Out and About

selfie 2Minneapolis and Saint Paul are commonly referred to as the Twin Cities and I think it’s a wonderful place to live.  I’ve been all over the Twin Cities and I’ve always had a wonderful time.  I think overall it’s a safe place for a t-girl to go.  Whether you are visiting the area for a weekend or have lived here all your life, I think you’ll have a wonderful time en femme in Minnesota.

One of the most common search term people use to find my site are the phrases “crossdresser friendly businesses” or “transfriendly businesses”.  In my experience, every business I’ve been to has been friendly to me.  I’ve never had a bad experience in all my adventures.  Overall, I think almost every store is transfriendly if they are just simply…friendly.

The thought of being transfriendly is not up to the store, it’s up to the individual sales clerk and cashier.  I’m sure if you asked any major department store if they were transfriendly they’d all say they were because we spend money just as much (maybe even more) as anyone else.  Target is extremely trans-friendly but that doesn’t mean the cashier at the check out will be.

If you ask anyone who works at a store they will likely tell you that they see men shop for dresses and skirts and everything else all the time.  They will also tell you that a few of them are creepy.  I’m sure every store has creepy customers.  When you go shopping, be friendly and smile and don’t waste their time whether you are en femme or in male mode.  I think this applies everywhere.  I’ve been out shopping for a very long time and I’ve shopped en femme from everywhere to Dress Barn to Target to Kohls to Victoria’s Secret to countless others.  I’ve almost always had wonderful customer service if I am polite.  Again, don’t be creepy.  I know it’s scary to buy clothes the first times but be brave, be friendly and be honest. You will learn so much more about clothes and be able to buy the right ones so much faster if you tell the clerk you are shopping for yourself.  Whether you are en femme or in male mode, you will not be the first or the last person like you in that store.  If the person is rude, leave and take your business elsewhere.

There’s no store (as far as I know) that specifically tells their staff to be rude to transgender people.  Stores want their money, sales people want their commission and cashiers are paid to be polite.  If you have a bad experience, send the store an email or talk to the manager.  I would love to be able to say that a particular chain or a small boutique is always going to be amazing but that’s not true.  Stores are employed by people who either are comfortable with us or aren’t.

We will always encounter people who are not thrilled to see us but in my experience those people are pretty rare as long as I am acting like a lady.

These are some of my favorite places to go when I feel like shopping or hitting the town.  If there’s someplace you like to go, let me know!

One more thing, going out sometimes means visiting the ladies room..so let’s talk about that.

This is something that every t-girl needs to know before we go out, especially from a legal perspective.

Before I address the question, please please please familiarize yourself with the law and what your rights are.  Transgender bathroom use can vary greatly from state to state.  The ACLU does much to protect the transgender community as well as educate everyone else.

Many states have laws that prohibit transgender discrimination.  Note that certain laws do not necessarily translate to bathroom use.  Many states will arrest you if you are in a bathroom not consistent with the gender on your birth certificate.  These laws can change often so please be aware of what they are.

From the ACLU:
Does the law protect a transgender person’s right to use the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity?

There’s no clear answer because very few courts have considered this question. The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that even a law prohibiting gender identity discrimination does not necessarily protect an individual’s desire to use a gender identity-appropriate restroom at work. The Tenth Circuit in 2007 upheld the Utah Transit Authority’s decision to fire a transgender bus driver, based on a claim that her employer risked liability for her use of public restrooms along her bus route. In a non-workplace context, a New York appeals court has ruled that it is not sex discrimination for a building owner to prevent transgender people from using gender identity-appropriate restrooms in a building housing several businesses.

Some jurisdictions (e.g., Colorado, Iowa, San Francisco, New York City, and the District of Columbia), however, have indicated that denying transgender people the right to use a gender identity-appropriate restroom violates nondiscrimination laws. In addition, Washington’s Human Rights Commission states that “transgender employees should be permitted to use the restroom that is consistent with the individual’s gender identity.” Some jurisdictions (e.g., Iowa, San Francisco, and D.C.) make clear that transgender people cannot be required to prove their gender to gain access to a public bathroom, unless everyone has to show ID to use that bathroom. Other jurisdictions (e.g., Chicago) continue to allow businesses to determine whether a transgender patron is given access to the male or female bathroom based on the gender on his or her ID.

Many businesses, universities and other public places are installing single-stall, unisex restrooms, which alleviate many of the difficulties that transgender people experience when seeking safe restroom access. While this is often a useful step towards addressing the needs of transgender people and others, we believe that transgender individuals should have the right to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity rather than being restricted to only using gender-neutral ones.

Another resource I can direct you towards is right here. 

I would also recommend you downloading the Refugee Restroom app to your phone.  This app provides safe restroom access for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals.  It is a valuable resource available to those who find themselves in need of a place to pee safely once again.  Users can search for restrooms by proximity to a search location, add new restroom listings, as well as comment and rate existing listings.

That being said, I cannot advise which restroom you should use.  When I am out, every situation is different.  I make a point to use the bathroom before I leave the house.  I will also keep an eye out for unisex or family restrooms in case I need to use them.  If I do need to use the restroom, I use the restroom that corresponds with the gender I am presenting as.  I have never had an issue with using the ladies room.  I have found that most girls in the restroom do not stay longer than they have to and there is very little eye contract that is made.

If you enter the ladies room and you are uncomfortable for any reason, either leave or do what you came to do as quickly as possible.

Every situation and every state and every place is different.  Be safe and trust your instinct.

Transgender Resources

Photography and Transformation Services

Makeovers and Beauty

Dining

Shopping and sights to see