By Wyatt Riot
I thought I was going to piss my self by the time I landed in the airport. As soon as the fasten seat belt sign came on my bladder let me know how full it was. I’m not sure why my bladder couldn’t hold it just a little bit longer. It was almost as if my teeth were floating in my skull. I— was about to explode. If I could have any super power in the world it would be to have a bladder made of steel. No doubt about it.
Sitting in the middle of the plane with an isle seat, watching each person in front of me grab their belongings from the overhead bin and under their seats in anticipation of exiting the plane. Time had slowed down for everyone and I was on full speed. As people slowly left their rows I waited eagerly, standing with my legs crossed while I waited for my turn to exit; my turn to rush out of the plane and into the restroom.
Saying my thank yous to the flight attendants as I exited the plane, I could feel my heart beating faster and the sweat start to slowly drip from my temple. I’m sure I looked like I was going to puke, I was so anxious. It felt like my heart was about to beat out of my chest and onto the floor. With each little step I could feel my bladder start to expand, I wasn’t sure how much longer I could wait.
I hustled my way past little shops selling over priced snacks and drinks. I saw flustered parents with their children and very serious business people doing seemingly very serious business. I had my own serious business to do. People were running into me left and right, with each tap it felt like a blow to my bladder. Just a little bit longer, that’s all I needed. With how large airports are, you’d think they would have restrooms at every corner. I’d been walking for what seemed like miles. Don’t they know how important it is to pee?
In the not-so-far distance I saw a glowing sign. In eager anticipation I was hoping it was — yes, it was! RESTROOMS! Oh, the beautiful site of a public restroom. On the other side of that door, sweet relief would be mine.
Suddenly, panic set in. I looked at both restrooms. My eyes going back and forth between the two like the eyes on a tiger hunting their prey. I watched each person enter and exit the restrooms. How did they know where they were supposed to go? Did they use the restroom that matched the gender on their ID? How did they know where they belonged?
I stood there watching for what seemed like hours, holding my bags which were getting heavier and heavier by the moment. I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. What am I supposed to do? Where was I supposed to go pee.
I’ve never understood gendered spaces. I know what my ID says and I know how I feel about my own gender. But that doesn’t always mean the people in the restroom agree. I’ve had my share of being yelled at. It doesn’t feel very good to have children point and stare at you as if you’re a big scary monster. It’s embarrassing to feel threatened by something so simple as the restroom, but it’s really not that simple at all. It would be so much easier if people would respect me when I’m in the restroom. I promise I’m not trying to enter the “wrong” restroom, I’m just trying to pee and not get harassed in the process.
My bladder was feeling worse. I didn’t think it could feel this full. Watching people choose one restroom or the other with what seemed like ease had me feeling envious. Why couldn’t I have traveled with a friend? It’s always easier going to the restroom with someone. Safety in numbers I always say. I’m not sure why my gender threatens people, but the last thing I want is to get yelled at, accosted or worse. I’ve had my fill of being called slurs. I’ve been called a faggot, dyke, he-she, what the hell are you and more — what people don’t understand is I’m just a person. A person with very basic needs.
I understand my gender. It’s something I’ve thought and fretted about for years, so I know who I am — as much as any person can. For some reason the rest of the world doesn’t seem to understand my gender and they can’t let that go. I don’t really care if people understand me, I just wish others would respect me like I respect them. This doesn’t help me in this moment though. My bladder, it’s still aching.
Standing there just trying to hold on for another minute, people continued rushing past me while saying their usual “excuse me sir” or “excuse me ma’am.” What was I supposed to do? I contemplated pissing my pants, which at twenty seven years old is a little embarrassing.
As tears started to well up in my eyes from frustration I looked over to my left. I couldn’t believe it. How did I not see this before? The most magical place on earth was only a few feet away from me. I really had won the jackpot this time. I ran as fast as I could to the giant sign that read GENDER NEUTRAL RESTROOM. After I was inside I threw my bags onto the ground and locked the door behind me. What a relief.
If only everywhere I went had these, then I could pee in peace. Is that too much to ask for? It seems like a simple request to me.
Bio: wyatt riot is a fat, queer, femme, trans, faggot living and loving in portland, oregon. he is the host and co-creator of put it in your mouth with wyatt riot (www.putitinyourmouthwithwyattriot.com), a web series that documents his love of food and camp. you can find him out in the world blushing and making it happen or often at the library, sipping tea and doing his homework.