Experiences of a gender non-conforming lesbian in the “ladies’ (rest)room”

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Public restrooms in U.S. culture are highly gendered, politicized, problematic spaces. Gender non-conforming lesbians may feel especially at risk for various forms of harassment or policing by other occupants in the “ladies’ (rest)room.” Using auto-ethnographic lived experiences as observations, this essay explores reactions of other women/female occupants in public restrooms designated for female persons to the presence of a gender non-conforming lesbian (the author). Reactions include no response, fear and flight or fight, screaming/shrieking, and active policing. Differences by location and region, and changes in responses over time, are also explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-495
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Lesbian Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Autoethnography
  • LGBT
  • gender non-conforming
  • public restrooms
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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