2016
By MissJade GOLD, Bridgman, Michigan
MissJade GOLD, Bridgman, Michigan
16 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness."

Everyone wanted to use the restroom after the movie was over. An hour of sitting in the darkened room drinking pop had filled everyone’s bladders up. One little girl, desperate to relieve herself, rushed towards the woman’s restroom. A man stood in her way. He was tall, as most adults were, and his scratchy beard clung to his broad chin. The man looked very angry, his large head was bright red and his nostrils flared and fumed. A woman stood in front of the man, and the girl was shocked to find that the woman was taller than the man. She’d never seen such a tall woman. Perhaps it was the black heels she wore, or the way she proudly carried her shoulders. The little girl's’ mother always said pride makes one taller. The bearded man was yelling at the tall woman, spit flying in her face, and the girl watched in awe as the woman just stood there smiling. The man scared the little girl, she’d never seen a man yell at a woman like that. Other woman passed the little girl, squeezing behind the man to get into the restroom. No one stopped to help the tall woman, to get that man away from her. Now the little girl had a very smart mother who always taught her to stand up for herself and others, even adults needed help sometimes she’d say. So without thinking, the little girl marched up to the man, her chin in the air and asked him up front, “Why are you yelling at this lady?” The man was stunned. He blinked his tiny eyes and stared at this girl who had dared to speak her mind. The tall woman smiled at the girl, and the girl found the woman’s face quite strange. It almost looked like a man's. But she was wearing a dress and heels, so that must mean she’s a woman. The man’s face calmed down a little when he responded to the girl, “This is not a lady, and because she is not a lady she can not use the woman’s restroom.” This sentence confused the girl, how could a lady not be a lady? Was she not polite enough? Did she not say please and thank you?

The tall woman turned to the girl, “It’s alright sweetheart, don’t worry about me.” Her voice was low and gravelly, like the girl’s father, this confused her even more. But the woman was still a woman, regardless of her voice, right? The woman turned back to the man, “Now sir, will you please let me through to use the restroom.” The man crossed his arms over his chest, his thick eyebrows sliding down his face, “No. Not now, not ever. My wife and daughter are in there, and it’s my job to protect them.” The woman sighed, bowing her head. The little girl saw her knees bounce, the lady really had to pee. The girl looked back at the man. “Why won’t you let her pee?” She asked, not afraid to speak her mind. Another woman squeezed past, ignoring the growing tension in the air. The man turned back to the girl, trying to make his face happy, “I told you, she’s not a lady so she can’t use the restroom.”
“Then what is she?”
The man glared at the tall woman, “A man.”
The little girl watched the tall woman’s kind eyes flicker. Watched as a tiny tear escaped her eyelids. It made her sad, to see this woman cry. All over the public bathrooms. Slowly the little girl raised her hand, taking the woman’s long fingers in her tiny ones. The woman looked into the child’s face. So innocent, so open. “Thank you.” The girl nodded, unaware of the full impact of her actions.

She pulled the woman’s hand, dragging her past the man who quickly spun around, yelling words the girl didn’t know or understand. But the girl could tell that these were not nice words, as they brought more tears to the tall woman’s face. No one noticed the tall woman in the bathroom, they were too busy reapplying makeup, and gossiping. The girl and woman took stalls next to each other. And when they were finished the tall woman held the little girl up so she could wash her hands. They silently dried their hands, letting the hot air do the talking. The girl was about to walk out when the woman stopped her, she kneeled down in front of the girl, who found it quite remarkable that such a tall woman could bend her knees so far. “Thank you for what you did. This is my first time, going outside as my true self and you’ve given me that hope that maybe people truly can change.” The little girl nodded and smiled, but she didn’t really understand the meaning behind the words. Had the woman been locked in her room for years and years? They walked out together, and the woman seemed relieved that the mean man was gone. The little girl said goodbye to her new friend, then ran into the arms of her very smart mother. The woman walked away, humming a tune to herself.

The little girl never did see that tall woman with the deep voice again. Years passed, and the girl grew up as girls tended to do. She saw other woman denied access to the bathrooms, she saw men throw rocks at other men who were holding hands. The girl learned the meanings of the rude words the tall woman had been called, and they made her weep. The girl learned about the hatred people held, and her innocence soon ceased to exist. The hatred eventually consumed the girl, and she inevitably forgot about that moment at the movie theatre bathroom. She forgot how kind she was, how willing to help others she was. She soon found herself yelling at woman like that tall woman, the same as that angry man. But this time, no little girl came to help, and the broken person left without hope. And the little girl, no longer little, continued to spread her newfound hate, denying so many of a basic human right. To pee. 

The author's comments:

Obviously, this piece is about the current issue regarding transgender people using public restrooms. This is my opinion so please respect it. 

Similar Articles


This article has 2 comments.

on May. 23 2016 at 11:32 pm
Fbrennan BRONZE, Tacoma, Washington
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
So true,the ending broke my heart though. And putting in such simple manner yet having depth, excellent.

on May. 19 2016 at 9:25 pm
dont.cry.little.girl. SILVER, Ooltewah, Tennessee
7 articles 0 photos 45 comments
Very well done. With a haunting ending, this piece captures the true insignificance of this issue.