Gender neutral bathrooms are really important for people of all genders, to pee in without getting harassed but also for a place to go cry when everything gets to be too much. I am a strong advocate for crying in public. People have their preferred spots- in the car, a rhododendron bush outside their work that they hope people will just think they are staring at intensely while they’re on break. Some people can handle walking down the street weeping but not everybody is capable of the emotional/spatial task of crying while walking.
Wherever your preference or presence, here are some suggestions for places to let your feelings out so that you can have a semi-private cry when you are out and about in the world because holding it inside only works sometimes.
Miller Hall on UW Campus-4th floor
I have not actually cried in this bathroom, but I am told it is fairly isolated, and that there is little else on this floor, so it evidently feels like an alternate plane because it’s so far removed from other people and context. For those of you with a need for emotional catharsis with a post-apocalyptic dystopian bent, this may be the bathroom for you.
Where you can get café Cubano and cram in at a table next to hetero tech folks on first dates among the vivid murals. The bathroom is next to the patio, so it’s a bit drafty, but if you really can’t deal with the busy café noise you can duck out and try it there.
They have a ‘left’ and ‘right’ identifying bathrooms, and the coffee shop abuts Gay City Health Project performance space and library. There is often a library cart of free books that you can peruse. You can cry your little heart out, and then get a free gay novel from the 1980s and a coffee and stare at the words numbly while trying to act normal in public. Or just flip through to find the one or two intense, vaguely worded sex scenes. Queer novels of that era usually have sex scenes in the first 25 pages or else two-thirds of the way through, so, be advised.
Gender neutral bathroom, gluten-free/vegan foodstuffs, and so many fliers for energy healing. Their bathroom is spacious and has an attractive vintage cabinet that you can lean into if necessary. I wouldn’t recommend laying on the floors of any of these establishments, but if you needed to execute a full lean onto assorted business cards and fliers, this would be a reasonable place to do it.
Queen Bee Café in the Central District
This gender-neutral bathroom is in the vicinity of crumpets, so it smells nice, and there is a velvet chair in their gender-neutral bathroom so that you can sit down and really have a good cry. There is only one bathroom, so somebody will eventually knock on the door, but you could probably get in a good 7-10 minute cry undisturbed.
These are merely some options, but do what feels best, whether you prefer to cry in the great outdoors, in bathrooms with velvet couches, or next to the dry erase markers in at Walgreens, don’t be ashamed to just let it out when you need to.
As usual, if someone’s in a bathroom with you and you’re uncertain of their gender, don’t worry about it.